Courtesy Mike Baxter
If you couldn't tell by the 30-foot tall crawfish towering over the gazebo at the Historic Depot Plaza this weekend, Tomball just wrapped up its first Rails & Tails Mudbug Festival.
The event lived up to its name. The “tails” were the fresh crawfish, provided by French Quarter Grille, which were being sold in styrofoam containers that were stuffed to the brim.
The “rails” came in the form of the trackless train that brought Tomball's new train conductor mascot, Rusty Rails, into the Depot. The mascot's introduction was a mini-parade down Market Street, with Rusty being escorted by police vehicles and additional officers on segways weaving back and forth around the train. Needless to say, residents will likely be seeing his face pop up at future events, though his entrance might not be as epic.
On top of that, the event featured live music all weekend long. In keeping with the overall theme of the event, the performances were mostly of the Cajun variety.
Headliner Waylon Thibodeaux provided his backwoods Louisiana flavor Sunday night. His band featured keyboards, a washboard player and low-swinging bass lines to put people in the dancing mood. Waylon, equipped with an electric fiddle, would occasionally cut into the looping bass with riotous blasts that elicited cheers from the audience.
One exception to the Cajun convention were the Fab 5, the Beatles cover band that performed Saturday night. Donning mop top wigs and outfits that were reminiscent of the Yellow Submarine days, the Fab 5 made Saturday a night to remember as well with classic tunes and on-stage antics.
For a first-time event, everything seemed to go off without a hitch. The turnout was solid and the weather was cooperative. You could feel the summer heat beginning to creep in, but a refreshing breeze was still kicking all weekend long.
The Rails and Tails Mudbug Festival was the third of four new events the City of Tomball introduced this spring. The fourth—the Memorial Day Weekend Chili Challenge—will take place May 26.