The summer solstice is officially three weeks away, but it’s pretty hot outside, so basically the season has arrived. And with the tropical heat this year will come a lot of fun stuff to do outdoors. And a lot of opportunities for photos. Just be sure that when you’re Instagramming your face off, give us a shout-out for pointing you in the right direction. #fwweekly #lastcallsummer #lastcallismycopilot

And if you’re like me, you probably prefer to whittle down your choices to only the ones that involve booze, and yet even when you do, you still won’t be left out in the purely metaphorical cold.

The hot fun in the summertime starts Saturday. And while Slide the City –– featuring a 2,000 foot-long waterslide between LaGrave Field and the Tarrant County Courthouse –– is sold out, the party is not. In fact, PantherFest is free. Featuring local music mostly of the Texas Music and blues varieties (Chucho, Shotgun Friday, Charla Corn, Ryan Tharp, Chris Watson Band, and more), fare from local restaurants (including Reata, Flying Fish, and Buttons), and local beer (Collective, Martin House, Panther Island, and Rahr), PantherFest will take place just north of the courthouse. #pantherfesting #cornheads #longasswaterslide


Of course, the big deal in July is Independence Day, and it’s on a Saturday this year, which means anywhere you go will be crowded and fun, unless you don’t like crowds or fun, in which case, do the rest of us a favor and stay home and play your Game Gears or whatever. For the purposes of Instagram-tagging fun, however, try to catch the fireworks from the top of a building. The rooftop patio at The Live Oak, a parking garage, the roof of your carport –– doesn’t matter where you watch up high, but everyone knows airborne explosions are a lot more exciting with hooch. (Actually, everything seems to be more exciting with hooch, but that’s another column entirely.) Just be courteous and commonsensical if you’re tailgating somewhere not specifically designated for imbibing. #fireworks #fireball #fireballworks

Also in July, the Vaqueros have four home games. BFD, right? Not so fast. As I mentioned in this space a couple weeks ago, alcohol will be sold at Texas Wesleyan University’s Martin Field, so even if you don’t like soccer, you’ve got cold, refreshing adult beverages and the great outdoors to keep a smile on your face. #realfootball #thebeautifulgame #whataretherules?

And while August is the perfect time of year to get together with your favorite mosquitoes and grill some Walmeat, don’t forget that from June 14 through August 30, Panther Island Pavilion will serve up Sunday Fundays, in which you can rent a tube to float the Trinity from noon to 6 p.m. for five measly bucks. If you love the water but still think the river is too dirty –– or loaded with too many toe-devouring snapping turtles –– just remember that the flotsam at your apartment pool or nephew’s favorite Arling-fun water park is probably 10 times worse. #harboringecoli #hospitalbedvistas #ecoliestates –– Steve Steward


Contact Last Call at