Wednesday, August 29, 2012
What to do Labor Day weekend in Dallas-Fort Worth
This holiday, there's something for almost everyone.
Poor Labor Day. It's no longer that cherished weekend before school starts for the year. Nor is it the real beginning of autumn. For kids, it's that pseudo holiday that arrives about the time they memorize their locker combination. And for adults, it's "Three-day weekend! Party! Wooo!" Whether you're celebrating one less math class or being able to drink on a Sunday, there's a Labor Day activity for you.
Fireworks: August 31 is the final Friday Fireworks of Grapevine's Summer Blast. The show can be seen from any Lake Grapevine park such as Oak Grove Park. You can even download a soundtrack to accompany the show. Or watch it from the Garage Rock Out Party on the Gaylord Texan's parking garage or the back decks of the Glass Cactus (21 and up only).
Patriotism: On September 1, explore World War II aircraft and military vehicles at Warbirds on Parade presented by the DFW Wing of the Commemorative Air Force at Lancaster Municipal Airport. There will be a salute to veterans that includes an appearance by World War II Marine Sgt. R.V. Burgin, who was portrayed in HBO's The Pacific.
Nostalgia: Garland's Labor Day Parade and Festival sounds like an old-fashioned, small town shindig, but organizers claim it is the "largest Labor Day Parade west of the Mississippi." The parade starts at 9 a.m. September 3 in downtown Garland and travels to Central Park where the festival will include bounce houses, pony rides, a car and motorcycle show, and a marketplace.
Beer: Drinking on a Sunday without having to work on a Monday is like the end of Daylight Saving Time when you gain an extra hour before last call. So celebrate with people who truly love their beverages. Deep Ellum Brewing Company and the North Texas Homebrewer's Association present Labor of Love Fest of Ales. For $15, taste homebrews from the 21 participants, get a souvenir glass, tour the brewery, and hear music from Boys Named Sue.
Music: Arlington's Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts opens its fall season this holiday weekend with Brave Combo on August 30, Ruby Jane on August 31, Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis on September 1, and the September 2 homecoming of Pentatonix, an Arlington a cappella group that won the third season of NBC's The Sing-Off in November. Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Keb' Mo' headline the 2012 Bedford Blues and BBQ Festival at Bedford City Hall on September 1. Hank Williams Jr., Merle Haggard, Shooter Jennings, David Allan Coe, Pat Green, and others will perform at the Stockyards Music Festival. The September 2 event will be held on two stages in the North Forty field near Billy Bob's. The organizers of 35 Denton present The Hot Wet Mess on September 1 at the North Texas State Fairgrounds. The diverse lineup includes the Black Lips, Reggie Watts, Big Freedia, Fergus and Geronimo, and RTB2, plus a water slide, water guns, hydration stations, a half pipe, a wresting ring, and food trucks.
Swimming: Fairmont Dallas hosts Dive-In Movies every Saturday night through September on the hotel's terrace. On September 1, see Shrek the Third pool-side or from in the water. Plano's Texas Pool is open to members only except for special events such as the Labor Day Swim Party on September 3 when all are welcome to swim in the Texas-shaped pool.
College football: Forget fall; Labor Day weekend is the start of college football season. University of Michigan and University of Alabama compete in the sold-out Cowboys Classic at Cowboys Stadium on September 1. A related Block Party has been canceled, but Crimson Tide fans can party for a good cause at the pre-game 'Bama Boot Scoot at Gilley's. The event benefits a scholarship program named after Ashley Harrison, a Dallasite who was attending University of Alabama when she was killed in the Tuscaloosa tornado in April 2011.
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