The Crider family came to America in the early 1700s when Jacob Kreider immigrated from Switzerland settling in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania right in the middle of the Pennsylvania Dutch area. Early in the 1800s the family name was changed to Crider. It was Jacob’s grandson Daniel Jr who first came to Blanco County in the Texas Hill Country. Daniel was became an accomplished fiddle player and was known as Texas Dan. Daniel married twice and had a total of nine children. His first wife, Elizabeth and three of their children perished in a fire that destroyed their house. Daniel and their other children escaped. He married his second wife, Sarah in 1850. The Crider family became well rooted in the Texas Hill Country.
On July 4, 1925, Walter and Audry Crider hosted a rodeo fund-raisier to benefit the Hunt School PTA . Soon the guest at the Heart of Hills Inn and local folks and visitors wanted a place to learn folk dancing. A wooden dance floor was build on the Crider property located on the lower banks of the Guadalupe River. Each 4th of July the Crider family hosted the rodeo, dance, and barbecue. In the 1930’s they began a weekly event during the summer months.
During World War II the dances were held across the street at the store and cafe. . In 1950 it was moved back to the original site. The cafe burned down in 1993 and was reconstructed in 2ooo. The dance floor and stage do not have a roof – A GREAT TRADITION OF DANCING UNDER THE STARS, instead of Dancing with the Stars (why should they have all the fun). Many Texas legends have played on the Criders’ stage including a little know singer in 1966 named Willie Nelson.
Now please take note fellow BACKROAD WARRIORS – Criders Rodeo and Dance Hall is a TEXAS TREASURE. Weather permitting Criders still opens for dances and rodeos every summer weekend. When visiting the Texas Hill Country be sure and include Crider’s Rodeo and Dance Hall – It is everything Texas rolled up in one.