Thursday, February 27, 2014
10 fun festivals invading Dallas-Fort Worth this weekend
Spring has officially sprung!
It’s that magical time of year when there isn’t a weekend without a great festival, and it all gets going right now with huge spring events such as the North Texas Irish Festival and several Mardi Gras celebrations. Looking ahead, we’ve also rounded up 50 more fests that you might want to mark on your calendars.
North Texas Irish Festival
The 32nd North Texas Irish Festival, produced by the Southwest Celtic Music Association, celebrates the culture, toe-tapping music, dance and storytelling of Ireland. There’ll be three days of entertainment and cultural presentations on 13 stages at Fair Park, as well as exhibitors, sporting events and equestrian shows. This year’s theme, “Erin Go Bark,” puts a spotlight on the event’s dog-friendly proceedings, including a Pet Pavilion in Grand Place and a large gathering of pet-rescue groups for pet adoptions. Food options will include Irish stew, shepherd’s pie and much more, and there’ll be cooking demos, and whiskey tastings for ages 21 and older.
February 28 from 6 to 11 p.m., March 1 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., March 2 from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Fair Park, 3809 E. Grand Ave., Dallas. Admission is free on February 28 from 6 to 7 p.m. and $10 the rest of the evening. A one-day ticket at the gate is $20 on Saturday, $15 on Sunday; a two-day ticket is $25; and a weekend pass is $30. Those over 65 and current military members (with ID) receive a $5 discount off all gate prices, and admission is free for children 11 and younger when accompanied by an adult. Discount tickets for either Saturday or Sunday will be available at area Tom Thumb stores through March 2. Discount tickets are also available through the website. Dogs are allowed in on short leashes for a $1 donation. ntif.org.
The Mardi Gras-themed 5K run, 1-mile walk, costume contest and fest is celebrating its fifth year. The family- and pet-friendly proceedings begin and end at Kidd Springs Park in Oak Cliff. Vendors will be on-site before the race, and revelers and pets can compete for prizes in post-race costume contests. The Mardi Gras-themed fun will include live music by the O’s, barbecue, a beer garden sponsored by local breweries and a Kids’ Zone. Proceeds will benefit local schools in the North Oak Cliff area.
March 1, beginning and ending at Kidd Springs Park, 711 W. Canty St. (between North Tyler and West Canty streets) in Oak Cliff, Dallas. The schedule includes run-walk registration from 8:30 to 10 a.m., the 1-mile walk from 9:30 to 10 a.m., the 5K from 10 to 11:15 a.m., live music from 10:30 a.m. to noon, and the awards and costume contest at 11:15 a.m. Registration is $35 through the website, or on-site on race day; $25 for 1-mile walkers; $15 for teachers and children; and $5 to register dogs for the run or walk. Discount tickets are also available at groupon.com. dashforthebeads.org.
Try to catch some beads during a festive procession along Davis Street, between Montclair and Madison. Expect floats, bicyclists and costumed revelers.
March 2 at 4 p.m. Free. mardigrasoakcliff.com.
Cheer on your favorite fashionable pup at this year’s Krewe of Barkus parade in McKinney, celebrating the fads, fashion and entertainment of the 1950s through the ’80s with the theme “Barkus Goes Back in Time.” Prizes will be awarded, including best costume, best dog-and-owner combo, best decade and best of show. The event, presented by the Art Institute of McKinney and McKinney Main Street, also offers free family activities at the post-parade Pawty in the Park.
March 2 from 12:30 to 4 p.m. at Mitchell Park, 300 W. Louisiana St. in downtown McKinney. Vendors will be on-site beginning at 12:30 p.m. The parade, which starts and ends at Mitchell Park, begins at 2 p.m. and travels through the downtown square. The costume contest and the Pawty in the Park take place after the parade. Free. downtownmckinney.com.
Celebrate Mardi Gras with all the trimmings at the ninth annual Lake Dallas festivities, centered at Lake Dallas City Hall. The family-friendly Fat Tuesday event will include jazz music from local faves the N’awlins Gumbo Kings, a parade, Cajun food (such as crawfish) available for purchase, crawfish-eating and costume contests, free children’s activities and a vendor market.
March 4 from 5 to 9 p.m., with the parade at 5:30 p.m., at Lake Dallas City Hall, 212 Main St., Lake Dallas. 214-656-4939. Free admission. lakedallas.com.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Dallas Arboretum’s annual flower festival, with the theme “Birds in Paradise.” This year’s fest, sponsored by Bank of America, will feature 500,000 spring-blooming bulbs, culminating with the flowering of thousands of azaleas that bloom through the end of April. A number of special events will also take place throughout the festival, including the “Bird House Exhibit” with life-size playhouses, the Artscape fine art and craft show, and Cool Thursdays concerts. Disounted admission will be offered Feb. 28 (on-site only): $5 for the arboretum only, or $8 for the Rory Meyers Children’s Garden plus the arboretum.
Dallas Blooms will continue through April 6 at the Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road, Dallas. Event information, including regular admission prices and schedules, is available on the website. Tickets (which vary in price by activity) are available online and on-site. dallasarboretum.org.
This family-friendly expo features appearances by actors, artists, authors and other pop culture figures, with photo and autograph ops. Special guests will include Peter Mayhew, John Schneider, Nicholas Brendon, Phil Hester, the original Power Rangers, Jamal Igle and many more. More than 40 vendors and 50 artists will also be on hand. On February 28, Brendon (from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) will also host a karaoke night at the DoubleTree hotel in Richardson.
The expo runs March 1 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., March 2 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Richardson Civic Center, 411 W. Arapaho Road, Richardson. General admission tickets are $20-$30, VIP tickets are $60-$150. Autograph and photo-op pricing is available on the website. The karaoke on Feb. 28 runs from 8 p.m. to midnight at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Dallas-Richardson, 1981 N. Central Expressway, Richardson. The hotel event requires a $70 Slayer Pass, which includes weekend VIP admission to the show, drink coupons (for ages 21 and older) and an exclusive print. dallascpe.com.
The ninth annual block party and celebration of the anniversary of Cedar Hill Recration Center’s opening will include a health fair, entertainment, tours, kids’ activities, info on classes and more.
March 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Cedar Hill Recreation Center, 310 E. Parkerville Road, Cedar Hill. Free. 972-291-5100, ext. 1094. cedarhilltx.com/anniversary.
More than 30 health- and fitness-related activities will be featured at an event after the Trinity River Levee Run, including Yoga on the Bridge, Zumba by the River and adaptive sports for people with disabilities. There’ll also be a pop-up dog park and kids’ activities.
March 1 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. at and near the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, Dallas. Admission is free; some activities require registration. Details at allouttrinity.com.
Find a full range of quinceañera and Sweet 16 party options, with more than 100 exhibitors, from photographers to caterers to florists, during this annual expo. The event will include entertainment, demos, fashion shows and casting for the next Quinceañera Magazine cover girl.
March 2 from noon to 5 p.m. at Dallas Market Hall, 2200 N. Stemmons Freeway, Dallas. At the door: $10, free for children under 5. In advance: $8 through the website. quinceanerasmagazine.com.
Compiled by Dena Hill and Ann Pinson
- Remember the Bud Light Hotel in Dallas at Super Bowl? It's back for Final Four
- Neil Young returns to the Meyerson in April
- OMG: Adam Lambert and Queen will rock Dallas, together, in July
- Bite City Grill expected to open in Fort Worth's West Seventh district this month
- See new Toadies documentary Monday at the Kessler