Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Summer festivals have their days in the sun
Find outings from now until Labor Day weekend.
See all summer festivals.
Since you can't beat the heat, join it. It'll be the headlining act at this summer's festivals. Though there are fewer options than there are for spring festivals, summer's lineup has several chances to eat a funnel cake when it feels hot enough outside to fry one right on the pavement. So here's your summer weekend forecast. Remember to hydrate, and keep in mind that face paint does not count as sunscreen.
June 9 - June 10
DeSoto SolJazz Festival: This newcomer to the summer schedule has jazz written all over it, but there will also be soul, funk, rap, a comedy and casino night, a gospel brunch, and a golf tournament. Saturday's finale concert features Cameo, MC Lyte, Doug E. Fresh, and others at DeSoto High School.
Cedars West Arts Festival: Business owners in an industrial area around Rock Island Street celebrate the impending completion of a two-year beautification project. The neighborhood will show off its new "funky feel" with landscaping, murals, and more during a party with artists and other vendors and live music by Ten Can Riot, Club Wood, and The King Bucks.
Razzle Dazzle Dallas: The third annual gay pride festival starts June 6 with the Wine Walk and Dog Walk and continues through June 9 with events for all ages at venues along Cedar Springs. Saturday's a doubleheader: There's an afternoon Family-Friendly Fair followed by the adults-only Saturday Night Street Festival.
Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Festival and Killis Melton Ice Cream Crank-Off: There's all-you-can-eat ice cream for $20. Too much of a good thing? Festival sponsor Henry's Homemade Ice Cream will sell scoops of nine flavors for $2 each. The package that's 20 bucks (or $15 in advance) includes samples of the entries in the ice cream contests, plus a vote for the People's Choice Award. The festival also includes kids' activities, including make-your-own ice cream.
June 16 - June 17
Solar Powered Music Fest: This new concert puts the sun to good use: It provides the juice for the band stage. The headlining acts are The English Beat and The Romantics. Local bands will also perform on the Solar Stage, plus at the Rahr Bier Garten Acoustic Stage. In honor of Rahr's Ugly Pug beer, the fest benefits Pug Rescue, which will be onsite to collect cash donations as well as leashes, harnesses, and heartworm or flea and tick medication. The event takes place at the Panther Island Pavilion -- home to the Rockin' the River concert series.
Soul Food Festival: This fete of soul food and soul music stays in Grand Prairie but moves to QuikTrip Park where Morris Day and the Time, Ginuwine, The Whispers, and others will take the stage. Tickets are $25 for general admission, $35 for preferred viewing seats. The event is BYOLC -- bring your own lawn chair -- unless you spring for the $60 VIP tickets.
June 30 - July 1
Allen USA Celebration: Doesn't everyone deserve to observe a birth week instead of just a birth day? The City of Allen starts America's birthday party the weekend before the Fourth of July with this festival at Celebration Park. The free event includes activities at the Kid's Zone and the Cabela's Zone topped off with a performance by The Bangles and a fireworks show.
July 14 - July 15
Taste of Dallas: The original summer sizzler expanded its offerings when it moved to Fair Park in 2010. Besides tasting tasty food, visitors can get ready to make their own by attending cooking demonstrations and shopping the Culinary Marketplace. They can also visit the Kid's Taste Town, the Taste Music Stage, and the Taste Tavern, and taste the wine tastings. Admission is $8. Children 12 and under are admitted for free with a paid adult admission. Parking is $12.
Parker County Peach Festival: Sleepy Downtown Weatherford awakens on the second Saturday in July. Every year, around 30,000 people crowd the square to eat and drink peach-based treats. There will also be more than 200 booths with food, arts and crafts, and activities. Admission is $5 for adults. Children 12 and under are admitted for free. Take advantage of the free remote parking with shuttles to the festival site.
August 18 - August 19
Lions Club Balloon Festival and Fair: At this free event at Copperas Branch Park on Lewisville Lake, hot air balloons will ascend, descend, race, glow, and offer rides. Parking is a $5 donation benefiting the Lions Club Charities, which will have collection boxes at the festival for eyeglasses, sunglasses, lenses, frames, eyeglass cases, and cell phones for soldiers.
September 1 - September 2
Bedford Blues and BBQ Festival: Keb' Mo' and Kenny Wayne Shepherd headline the annual Labor Day festival at Bedford City Hall. They and others handle the blues; the barbecue comes from a Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned cook-off featuring pit masters from across the country. Admission is $5. Kids 5 and under are admitted for free. Reserved seating is $25, or claim your space in the shade by upgrading to a seat in a party tent or party cabana. Parking is $10.
Westfest Polka Festival: Head south to West, Texas -- the town along I-35 popular as a stop on the way to and from Austin to buy kolaches -- for two days of polka dancing and polka music, including polka favorites Brave Combo. The Friday night preview party has the only non-polka performances, which will be by Wade Bowen, Kyle Bennett, and John Slaughter. And don't forget the kolaches: There's a baking contest, or just buy some to bring home. Everyone loves kolaches, which is more than you can say about polka.
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