We’re breaking out the party favors in our house. Not only is it my daughter’s birthday month – she’ll mark 12 years around the sun in two weeks – but May is also the unofficial outdoor festival month in Texas! Not that we need a reason to head outside and kick up our heels in these parts, but you’ll definitely want to put these springtime festivals on your calendar.
I’ve been a ‘Star Wars’ geek from the very beginning, so I just love the ‘May the Fourth Be With You’ celebrations that pay homage to that galaxy far, far away. If you’d like to join in the fun, you and your little Ewoks should check out the May the Fourth Be With You Star Wars Celebration this Thursday in beautiful downtown Carrollton. The ‘Star Wars’-themed event will feature booths, activities, and photo opportunities. Later, grab your blankets and lawn chairs and settle in for a movie. They’ll be showing the ‘The Force Awakens.’
Mayfest, the mother of all springtime festivals, opens this Thursday at Trinity Park in Fort Worth. This four-day super-fest has been happening along the banks of the beautiful Trinity River for over 45 years and it truly has something for everyone. Highlights include open-mike karaoke, a hot dog eating contest, a rock climbing wall, paddle boats, the biggest sand pile you’ve ever seen, and acres and acres of festival food. Besides all that, there will also be three stages dedicated to just music, and another three for performing groups.
Get the creative juices flowing this weekend at the Cottonwood Art Festival in Richardson. Mom and dad can check out the one-of-a-kind art, enjoy live music (be sure to check out the Lakeside Courtyard where you can sit in the shade and enjoy the music), or sample goodies from one of the many unique food vendors. Kids can be artsy in their own space at the ArtStop interactive children’s area. Wee Rembrandts can create a hat from scrap, design a wax hand, or throw some mud on a real potter’s wheel. When they’re finished they can take their masterpiece home to enjoy.
Don’t forget, Cinco de Mayo happens this Friday. One of the best celebrations commemorating the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Pueblo happens this Saturday in Denton at Quakertown Park. The day-long Cinco de Mayo extravaganza begins bright and early Saturday morning with a parade that starts at Texas Women’s University and ends at the Civic Center. The festival that follows will feature live music, ballet folklorico dancers, and lots of vendors. For the littles, there’ll be piñatas, an arts and crafts area, and the Little Miss Cinco de Mayo pageant.
Gather up your wee bairns, don your kilt and head to the Texas Scottish Festival & Highland Games in Arlington this Saturday. The games portion of the day includes traditional Scottish athletic competitions such as the caber toss and hammer throw, as well as Scottish Highland dancing and bagpiping competitions, and the very popular all-Scottish breed dog show. Mom and dad can enjoy a Scotch whiskey tasting and seminar, while the kiddos take part in children’s games and activities like the haggis toss, a sack race, and a tug-of-war contest.
Okay, this last one isn’t really a festival, per se, but the Peep at the Coops Urban Chicken Tour is just too darn cute not to mention. Plus, it happens outside so I think it qualifies. The one-day tour of private urban chicken coops is an up-close look at some innovative coops and their plucky residents. If you’re thinking of raising your own urban chickens, experts will be on hand to answer questions and offer guidance. The family-friendly event also features a country market with local artisans and food vendors, live entertainment, food trucks and other activities you and your little chicks will enjoy. The tour happens in East Dallas this Saturday.