As part of Lake Brownwood State Park’s 85th anniversary, the 23rd annual Open House will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday. On Friday, events are reserved for local elementary schools, while the general public is invited to attend Saturday.

“This is one of the biggest events that we have,” said Lake Brownwood State Park Assistant Superintendent Nikki Little. “This is the 23rd year that we’ve done this so it’s a tradition here at the park. I think it’s just so important to reach all these kids, especially the elementary school children who are coming out and a lot of them will be trying out archery or fishing for the first time, or learning some local history. I think it benefits the teachers because it plays into what they’ve been teaching all year and now the children get to be hands-on.”

Returning to the event this year will be the Buffalo Soldiers, who will be hosting five different stations. 

“(The stations) will be ranging from history to animal tracking to outdoors essentials,” Little said. “It’s really nice to have them back.”

A local biologist will also be on hand to discuss wildlife, and kids can partake in the catch and release fishing pond or archery as well.

“We just got the kid fishing pond filled with catfish,” Little said. “That’s always really popular, and we’ll have archery which is really popular, too. We’ll be having some other history stations and some angler education as well.”

The weekend will conclude with Saturday’s Dance to the Past from 7 to 10 p.m. at the group recreation hall.

“That’s going to be the first dance we’ve held out here in I’m not sure how long,” Little said. “My boss (Lake Brownwood State Park Superintendent John Holland) told me he hasn’t seen one out here in quite a long time. We have a live band coming out and we’re just inviting the public to come out and do some two-stepping with us.”

The possibility for rain exists both Friday and Saturday, but the state park has back up plans in place.

“Unless we have some really nasty weather we plan to keep it going,” Little said. “The fishing, that tank has to stay there, but we do have some things we can move inside which is the nice part. The dance can also be moved inside the group recreation hall if it’s raining.”

Admission to all weekend events is free.

Lake Brownwood State Park is located at 200 Park Road 15, off Texas Highway 279 north of Brownwood. For more information, call 325-784-5223.