Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Best Labor Day weekend events in Dallas-Fort Worth
It's time for picnics, cook outs, cold drinks, swimming, fireworks shows, and college football.
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Ah, Labor Day weekend. Three days free of working, toiling, laboring. That's the point, right? Well, no. It was actually made a federal holiday in 1894 as a way for the government to make nice with labor unions following the Pullman Strike.
What does this have to do with your weekend plans? Absolutely nothing. Nowadays, Labor Day weekend symbolizes the end of summer (despite that school started over a week ago and the weather continues to be really darn hot). Still, it's a good excuse to partake in some favorite summer activities, like picnics, cooking out, cold drinks, swimming, and fireworks shows. And for college football fans, Labor Day weekend marks the beginning of their favorite season.
Fireworks: September 2 is the final Summer Blast Friday Fireworks and Garage Party. The fireworks can be seen from any Lake Grapevine park such as Oak Grove Park. You can even download a soundtrack of "rock hits" to accompany the show. Or watch from the Summerblast Party on the Gaylord Texan Parking Garage Roof Top or the decks of the Glass Cactus (21 and up only).
Get some back-to-school spirit by watching The Breakfast Club Enjoy Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl at the junior Olympic-size pool at The Fairmont Dallas during the hotel's final night of Dive-In Movies. The movie starts at 8:30 p.m. Friday.
Cooking out: Head to the 'burbs for barbecue this weekend. The Rowlett Exchange Club's annual QueFest moves to Garland's Firewheel Town Center. There's music, too: John Slaughter takes the stage Saturday and former American Idol contestant Jason Castro performs Sunday. City of Bedford Labor Day Blues and BBQ Festival has a similar formula. The Battle of the BBQ will be 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, and there's live music all weekend, with Jonny Lang headlining Saturday and Buddy Guy on Sunday.
Cold drinks: We love democracy -- especially when it involves tasting nearly a dozen margaritas and voting for the best. At Sunday's Hotter Than Hell Margarita Meltdown in Bishop Arts District, pay $20 cash at the door to receive a wristband for 'rita sampling and a chip to cast your vote. Participants include Hacienda on Henderson, Neighborhood Services, Alma, Maximo, Sfuzzi, Bolsa, Smoke, and Nova. There will also be street food by Veracruz Cafe and Hacienda on Henderson, DJ-ed music, and even more drinks (tequila and beer).
Picnics: Are you a swinger? Get some action Sunday night. The Dallas Arboretum's Labor Day concert features Asleep at the Wheel, the "Kings of Texas Swing." Another local swing king, Hunter Sullivan, joins the Dallas Wind Symphony at WRR's Picnic in the Park at NorthPark Center's CenterPark. The Dallas Symphony Orchestra's Chamber Ensemble and 5 Second Rule also perform.
College football: The Oregon vs. LSU game Saturday night at Cowboys Stadium is already sold out. But you can watch it and other college games at McKinney Avenue Tavern, which has 30 flat screen TVs, including three 100" screens. The College Football Kickoff Party starts at 11 a.m. The Labor Day festivities continue Sunday with the End of the Summer Luau Bash.
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