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16 Apr 10 Special Branding for Texas Music Dance Hall

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A week before the grand reopening of the newly and extensively renovated Albert Dance Hall, the Texas-born Easley family, which purchased the historical Hill Country hamlet last fall, has invited locals to bring their branding irons to a party to make their marks on the new bar in the 88-year-old structure.
 
Doors open at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 1, to those who want to burn their brand into the bar in the Dance Hall, which has been sided with unfinished cedar and updated with sound, lights and more and its original pine floor refinished in the months since the Easleys purchased the 13-acre town one hour’s drive west of Austin. Dances, concerts, weddings, community events and parties will bring new life to the grand old hall.
 
Entry Saturday night is free for branders, who are invited to stay for a 7:30 p.m. show by Texas-country music artist Bill Rice. For others, admission is $5.
 
The following week, on Friday, May 7, the Easleys will host the Albert Dance Hall Grand Opening Concert featuring Abilene-based country music artist Aaron Watson, who just released his eighth album, ANGELS & OUTLAW.
 
Doors open at 7 p.m. Advance tickets are $20 through Front Gate Tickets: www.frontgatetickets.com; tickets will also be available ay the door.
 
The Easley family, led by Ed and Connie Easley and their son Brandon (elected as Town Manager), bought Albert as a fun family project, to rejuvenate its tradition of Texas hospitality for locals and Hill Country travelers, to renovate the property as a must-see destination and venue for reunions, rallies, corporate retreats and the like, and to care for and share the beauty of its pecan trees and ancient live oaks, stands of Texas wildflowers, and ever-flowing Williams Creek.
 
Already a popular gathering spot, Albert Ice House is enjoying extended spring/summer hours, lots of live music and barbecue by Riley’s BBQ of Blanco. The bar area has been expanded and Texas Star bar stools added. Outside, the patio/beer garden deck and its picnic tables, shaded by two massive 500-year-old live oaks, have been repaired and refinished; a stone fire pit built; the parking lot expanded and Iron Horse Corral (for bikers’ rides) added; and the bathrooms glammed up.
 
Albert, founded in 1892 20 miles east of Fredericksburg, had a general store, a school that a young LBJ would attend and a post office. Despite efforts by descendants of the first residents, it had lost most of its population and a series of owner-caretakers and the school had been converted into the community center by the time the Easley family took the reins in fall 2009.
 
The Dance Hall’s grand reopening points to a future the Easleys envision, in their words, “a special place where friends and family gather and experience the simple pleasures and traditions that make the Texas Hill Country special.”
 
For more information, visit www.alberttexas.com.

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