The South Texas sound of singer/songwriter Wade Bowen tops the ticket Saturday evening at Yoakum's 85th Annual Tom Tom Festival. The festival kicks off Thursday and ends Sunday.

Saturday's opening performance, the Justin Van Sant Band, was Houston Press Magazine's 2012 pick for best country act, while Friday evening features the Tejano tunes of The Majestics, says the Victoria Advocate. The dances will be at the community center. Tickets for the dances are $20 each.

The Tom Tom Festival originated to honor Yoakum's tomato industry, which was predominant in the area in the late 1920s-early 1930s. This festival is one of the oldest in the region due to the "down home" style of fun, found only in South Texas, according to the Yoakum Area Chamber of Commerce website.

The Magic Valley Carnival swings into action Thursday. Also that evening, contestants will vie for crowns in the Yoakum Royalty Pageant at the community center.

The biergarten opens at 4 p.m. Friday at the city park, followed by the carnival, a salsa contest, chef's choice and Bloody Mary competitions and the CPRA rodeo.

Saturday starts early with softball and kickball tournaments in the park followed by a parade in downtown Yoakum.

The carnival and rodeo continue, along with other activities including a barbecue competition; the "Tom Tom Talent Roundup," an amateur singing contest; the car, truck and motorcycle show; helicopter rides; and horseshoe and washer tournaments

Sunday slows down with Tom Tom community church services at the park and afternoon museum tours.