Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 6:00 pm
Thursday, September 15, 2016 at 12:00 pm
Community and business leaders from Alberta, Canada to the West Coast of Mexico will gather in San Angelo, Texas September 13-15 for the Ports-to-Plains Alliance Annual Conference, co-hosted by the City of San Angelo and the City of San Angelo Development Corporation. With more than 275 member communities from throughout an almost 5,000 mile transportation and economic development corridor that serves North America’s agriculture and energy heartland, the Ports-to-Plains Alliance is a grassroots non-profit organization that advocates for transportation infrastructure needed to create jobs in our primarily rural region. Join us as we come together to learn about progress in construction of the corridor, legislative issues, economic development topics and other matters that affect the industries that create jobs in our region. This conference is open to the public as well as Ports-to-Plains Alliance members.
We are currently assembling an excellent slate of speakers. Among those confirmed to speak are:
- James M. Bass, Executive Director, Texas Department of Transportation
- Matthew Rooney, Director of Economic Growth, George W. Bush Center
- Dr. Tedd Mitchell, President, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
- Judge John Thompson, Chairman, Gulf Coast Strategic Highway Coalition; Former Chairman, Alliance for I-69
- Steven Jast, President, ROI Research on Investment
- Jack Schenendorf, Of Counsel, Covington & Burlington LLP
Since the inception of the Ports-to-Plains Alliance, billions of dollars have been invested in the corridor. The key to our success has been the grassroots support of our members. Our annual conference is a great opportunity for you to continue to be a leader for rural development throughout North America.
Perched on the banks of the Concho River, the Bill Aylor Sr. Memorial RiverStage is San Angelo’s best live music venue. The likes of Willie Nelson and B.B. King have played the RiverStage, which hosts some 40,000 people each July 3 for San Angelo’s annual Independence Day celebration.
Fiddle Fire Catering offers dinner and a show! The chow is prepared off a 1906 Peter Schuttler chuck wagon that has been preserved to its historic origins. After dinner, its trail boss, Dorothy Douthit, serves up heaping helpings of lively cowboy music on her fiddle, often accompanied by her pardners.
The past morphs into the future Tuesday evening. The Concho Cowboy Co. will delight with fast action, high drama and a glimpse into the wild, wild West. These re-enactors, garbed in period dress, specialize in the portrayal of historical and fictional characters, including Marshal Cactus Jack, Madam Sunshine and Will Killem. Also on hand will be Fort Concho’s Buffalo Soldiers, who recreate Company A of the 10th Cavalry, which served with distinction at San Angelo’s fort as one of two all-black regiments in the late 19th century. Their Native American foes gave them their name, equating the soldiers’ hair with that of the mane of their sacred buffalo. Fort Concho’s historical re-enactors will also fire the site’s three-inch ordinance rifle, a replica of the weapon assigned to the fort from 1875-89. It’s best you cover your ears when you hear, “Ready ... aim ...” The evening will conclude with a spectacular and futuristic laser light show.
Adjacent to the RiverStage sits the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts. This cultural jewel is home to one of the most exquisite collections of contemporary ceramics in the world, along with Texas art, Spanish colonial pieces and American glass. Current exhibits include works by renowned sculptor Roger Colombik and Angelo State University faculty members. Admission to the museum is free with a conference badge.
During Miss Hattie’s heyday, the building that now houses a popular downtown restaurant and its Cathouse Lounge was a bank. It was also the covert entrance to the famed madam’s brothel a couple doors down. Waiters will gladly grab a dinner knife and tap the floor, proving the existence of underground rooms that allowed clients discreet passage to the women for whom the entrées are named. The Casino Night will be headed by San Angelo’s Bridget Carr, a former pit boss at Vegas’ Rio hotel. Tours of historic downtown San Angelo (which today pulses with nightlife) will be led by a costumed guide on one of the city’s trolley buses.
For the outdoorsmen among us, a fishing tournament along the Concho River Thursday evening will offer the chance to wet a hook. All of the equipment will be provided. The Concho is frequently stocked with catfish and trout by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.