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Fall into Fall Texas Style

By Barbara Glass

Bless my heart! It’s fall already. Where did the summer go? School is back in session, pools are closing, and summer vacations are now memories. There was little going on for two months and now – presto! – it’s September and there is so much to do.

The North Texan event calendar explodes in September. Dust off your calendar and make some plans for fun with friends and family. For Texas natives and the newcomers, here’s your opportunity to “make like a Texan” and have some good old-fashioned fun.    

The grand-daddy fall festival of all is the State Fair of Texas,

Friday, September 27 – Sunday, October 20 in Fair Park. Plan on several days at the Fair. There is too much to do and see for just one day. It’s a Texas tradition to try the newest fried food sensation of the year – there is no way to leave the fair hungry. Be sure to take a “selfie” with Big Tex while you visit and post it on social media. Visit www.bigtex.com for the event schedule, details, map, and a variety of promotional days.     

For all Dallas television fans, Southfork Ranch in Parker, Texas is a must-visit. Take a trail ride and then stop at Miss Ellie’s Deli for lunch.  www.southforkranch.com 

For bicycle enthusiasts, the Emmitt Smith Gran Fondo event, presented by Toyota, will take place on Saturday, September 14. Timed 94-mile race, and untimed 41- and 58-mile races will take the individual or tandem bikers across Lake Lavon and through the picturesque Texas countryside. This event benefits Pat & Emmitt Smith’s Charities.  www.southforkranch.com/events/emmitt-smith-gran-fondo-presented-by-Toyota

If you like down-home, old-fashioned Texas gatherings, visit Prosper on Saturday, September 7 for the Prosper Community Picnic in Frontier Park. Local non-profits, community leadership, churches, and lots of activities for small children make this picnic a real Texas-style day. www.prospertx.gov/residents/parks-recreation/specialevents/   

Speaking of “down-home Texas,” plan on visiting Plano’s Heritage Farmstead on Farmstead YOGA Day:  Thursday, September 19, 5:30-8pm. The Farrell-Wilson prairie homestead is the setting for this fundraiser supporting the homestead’s mission. Besides music, food, and wagon rides, enjoy Hog Callin’, Rooster Crowing and pie-eating contests.  www.heritagefarmstead.org

Oktoberfest:

If you’ve read histories of Texas, you know the state would not be complete without the German families who settled in the hill country before the Republic days. It is most appropriate that we celebrate this German heritage with Oktoberfest. Craft beers, bierstubes for adult enjoyment plus food, music, crafts, games, and activities for young children make these gatherings fun for families of any age or composition.  

Addison:  Thursday, September 19 – Sunday, September 22. Addison has hosted and expanded this event over several years. Lots of things to do and experience.  www.addisonoktoberfest.com 

Allen:  Friday, September 13 – Sunday, September 15. Enjoy a plethora of local craft brews along with live music, German dancers, vendors and festive activities at Watters Creek at Montgomery Farm. www.watterscreek.com

McKinney:  Friday, September 27 – Sunday, September 29. Local craft brewers and food vendors are on hand for tasting and enjoyment; children’s activities and unique shopping round out the experience.  You can even bring the family dog.  www.mckinneytexas.org/664/Oktoberfest  

Frisco:  Saturday, September 28, 5pm-10pm, Frisco’s inaugural Oktoberfest is more “adultish” on Frisco Square, 8843 Coleman Blvd.  Check www.eventbrite.com for details.  

Southlake: Friday, October 4 – Sunday, October 6 at Southlake Town Square, 1256 Main Street.  www.visitsouthlaketexas.com/1166/Oktoberfest

Are you a “foodie?”  

For a lot of excellent food, fun, music, dance, and unique and eclectic craft booths, enjoy a few of the many North Texas cultural group events:

Live a Day the Greek Way!  Friday, September 20 – Sunday, September 22.  Visit Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church for a lively celebration of Hellenic culture. Opa! Visit www.greekfestivalofdallas.com for general admission tickets and coupons.  

The 23rd Lebanese Food Festival will be held Friday, October 4 – Sunday, October 6 at Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church in Lewisville.  www.ourladylebanon.com/lebanon-food-festival-

ArmeniaFest 2019 is the 24th festival of Armenian culture, presented by St. Sarkis Armenian Church in Carrollton:  Friday, October 11 – Sunday, October 13.  www.armeniafest.com

Check out the Cottonwood Art Festival on Saturday, October 5 & Sunday, October 6 for the best in Texas artists and crafts, music, and southern-style food vendors. Bring the kids to the Artstop area for fun activities.   www.cottonwoodartfestival.com 

The Urban Artist Market returns Saturday, October 12 from 11am-5pm. Unique Texas artists, potters, sculptors, fabric wizards, and embroiderers display their works for one day at the Addison Convention Center. Part of the proceeds benefit Genesis Women’s Shelter.  www.urbanartistmarket.com

A Dallas fall would not be complete without a visit to Oak Cliff and the Bishop Arts District. Plan your October 26 – October 27 weekend around the Dallas Festival of the Arts in Kidd Springs Park. Festival emphasis is on visual arts by local Dallas and Texas artists. Visitors can participate in creative art demonstrations and meet the craftsmen. Kids of all ages will enjoy the duck pond and butterfly garden in this lovely park setting.  www.dallasfestivalofthearts.net

It wouldn’t be Texas without a rodeo. Visit the Cowboy Coliseum at the Fort Worth Stockyards, 121 E. Exchange Avenue, on Friday and Saturday nights in September and October. For the younger set, Pawnee Bill’s Wild West Show runs on Saturdays beginning at 4:30pm before the rodeo.  www.stockyardsrodeo.com  

For dinner before the rodeo, visit Joe T. Garcia’s, family-owned and operated since 1935, for some of the best Tex-Mex food ever. Reservations are a must because this place is always busy. Cash only. www.joetgarcias.com  

The new Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum opens on Wednesday, September 18 at 300 N. Houston Street. The new building, exhibits, and expanded human rights mission make this a must-see for Texans 12 years old and up.  www.dhhrm.org

The SMU campus features the George W. Bush Presidential Library where the Presidential Retreat exhibit continues until October 6. Visit www.bushcenter.org for details.  

Outdoor Fun:

For the Fall Pumpkin Fest, visit The Dallas Arboretum. Each week in September and October, parents with young children will enjoy Mommy & Me Monday with face painting, petting zoo, and Kindermusik, and young readers can search the garden for clues during Thursday’s Scavenger Hunts. For adults, there are Cool Thursday Concerts and various cooking demonstrations. Most activities are free with general admission. www.dallasarboretum.org 

Drive a little farther south for an adventure in The Great Trinity Forest. Ride, walk, canoe, or simply enjoy the Overlook. Visit on Saturday, September 14 for the Trinity River Kite Festival 11am-5pm. trinityrivercorridor.com/explore-the-trinity

Bring the family plus the family dog to the 26th annual Dog Days of Denton on Saturday, October 5, 9am-3pm at the North Texas Fairgrounds in Denton.  www.dentondogdays.com/events/

What would a Texas fall be without sports? 

Texas Rangers have games scheduled until 9/29. The Rangers close the season with the Red Sox and the Yankees. You never know about October playoffs!   www.mlb.com/rangers

Go Cowboys!:  Season home opener versus the NY Giants is scheduled Sunday, September 8 at 3:25pm. For ticket details, visit www.dallascowboys.com/schedule/.

Dallas Mavericks’ season opener is Tuesday, October 22 at the American Airlines Center. The season schedule is not yet finalized. Visit www.mavs.com for details.  

Dallas Stars Hockey season opener versus Boston Bruins is set for Thursday, October 3 at 7:30pm at the American Airlines Center.  www.dallasstars.com  

Texas Legends celebrates their 10th Anniversary with unsurpassed family-fun activities, community engagement, and a new head coach, George Galanopoulos. Get 2019-20 season tickets at www.texas.gleague.nba.com

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