From Memorial Day to Labor Day, North Texas is celebrating all the summer holidays in style. Here are our Top 3 for each.
1.) Originally called Remembrance Day, Memorial Day was created to commemorate those who died serving either army in the Civil War. We now honor and remember all men and women who died serving in the U.S. military in current times. National nonprofit group Carry the Load encourages people to participate in memorial events throughout May to “restore the true meaning” of the holiday. The organization holds relay walks in cities throughout the country. The West Coast Route of this year’s relay will arrive in Fort Worth this weekend. Meet up with the Carry the Load Relay Team at 10:45am Sat at Amon G. Carter Stadium (2850 Stadium Dr), walk 3.6 miles with them to the Fort Worth Rally at 11am at the Fort Worth Police & Firefighters Memorial (2247 W 7th St), and then see the team off as they continue the journey to Dallas at 2pm. Registration starts at $30 and includes a T-shirt at CarrytheLoad.org, with proceeds benefitting the organization’s efforts.
2.) Fort Worth Convention Center (1201 Houston St, 817-392-6338) will host Collect-a-Con, the “nation’s largest anime, pop culture, and trading card convention,” 10am-6pm Sat-Sun. Along with 500+ vendors, celebrity appearances, and the like, there will be a live performance by Vanilla Ice with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at 2pm each day. Tickets are $30 for Sat, $25 for Sun, or $45 for a two-day pass at CollectaConUSA.com/DFW. #IceIceBaby
3.) Cowtown Unplugged is back. The Omni Hotel set the wheels in motion for a new singer-songwriter showcase, then the pandemic hit. Join fellow hotel guests at 7:30pm Sun for the first installment of the Cowtown Unplugged: A Songwriter’s Showcase concert series, featuring Hayes Carll with Max and Heather Stalling and host Malone from The Ranch midday show. As for the second event, stay tuned for an upcoming announcement on who’s playing in September. Packages start at $299 and include one night’s stay, two tickets to the show, and breakfast for two at OmniHotels.com/CowtownUnplugged.
1.) With partial funding from the City of Lewisville’s Arts Project Grant, the Lewisville Grand Theater presents Celebrating Juneteenth in Music at 7:30pm Fri, Jun 10, featuring the Orchestra of New Spain playing the works of Jessie Montgomery and other Black composers of classical music with guest operatic soprano and former Dallas resident Ashley Renee at the Huffines Performance Hall (100 N Charles St, 872-219-8446). Tickets are $20 at LewisvilleGrand.com/tix.
2.) Last year, President Joe Biden signed into law a bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday every June 19, thanks to the efforts of Fort Worth activist Dr. Opal Lee. To commemorate the two and half years it took for the news of their emancipation to reach all enslaved people in the United States, Lee does an annual 2.5-mile walk. Join her at 10am Sat, Jun 18, at 1050 Evans Av for Opal’s Walk for Freedom 2022. Then at 4pm, head to Panther Island Pavilion (395 Purcey St, 817-698-0700) for the I Am Juneteenth Festival, featuring live acts, food, a kids’ zone, and a fireworks show. The walk is free, and the festival admission starts at $20. Register to walk and buy tickets at JuneteenthFTW.com.
3.) The Arlington Juneteenth Celebration is 4pm-10pm Sat, Jun 18, at Levitt Pavilion (100 W Abram St, 817-543-4308). This free family event features live music by jazz/R&B recording artist Ron Artis II & The Truth with local opening acts Jazz Super Friends, Tyra & Tiara, and more. There will be food trucks and vendors for on-site concession purchases, but you are welcome to bring blankets, lawn chairs, snacks, and coolers with drinks, including beer and wine (but no glass containers). For more info, visit ArlingtonJuneteenthCelebration.com.
1.) Enjoy Fort Worth’s Fourth along the Trinity River at Panther Island Pavilion (395 Purcey St, 817-698-0700) Mon, Jul 4, featuring one of the largest July 4th ﬁreworks shows in North Texas. General Admission is free. For more information about activities and times for 2022, check FortWorthFourth.com in the upcoming weeks.
2.) The City of Flower Mound is bringing in some Texas country for its Independence Fest 2022: 5pm-10:30pm Mon, Jul 4. See the Randy Rogers Band — famous for songs “Kiss Me in the Dark” and “In My Arms Instead” — at Bakersfield Park (1201 Duncan Ln, 972-955-7328) with disco cover outfit Le Freak. Get there early as there are activities all day long, including a children’s parade, a vintage car show, and a shopping area with local vendors. Plus, there will be fireworks at the end, of course. This event is free to attend. For more info, visit Flower-Mound.com/Festival.
3.) The City of Weatherford hosts its annual Spark in the Park 6pm-10pm Mon, Jul 4, at Heritage Park (317 Santa Fe Dr, 817-598-4124), featuring a free concert by country star Mike Ryan from San Antonio with Austin-based Red Dirt band Micky & The Motorcars, followed by fireworks with choreographed music heard on KMQX/102.5-FM and 88.5-FM radio.
1.) With several lakes in the area, I’m sure many of you are waterskiing enthusiasts. If you’d like to meet up with like-minded lake people, check out the Metroplex Ski Club (@MetroplexSkiClub) on the third Tuesday of each month at Shady Oak Barbeque & Grill (6364 Sandshell Dr, 817-306-7812). There are several spectator-friendly events throughout the summer — keep an eye on Facebook.com/MetroplexSkiClub/Events — including a free Labor Day show at 11am Sun, Sep 4, at Marine Creek Lake (2700 NW Loop 820, 817-335-2491).
2.) While showing off your classic car will cost you $20 per vehicle, the Lynn Smith Labor Day Classic Car Show is free to attend. Head to Lynn Smith Chevrolet (925 N Burleson Blvd, Burleson, 817-295-1102) 9am-1pm Mon, Sep 5. “Finish up the lazy, crazy days of summer under the awnings.” Proceeds from the show help fund the Christmas for Kids charity efforts of D&D Rockin’ Rods (DDRockinRods.com, 817-797-1197).
3.) Rock ’n’ roll fans who want to sneak in one more getaway before the end of summer can head to Rocklahoma Fri-Sun, Sep 2-4, at the Pryor Creek Music Festival Grounds (1421 W E0450 Rd, Pryor, OK, 918-824-2288) right outside Tulsa. The camping event is three days on three stages but opens a week beforehand “to get the party started early.” For hardcore returning campers, the actual lineup hardly matters. With weekend passes starting at $328 for a 2-pack at Rocklahoma.com/passes, we newbies need to know who’s playing before we commit. The lineup announcement should be in mid-June. Follow Facebook.com/Rocklahoma for updates.
Read about how theater and art are returning with a vengeance this season in Summer Culture Preview in #SummerEdition2022.