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Star of the River in Santo, Texas (west of Fort Worth) is a ranch located on the banks of the Brazos River. Here you can find campgrounds and an event venue. The property offers four RV spaces and 5 acres for camping. The ranch is available for events and has a covered pavilion for celebrations, such as weddings, birthdays, and family reunions. There is also a stand-alone stage for live bands. At the ranch, guests are welcome to bring coolers with food and drinks at no extra charge. The Brazos River runs alongside the property, which has access to the river. According to the owner, guests often enjoy fishing for catfish. The campsite is open March through November, with some of the busier times of the year being during the summer.
Star of the River is a ranch that offers 5 acres of camping spaces and four RV spots. Each of the RV spaces comes with water and electrical hookups. Many of the camping locations have a barbeque pit. Besides the space set aside for RVs and campsites, there are also park-style bathrooms, including a shower and a laundry space, with a washer and dryer, which guests may use during their stay.
The covered pavilion is 30 feet by 60 feet with a cement floor. Tables and chairs are available for rent during guest events. If the pavilion is being used on a colder or more stormy day, there are transparent curtains that can be pulled down, as well. The owner states that this prevents the weather from ruining the event but doesn’t take away from the view. Across from the pavilion is a free-standing stage that can be used for a DJ or live band performance. Guests may also use a small tiki bar to serve drinks during events.
While visiting Star of the River, there are many activities to participate in along the Brazos River. Fishing tends to be one of the more popular activities for guests to do while they are staying in the area, as the river contains a variety of fish, with the most common being catfish.
The owner of Star on the River likes to recommend a variety of places for people to visit while they are staying in the area. While the property is in a more rural location, Gilbert Pecan (2 miles away) is a nut store that offers various kinds of nuts and a large selection of dried fruit and fudge. The owner also mentions a few of her favorite restaurants in the area, such as Mi Fiesta (located in Mineral Wells, 11 miles from the property), a Mexican restaurant, and Bent Bucket Bakery (7 miles away from the property in Lipan), which offers waffles and many other breakfast items. The last property she recommends is Hard Eight BBQ, which is 31 miles away in Stephenville.
Loretta, the current owner of Star of the River, wants her guests to feel comfortable and safe. Her personal goal for the property is to keep it clean and maintained. She, her husband, and their property manager strive to interact with guests frequently, especially when visitors are setting up an event on the property. While patrons are at the campsite, the property manager is often on-hand and can talk to guests and help make sure the facilities are working correctly.
There are several policies in place to help create the desired atmosphere for people that are visiting Star of the River. Visitors are not able to drive their recreational vehicles to the edge of the river, as there can be problems getting them back to the road. Loretta states that anything made of glass is not allowed to be taken to the river. There are also certain times of the year when the water levels of the Brazos River may get too high, in which case the ranch will be closed to camping to help ensure safety. People are not allowed to go into the river during those times, but fishing is still available. Additionally, firewood may be available to guests when a burn ban is not in effect.
Events are one of the main reasons that people make reservations for the campground. Loretta reports, "In the past, we have had weddings, quinceañeras, family reunions, business groups, birthday parties, memorials, and more." She also says that some people come up annually for fishing and celebrations like birthdays and family reunions. To schedule an event, guests can talk to the owner personally to ensure availability. Guests are responsible for bringing their own food and entertainment for such celebrations.
One thing that is often mentioned in guest reviews is the atmosphere of the grounds and how it is in a more rural area. Someone that recently stayed at Star on the River wrote, "I always enjoy going here. It's a pretty location with great amenities, and they have made a lot of improvements to the area. Straightforward process for paying for spots, as well."
The property's current owner, Loretta, purchased Star of the River in 2007, opening it to the public a year later in 2008. The land's previous owner had a pavilion and one RV space, but otherwise, it was primarily empty land with trees.
Shortly after purchasing the land, Loretta's daughter asked if her upcoming wedding and reception could take place on the grounds at the pavilion. Consequently, her parents decided to make it happen. In order to accomplish this, there were many projects on the land, including some landscaping to remove bushes and trees to make space for guests and open the area up for events and larger gatherings. The bathrooms, showers, and laundry facility were also built to help accommodate events. Additionally, the covered pavilion was repaired and expanded, with cement flooring added.
Because of the ability to hold events, Loretta states that she continually enjoys being able to help people with important life events, especially people that are getting married. She enjoys spending time with the families involved and helping them plan an event or celebration that is important to them.