Fun and quirky festivals are abloom in Dallas-Fort Worth this spring
Spring is for festivals in Dallas-Fort Worth, and normally, our calendar listings are as bountiful as bluebonnet fields from March through May.
These, of course, are still not normal times, and the coronavirus pandemic has continued to force the cancellation of beloved events like Mayfest, Fortress Festival, and Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival. Others, like the Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival, have reconfigured to new formats.
The festivals that have come back this spring are promising COVID-19 precautions: contactless ticketing and payments, socially distanced tables, sanitizing stations, mask requirements, and limited attendance. So limited, in fact, that it's a good idea to get tickets now.
Below are festivals with confirmed dates this spring. Below that, a list of local fest that have been canceled or postponed. Some organizations have not yet announced plans. We will update the list as more are confirmed.
Thin Line Fest — A Virtual Pop-up Experience, March 25-29
Thin Line Fest, the biggest documentary film festival in Texas, returns virtual pop-up style. The festival will feature world-class cinema and music delivered directly to viewers, including 27 features, 44 shorts, and 17 musical performers, all livestreaming for free. Going on through Sunday, the fest’s virtual platform offers attendees the chance to mingle with filmmakers, musicians, and other attendees in virtual venues between screenings and performances.
Fort Worth Botanic Garden presents Spring Japanese Festival, March 27-28
The Fort Worth Botanic Garden's Spring Japanese Festival celebrates the Year of the Ox. The family-friendly event, supported by the Fort Worth Japanese Society, will feature traditional Japanese performances, food, and more in the garden. The festival will take place on both Saturday and Sunday.
Whither Goest Thou America: A Festival of New American Plays, April 7-May 2
The Whither Goest Thou America festival of new work, presented by Undermain Theatre, will feature virtual streams of David Rabe’s new solo piece, adapted from his short story, Suffocation Theory (April 7-25), and virtual readings of three new plays: Second Hand Conversations with Irene by Teresa Marrero (April 14-18), Bright Boys by Blake Hackler (April 21-25), and Feeding on Light by Lenora Champagne (April 28-May 2). The entire event is virtual; more information and tickets on the website.
Water Lantern Festival, Fort Worth, April 10
The Water Lantern Festival is a floating lantern event that is all about connections. The festival includes food, games, activities, vendors, music, and the beauty of thousands of lanterns adorned with letters of love, hope and dreams reflected upon the water. Each participant at the family-friendly event gets to decorate, light, and float a lantern. It all happens at Panther Island Pavilion. Free-$64.99.
Frisco Uncorked, April 10
O'Neil Wysocki Family Law will present the 2nd Annual Frisco Uncorked at Frisco Square. The one-day outdoor wine festival features a wide variety of wines, five bands, grape stomping competitions, local vendors, and more. The event supports Frisco Arts Foundation and The Warriors Keep. Tickets are $30 for 15 wine tastings or $80 for a VIP experience that includes wine tastings, additional exclusive VIP wines, food, an upgraded wine glass, and access into the VIP tent with seating, a photo booth, and more.
Scarborough Renaissance Festival, Waxahachie, April 10-May 31
For those who've never attended, this beloved Renaissance festival is exactly what you'd imagine: costumes, beer halls, corsets, jugglers, jesters, mead, leather working, jousting ... and the list goes on. It's like Medieval Times times 1,000. But it takes place only Saturdays, Sundays, and Memorial Day Monday. Check out the entire daily schedule, tickets, and much more here.
Ennis Bluebonnet Trails Festival, April 16-18
The Ennis Bluebonnet Trails will be open for touring from April 1-30. The festival, which coincides with peak weekend for the bluebonnets, includes live music, food, vendors, and more. More information and schedule here.
EarthXFilm Festival, Dallas, April 16-25
EarthxFilm will present 10 days and nights of drive-in, outdoor, and online screenings during this year’s hybrid edition of the Dallas-based environmental film festival. The festival continues its mission to showcase films and emerging media that explore science, conservation, climate change, and the environment while honoring the heroes working to protect our planet. For a complete schedule and tickets, visit the website.
Indie Meme Film Festival, April 16-25
The sixth annual Indie Meme Film Festival will be a virtual event, featuring 20+ South Asian features, documentaries, and shorts. Festival badges allow access to all screenings and filmmaker Q&As. Indie Meme selections come from established directors and new voices. From socio-political dramas to animated adventures and incisive documentaries, the festival's mission is promoting socially relevant independent cinema from South Asia. Tickets, $55-$100, available on the website.
Plano Music & Arts Festival, McKinney, April 17-18
Visitors can enjoy live music, fine art displays, a classic car show, a custom motorcycle show, a GO TEXAN farm fresh market, and dozens of fun attractions and highlights at Myers Park and Event Center. The Taste of Texas Food Garden will have delicious cuisine and cold domestic and craft beers. National recording artists, such as Mike and the Moonpies and Curtis Grimes, will be performing throughout the afternoon and evening on the main stage, as well as juried visual artists presenting the heritage and the culture of the city. Free-$15; for tickets, visit the website.
Music@Mill Music Festival, McKinney, April 23-24
The Music@Mill Music Festival will offer the expressive, authentic energy of world-class live music, safely socially distanced in an old industrial space of The Cotton Mill in McKinney. The two-day festival includes performances of pieces that range from pop to classical by artists including the Texas Cellos, Miro Quartet, violinist Chee-Yun Kim, pianist Amy Yang, and cellist Joseph Kuipers. A mixology cocktail class with one of Dallas' best bartenders will be offered, and cocktails, wine and food trucks will be available for purchase. $20-$45.
Dallas International Guitar Festival, April 30-May 2
The Dallas International Guitar Festival is the largest and oldest guitar show in the world. The festival blends musicians, fans, collectors and celebrities together into one huge musical extravaganza. Visitors can buy, sell, trade, or just browse among the thousands upon thousands of new and vintage guitars. Visitors can also listen to the best local and regional bands on the festival’s multiple stages. Performances by more than 60 local, regional, and national artists take place on four music stages at Dallas Market Hall. One-day general admission, $30, with other options available.
West Main Arts Festival, Arlington, May 8
Formerly known as the East Main Arts Festival, this year's event will be at a new location — on West Main Street surrounding the Arlington Museum of Art and other businesses in the arts district of Arlington. The festival will feature 78 local artists and vendors in a socially-distanced environment. Art booths will include a variety of media, including live painting, sculpting, and pottery. Two stages will welcome numerous bands and performers throughout the day, 12-8 pm. The event is free.
Dallas Burlesque Festival, May 8
The Dallas Burlesque Festival returns for its 12th year. The audience can enjoy world-class burlesque and celebrate glitter, glam and the art of the tease at the historic Band Shell at Fair Park. $15-$35.
City of Carrollton presents Chalk Art Festival, May 15
Carrollton’s second annual Chalk Art Festival will include prepackaged crafts for non-participants, including an area for young aspiring chalk-artists-to-be, a few artisans displaying their crafts, and a variety of food offerings. To compete, artists (ages 8+) who have not sold their artwork may enter as an amateur for $5. Artists (ages 13+) who have sold their artwork must enter as a professional for $10. For more information on competing and attending, visit the event's website.
Taste of Parker County, May 20
The one-day food festival showcases food and drinks from Parker County-area restaurants and vendors, including Back Home Bakery, Drake’s Yoke - Wood and Wine, Edgewise Eight Brewing, Ironworks Coffee, Lady Bird Pearl Macarons, White Beard's BBQ, and more. The festival takes place 5-8 pm at Heritage Park in Weatherford, and proceeds benefit the Weatherford College Foundation. Tickets, $35-$40, are available on the website.
Nesian Fest, Grand Prairie, May 22-24
Nesian Fest will Celebrate Asia/Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Saturday, the event will celebrate the Grand Opening of Asia Times Square. Festivities will include vendors, live performances, and a ceremony. Free, but register here.
Taste Addison, June 4-5
At Taste Addison food and music festival, guests can sample fare from a wide array of classic Addison dining destinations, as well as notable newcomers. In addition to meal-sized munchies, each restaurant will sell one or more Taste Bites — smaller portions of favorites available for $3 or less per item. Musical entertainment will take place on two stages this year. There'll be a shopping marketplace, kids' crafts, and more — all happening at Addison Circle Park. Free-$15.
Canceled or postponed for 2021:
- Fort Worth Wine & Food Festival: Canceled and reconfigured into dinner series, now-April 13
- Fort Worth Opera Festival: Canceled and reconfigured into live and virtual events through the year
- Fortress Festival: Canceled
- Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival: Canceled
- Mayfest, Fort Worth: Canceled
- Wildflower! Arts & Music Festival, Richardson: Canceled
- Deep Ellum Arts Festival: Postponed to September 10-12, 2021
- Dallas Art Fair: Postponed to November 11-14, 2021
- Denton Arts & Jazz Festival: Postponed to October 1-3, 2021
- Taco Libre Dallas: Postponed to fall
- Puptopia Festival, Dallas: Postponed to October 30