The Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex is a happening place, with dozens of events to attend across the course of the year in the various towns and cities that make up this bustling metropolis. I’ll use this page keep track of what’s scheduled every month. I’ll continue to add events as they appear and the dates are firmed up, and it’s my intention to attend and write about these events as they happen, insofar as that’s possible. At the moment, the list is weighted heavily toward large tourist-oriented events like festivals and celebrations, but I’ll soon add big-name concerts and other top draws to the list. I’ll also insert new events as they’re announced or as I find them, so please check back regularly. With rare exceptions (such as the first game of the season), expect local sport events to have their own special page.
Without further ado, here’s the list.
- January 8-31. Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo. Will Rogers Memorial Center, Fort Worth. The 112th annual iteration of this most western of events.
- January 19-20. TAAF Winter Games of Texas. Dr. Pepper Ballpark, Frisco. An Olympic-style event consisting of 11 sporting competitions, mostly winter-oriented.
- February 1-3: Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo. Will Rogers Memorial Center, Fort Worth. The 112th stock show’s winding down by this point, but there’s still plenty to do.
- February 2-3. Lunar New Year “Tet-in-DFW” Festival. Trader’s Village, Grand Prairie. A celebration of Vietnamese-American culture, including arts, food, and fireworks.
- February 3. Krewe of Barkus. Main Street, McKinney. A Mardi Gras-inspired afternoon of canine-related fun, including a parade and best-dressed dog contest.
- March 1. Six Flags Amusement Park, Arlington. The Lone Star State’s answer to Disneyland opens its doors for the year.
- March 1. Festival de Primavera Musica. Trader’s Village, Grand Prairie. A Hispanic spring music festival featuring food, fun, and the area’s best Mexican musical artists.
- March 6-16. Out of the Loop Festival. Water Tower Theater, Addison. A ten-day celebration of theatre, music, and the arts.
- March 8-April 13. 24th Annual Dallas Blooms. Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, Dallas. The largest outdoor floral festival in the Southwest – six full weekends of music, food, fun, and flowers.
- March 15. Feria de la Que Buena. Trader’s Village, Grand Prairie. Another Hispanic spring music festival (this one offered by KESS 107.9 FM), featuring food, fun, and local Spanish musical artists. And clowns.
- March 25. Kelly Miller Circus. Central Park, White Settlement. Two old-fashioned circus performances, at 4:30 PM and 7:30 PM, as an introduction to White Settlement’s Youth Association Open Week.
- March 25-29. White Settlement Youth Association Open Week. A week of festivities brought to you by the White Settlement Youth Association.
- March 27-29. Best Southwest Bookfest. Cedar Hill. The area’s largest annual literary event. Includes panel discussions, author talks, book signings, and more.
- March 29. Festival de la Primavera. Trader’s Village, Grand Prairie. Yet another Hispanic spring music festival (KDXX, 107.1 FM) featuring food, fun, and local musicians.
- March 30: FC Dallas soccer. Pizza Hut Park, Frisco. Check out this soccer powerhouse at their first home game of the season.
- April 2-4. North Texas Jazz Festival. Crown Plaza Hotel, Addison. A collaborative effort between the University of North Texas and the City of Addison, featuring top jazz artists from all over the country.
- April 4-6. Deep Ellum Arts Festival. Deep Ellum District, Dallas. Over one hundred hours of art and fun in “the Metroplex’s most progressive and eclectic neighborhood.”
- April 5-May 26. Scarborough Renaissance Festival. Waxahachie. Experience medieval life, crafts, and food at the premier renaissance festival in Texas.
- April 8. Texas Rangers baseball. The Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Take yourself out to the ballgame to see the Rangers’ first home game of the season.
- April 10-13. 23rd Annual Texas Storytelling Festival. Texas Woman’s University, Hubbard Hall, Denton. A four-day storytelling session including workshops, field trips, and stories.
- April 11-12. New Vintage Wine Trail, Grapevine. This event takes you on a tasting tour of nine local wineries.
- April 12. 33rd Annual Prairie Dog Chili Cookoff. Trader’s Village, Grand Prairie. A free chili extravaganza that also features the World Championship of Pickled Quail Egg Eating. No, really.
- April 12. Rosebud Festival. Denton Civic Center, Denton. Another short spring festival including a gardening and Arbor Day show, as well as lots of food, fun, and kids’ activities.
- April 18. Dallas International Guitar Festival. Dallas Market Hall, Dallas. The world’s oldest and largest guitar show, where you can buy, sell, or trade your guitars, and learn how to play from legends.
- April 24-27. EDS Byron Nelson Golf Classic. Four Seasons Resort, Irving. One of the top professional golf tournaments in the world, with a purse in excess of $6,000,000.
- April 25. Euless Arbor Day Festival. Euless. A celebration of trees that draws an estimated one million people every year.
- April 25-27. Denton Arts and Jazz Festival. Denton Civic Center Park, Denton. A free event featuring 1,300 (!) musical performers on six stages, not to mention all kinds of artsy-craftsy stuff.
- April 26. Springfest. Broadway Park, Haltom City. A brief spring festival (just a few hours long) with music and fun.
- April 26. Spring Onion Festival. Princeton. A celebration of everyone’s favorite root vegetable, including a craft show, music, a 5K Onion Run, a raffle, and even a beauty pageant.
- April 26-27. Country Music Weekend. Trader’s Village, Grand Prairie. The Reggie Brown Band performs traditional country music and Texas Swing favorites from 12-4 PM.
- April 28. Fifth Annual Russell Maryland Celebrity Golf Tournament. Bear Creek Golf Club, Dallas. A charity golf tournament benefitting the National Cowboys of Color Museum and Hall of Fame in Fort Worth.
- May 3. 21st Annual Cinco De Mayo Celebration. Quakertown Park, Denton. A festival honoring Mexican history and culture, including music, food, and a parade.
- May 3. Cinco De Mayo Festival. Grand Prairie. A celebration of Mexican history and culture.
- May 3-4. CottonWood Art Festival. Cottonwood Park, Richardson. This festival is centered around a juried art show, now in its 39th year, but also includes music from local bands, along with many other activities.
- May 9-11. Taste Addison. Addison Circle Park, Addison. A weekend of fun, music and especially food – you can try samplings from 50 local restaurants.
- May 10. Mayfest. Kirby Creek Park, Grand Prairie. A fun-filled day of educational and entertaining activities, food, and goodies lasting from 9 AM – 3 PM.
- May 10. Texas Frontier Forts Muster. Fort Worth Stockyards. This gathering of re-enactors from all over the country demonstrates what life was like in frontier Texas.
- May 16-18. Main Street Days. Main Street, Grapevine. Grapevine’s 24th annual weekend of Main Street music, fun, food, and adventure.
- May 16-18. Wildflower Arts and Music Festival. US 75 and Galatyn Parkway, Richardson. A huge music-oriented festival with plenty of great concerts. I saw Huey Lewis and the News there one year.
- May 17-18. 11th Annual Cajun Festival. Trader’s Village, Grand Prairie. A great excuse to eat boudin, jambalaya, and crawfish, and listen to some excellent Louisiana music.
- May 19-25. 62nd Annual Crown Plaza Invitational at Colonial Golf Tournament. Colonial Country Club, Fort Worth. Defending Champion Rory Sabbatini will be on hand for a second try at the Colonial, which offers a total purse of $6.1 million.
- May 23-25. ArtFest 2008. Fair Park, Dallas. A rich artistic celebration, back for its 39th year, that includes hundreds of artists from all over the United States, along with food, entertainment, a children’s interactive area, and more. Come on the evening of May 23 (6-9 PM) for the Wine Stroll Preview Party!
- May 23-25. National Polka Festival. Ennis. The 42nd annual edition of a nationwide dance and music festival that celebrates Czech and Slovak heritage.
- May 29. Jason Castro Homecoming. Rockwall, Texas. Be on hand to welcome home American Idol finalist Jason Castro, who hails from this town on the shores of Lake Ray Hubbard. It’ll start out with a parade, followed by a mini-concert and other festivities.
- May 31. Founder’s Day Festival. Rockwall, Texas. Town historical celebration, including musical guests The Marshall Tucker Band.
- June 1-4. Bassmaster Elite 50 Festival. Lake Lewisville, Lewisville. Combination bass-fishing tournament and western-style country fair.
- June 6-8. 33rd Annual Auto Swap Meet. Trader’s Village, Grand Prairie. A huge automotive swap meet featuring everything on wheels.
- June 6-8. Texas Scottish Festival and Highland Games. Maverick Stadium, Arlington. This three day festival of all things Scottish is one of the largest of its type in North America.
- June 7. Highland Village Days, Red, White and Blue Festival. Copperas Branch Park, Highland Village. Despite the name, a single-day even including a family fish-out, food, music, and fireworks.
- June 12-July 19. Art Exhibits by Howard Fonda and James Gilbert. Light & Sie Fine Art Gallery, Dallas. This stunning debut by two new artists kicks off on June 12, with a opening reception from 5 PM-8 PM which both artists will attend. It’s open to the public.
- June 14. Festival de Garibaldi Mariachi Festival. Trader’s Village, Grand Prairie. A mariachi musical event in which local bands compete for the coveted title of best local mariachi group.
- June 15-20. Juneteenth. Various venues: Denton, Irving, Plano, Dallas. A celebration of Texas African-American culture. Includes beauty pageants, talent expositions, parades, a gospel extravaganza, barbecue cookoffs, and the Dallas Juneteenth Film Festival, honoring Actor/Director Bill Duke and Actor/Performer Erikah Badu (a Dallas native, incidentally).
- June 21. Philippine Republic Day Celebration. Trader’s Village, Grand Prairie. Join the local Filipino community as they celebrate the Independence Day for the Philippines. There’ll be plenty of cultural presentations, music, songs, food, and vendors on hand!
- June 21. Neighborhood BBQ Cook Off and Small Town Saturday Night. City Hall Square, Cedar Hill. An all-day event full of food, fun, and small town charm.
- June 27-29. Festival of Freedom. Pecan Grove Park, Rowlett. A weekend of musical entertainment and fireworks, celebrating Independence Day.
- June 28. Allen USA Festival. Celebration Park, Allen. An annual music and arts festival that also includes balloon launches, a golf tournament, and fireworks.
- July 3-11. Mimir Chamber Music Festival. Texas Christian University, Fort Worth. A gathering of premier chamber musicians from all over with world, with live performances open to the public.
- July 3. Warped Tour. Superpages.com Center (formerly the Smirnoff Music Center), Dallas. The annual hard rock tour, featuring dozens and dozens of up-and-coming bands.
- July 3. Kaboom Town! Addison Circle Park, Addison. A huge Fourth of July party featuring fireworks choreographed to music.
- July 3. Sunnyfest. Town Center Park, Sunnyvale. A day of fun, food, and games, culminating in an exciting fireworks display.
- July 4. 4thFest. Bedford Boy’s Ranch Park, Bedford. Enjoy an old-fashioned flag-waving Independence Day celebration, complete with a concert, fun, food, and fireworks.
- July 4. Liberty by the Lake Festival. The Colony. A city-wide celebration of Independence Day, including a parade, the Anything That Floats Regatta, concerts, a car show, a salsa shootout, and of course a fireworks extravaganza.
- July 4. Star-Spangled Fourth. Firewheel Town Center, Garland. A once-grand three-day, multi-venue festival pared down, disappointingly, to one day and one venue. This year, the music, fireworks, and fun take place at the new mall from 10 a.m to midnight.
- July 5, 12, 19, 26. July Jazz. Esplanade Park, Addison. Free live concerts from local jazz artists.
- July 24-27, 31; August 1-3. Seussical the Musical. Granville Arts Center, Garland. A fun musical adventure based on the works of Dr. Seuss.
- July 30-August 10. Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus. American Airlines Center, Dallas. It’s the Greatest Show on Earth, folks — don’t miss it! Tickets vary from $45-230+.
- July 31-September 6. Sehnsucht Exhibit. Light and Sie Exhibition Hall, Dallas. Includes work by prizewinning artists from across the globe, including Vanessa Beecroft, Ingrid Calame, Todd Eberle, Kimsooja, David Reed, and more.
- Early August, TBA. Dallas Cowboys football. Texas Stadium, Irving. Be on hand for the Cowboys’ first home game of the 2008-2009 season.
- August 2-3. Spikefest Volleyball Tournament. Five Star Sports Complex, The Colony. One of the nation’s largest amateur grass volleyball tournaments.
- August 2, 9, 16, 23. Symphonic Saturdays. Esplanade Park, Addison. Free live symphony concerts, brought to you by Dallas Wind Symphony and the Richardson Symphony Orchestra.
- August 15-23. 79th Annual North Texas State Fair and Rodeo. North Texas Fairgrounds, Denton. A yearly western extravaganza that includes a carnival, a rodeo, music, and a series of special events and attractions.
- August 29-30. Oklahoma! in Concert. Addison Circle Park, Addison. A grand performance of the classic musical, presented by the Watertower Theatre and the Dallas Wind Symphony. Cost is $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors.
- September 5-7. 46th National Championship Indian Pow Wow. Trader’s Village, Grand Prairie. A celebration of tribal arts, crafts, and food from Native American groups from all over the US.
- September 11-14. Grapefest. Main Street, Grapevine. An annual celebration of arts and Texas wines, now in its 24th year.
- September 18-21. Addison Oktoberfest. Addison Circle Park, Addison. Yes, it’s a traditional German Oktoberfest celebration in September; go figure.
- September 19-21. Plano Balloon Festival. Oak Point Park, Plano. A yearly balloon, music and arts festival, currently sponsored by EDS.
- September 19-21. Sixth Annual Jazz By The Boulevard. Camp Bowie District, Fort Worth. Yearly fundraiser for the Camp Bowie arts district; musical guests this year include Buddy Guy and Lee Ritenour.
- September 20-November 2. Autumn at the Arboretum. Dallas Arboretum, Dallas. The name says it all. Come celebrate autumn at the incomparable Dallas Arboretum.
- September 26. First Day of the State Fair of Texas. Fair Park, Dallas. The biggest carnival/festival/musicfest of the year.
- September 26-28. 52nd Annual Greek Food Festival of Dallas. AGORA Marketplace, Dallas. A grand celebration of greek food, wine, culture, dance and more.
- September 27. Wild Wild West Fest. Downtown Keller. A day’s worth of Old West fun, including a Stick Horse Rodeo for the kiddies, an armadillo derby, a tractor pull, and plenty of live entertainment.
- September 27. Arlington Front Street Festival, downtown Arlington. A historic festival that includes pioneer demos, period dress, and plenty of family fun.
- September 27. Annual Western Day Festival. Old Town Lewisville. A celebration of the culture of America’s Old West, including food, dance, music, and period dress.
- September 27. Harvest Homecoming. Log Cabin Village, Fort Worth. This is a free event held at one of Fort Worth’s top attractions, and features an enjoyable afternoon of arts, crafts, activities, and living history.
- October 1-31. Screams Halloween Theme Park. Waxahachie. The world’s largest Halloween theme park, where you can enjoy a full night of terror for one price.
- October 2. 7th Annual Chick Flicks Film Festival. Dallas. An annual event open to all Texas female filmmakers, showcasing local talent and rising stars. Benefits the Women in Film.Dallas organization.
- October 2. 10th Annual Style Night. Slocum Street, Dallas. A rare public peek at the treasures inside 33+ showrooms located on Slocum Street, the local Mecca for antiques and furniture shoppers. Benefits the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDs (DIFFA).
- October 3-4. Musicarte de Fort Worth. Forth Worth. Enjoy two days of Latin food, art, music, and fun at the Southwest’s largest Latino festival.
- October 3-5. 16th Annual Lone Star Nationals. Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth. A fabulous car show featuring over 1,500 cars of all types, especially muscle cars, and including two Street Challenge Autocross events.
- October 3, 2008-May 17, 2009. Tutankhamen and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas. A once-in-a-lifetime exhibit of all the wonders of Ancient Egypt’s golden age.
- October 4. 4th Annual Plano International Festival. Haggard Park, Plano. An afternoon celebrating the many international cultures that make up modern Plano, complete with displays, dances, artifacts, food, and clothing styles from around the world.
- October 4-5. Cottonwood Art Festival. Cottonwood Park, Richardson. The second iteration of this enjoyable festival, which takes place twice a year in Cottonwood Park. Come out for some fantastic art, food, and a lovely all-around experience.
- October 5. 14th Annual Stevie Ray Vaughn Remembrance Ride and Concert. Arlington. A fun-filled motorcycle parade celebrating the life and music of local boy and blues great Stevie Ray Vaughn, who passed away 14 years ago. A star-studded blues concert follows.
- October 10. Dallas Stars hockey. American Airlines Center, Dallas. The hard-hitting Dallas hockey team heats up the ice with their first local game of the season.
- October 10-12. 12th Annual After Dark in the Park. River Legacy Parks, Arlington. Three fun evenings of pumpkin carving, storytelling, live raptor shows, and more. Benefits River Legacy Parks, Living Science Center, and River Legacy Foundation.
- October 10-18. 66th Annual Shrine Circus. Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum, Fort Worth. Family fun for all ages, including lions, tigers, elephants, clowns, the whole nine yards. Benefits Shriner Charities.
- October 11. 16th Annual Founder’s Day Celebration. Old Town, Burleson. A day full of arts, crafts, and entertainment, including gunfights!
- October 11-12. 25th International Bar-B-Que Cookoff. Trader’s Village, Grand Prairie. Enjoy the mouthwatering results of five different barbecuing competitions over the course of two days.
- October 11-12. 19th Annual Fort Worth Alliance Air Show. Fort Worth Alliance Air Port. A two-day aeronautical extravaganza benefitting the USO. Come see the Air Force Thunderbirds perform — admission is free! (Parking is $20).
- October 11-12. 17 Annual Celtic Heritage Festival. Bedford Boy’s Ranch Park, Bedford. A celebration of the culture of the seven Celtic nations — Brittany, Gallacia, Ireland, Scotland, Cornwall, Wales, and the Isle of Man). Music, historical re-enactments, food and drink — the works.
- October 11-12. 16th Annual NTASHA Fall Classic Horse Show. Las Colinas Equestrian Center, Irving. An awesome exhibition of the best saddle breeds and associated equestrian arts.
- October 12. 7th Annual Libraryfest. Central Library, downtown Fort Worth. A family-oriented festival that showcases the library and literary arts. Storytellers, musicians, and other performers will be on hand — including the Grammy-nominated Trout Fishing in America.
- October 13. 13th Annual Asian Arts Egg Roll Festival and Health Fair. Trader’s Village, Grand Prairie. A unique and free cultural event presented by the Tarrant County Asian American Chamber of Commerce.
- October 15-19. Shakespeare Festival of Dallas. Addison Circle Park, Addison. Nightly performances of the classic The Merchant of Venice.
- October 17-18. Lonestar Storytelling Contest. City Hall Plaza, Frisco. An old-fashioned storytelling competition including stories of childhood, ancient cultures, and Native American legends.
- October 18. Duck Day on the Trinity. Fort Worth. Enjoy a fun-filled family event as 10,000 rubby duckies are released from the Lancaster Bridge into the Trinity River for a race to the finish line. Folks who adopt the winning ducks win cool prizes. You can adopt your ducks online at http://www.circletgsc.org/duckday.aspx.
- October 18. Butterfly Flutterby. Main Street, Grapevine. A celebration of the yearly migration of monarch butterflies from Canada to Mexico; Grapevine lies along their route.
- October 18. Farmer’s Market Annual Pumpkin Party. Dallas Farmer’s Market. A mini-festival celebrating pumpkins and their relatives, the squashes and goards, which you can buy in profusion at the market. Also enjoy refreshments and live music while you’re there.
- October 18. Fourth Annual Stop, Drop, and Roll Chili Cookoff. Bass Pro Shops parking lot, Grapevine. From 10 AM-5 PM, enjoy the best chili in Texas, along with great music, plenty of vendor booths, a silent auction, and lots of fun activities. Admission is free, and it benefits a great cause: the WPI Firefighter’s Fun, which helps injured firefighters and their families.
- October 18. 7th Annual Autumn Days in Ennis Fall Festival. Downtown Ennis. A fun little festival with a children’s activity area, vendor booths, exhibits, the whole nine yards.
- October 19. Last day of the State Fair of Texas. Fair Park, Dallas. The State Fair ends with a bang, usually with a highly popular musical act on hand. In 2007, it was the Jonas Brothers.
- October 21. 26th Annual Taste of Arlington. Arlington. A scrumptious all-you-can-eat food tasting event with all of Arlington’s best restaurants in attendence. A silent auction, music, and theatre are all included in the event.
- October 25. Edge Fest 18. Pizza Hut Park, Frisco. Rock music festival hosted by 102.1 The Edge; includes performances from the Stone Temple Pilots, The Toadies, Staind, Papa Roach, Pennywise, and other edge-rock luminaries.
- October 25-26. International Festival. Addison Circle Park, Addison. An introduction to the food, music, and culture of countries from around the globe.
- November. Women’s National Finals Rodeo. Cowtown Coliseum, Fort Worth Stockyards. A showcase of the best women’s rodeo riders in the USA.
- November 1. The 500, Inc. Winefest. Addison Conference Center, Addison. An upscale tastefest of food and wine from top local restaurants and wineries.
- November 1 THE PERFECT CAPPUCCINO at Real Films, Houston, TX
- November 8. Addison Arbor Day Celebration, Addison. Arbor Day is in April, but Addison waits until November to support the establishment and maintenance of healthy urban forests.
- November 15-16. 11th Annual Mountain Man Weekend Gathering. Trader’s Village, Grand Prairie. Enjoy storytelling, song, and historical re-enactment of frontier survival.
- Early December. Holidaze in the Park. Beard Park, Little Elm. A wholesome evening of small-town entertainment, including a parade, children’s choir, and a tree-lighting ceremony.
- December 6. 11th Annual DHS Choir Craft Show. Denton High School, 1007 Fulton Street, Denton. A fun holiday event that benefits the DHS Choir, featuring more than 150 crafters offering everything from homemade fudge to handmade jewelry.
- December 12-14. NCAA Men’s College Cup. Pizza Hut Park, Frisco. By the time this event rolls into Frisco, there will be only four teams left. Grab a front seat now to catch the excitement!
- December 14. Dallas White Rock Marathon. White Rock Lake, Dallas. This yearly marathon is one of the top ten in the USA, and is a qualifier for the Boston Marathon.
- Mid-December. Interlochen Parade of Lights, Interlochen neighborhood, Arlington. The stunning displays of Christmas lights in Interlochen are well known throughout the Metroplex.
- December 28-30. Highland Park Holiday Carriage Rides. Highland Park. Romantic Horse-drawn carriage rides through the ritzy streets of Highland Park.