The final weekend in September around Fort Worth will be full of great performances, ranging from three new theatrical productions to a trio of concerts. You can also celebrate Oktoberfest Fort Worth-style, check out some hot rods, see a movie gunning for Oscars, celebrate the start of Halloween season, or head to Dallas for one of the biggest events of the year.
Below are the best ways to spend your free time over this weekend. Want more options? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.
Thursday, September 26
Oktoberfest Fort Worth
At Oktoberfest Fort Worth, guests can enjoy traditional German food, bier, live music, dancing, shopping vendors, and more. The festival, taking place at Panther Island Pavilion, kicks off with Thursday’s ceremonial "Tapping of the Kegs," and the fun continues through Saturday with midway rides, dachshund races, stein hoist competitions, the Oktoberfest "Run und Ride," and more.
Circle Theatre presents What We Were
After a run at Second Thought Theatre in Dallas earlier this month, Circle Theatre closes its season with the world premiere of What We Were by acclaimed local playwright Blake Hackler. The play tells the story of three sisters who suffered a childhood of abuse. Weaving scenes from the past and present, the play explores responsibility, what we do to cope, and the very difficult work of healing. The production will run through October 19.
Broadway at the Bass: The Phantom of the Opera
Cameron Mackintosh’s new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera boasts many exciting special effects, including the show’s legendary chandelier. The beloved story and thrilling score, with songs like “Music of the Night,” “All I Ask Of You,” and “Masquerade,” will play at Bass Performance Hall through October 5.
Friday, September 27
Goodguys 2019 Summit Racing Lone Star Nationals
The Goodguys 27th Summit Racing Lone Star Nationals is a giant, three-day American hot-rodding festival featuring more than 2,000 hot rods, customs, classics, street rods, muscle cars, and trucks through 1987 vintage nestled into the infield of Texas Motor Speedway. The event will take place through Sunday.
State Fair of Texas
What more can you say about the State Fair of Texas? The 24-day, four-weekend extravaganza at Fair Park in Dallas is predictably great, from the butter sculptures to the pig races to the oodles of fried food. You can try all the new concoctions, check out the midway, enjoy free concerts every day (starting with Rick Springfield on Friday), and more. And since it's silly to actually pay full price for admission, make sure to check out the full list of discounts available.
Magnolia at the Modern: Official Secrets
Official Secrets is the true story of British Intelligence whistleblower Katharine Gun (Keira Knightley), who, prior to the 2003 Iraq invasion, leaked a top-secret NSA memo exposing a joint U.S.-U.K. illegal spying operation against members of the U.N. Security Council. The memo proposed blackmailing member states into voting for war. The film will screen seven times through Sunday at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.
The Wallflowers in concert
Rock band The Wallflowers, fronted by Bob Dylan's son Jakob, were a big deal back in the 1990s, especially when the band released its 1996 album Bringing Down the Horse, which featured hits like "One Headlight" and "The Difference." The band's output has been minimal in the 2000s, with its last album coming in 2012, but the group will show what it's still got at this concert at Billy Bob's Texas.
While some got an earlier start, the last weekend of September is when haunted houses begin in earnest, kicking the Halloween season into high gear. Among the best haunted experiences in the Fort Worth area are The Parker House in Denton, Hangman's House of Horrors, Moxley Manor Haunted House in Bedford, Six Flags over Texas presents Fright Fest: Fright by Night in Arlington, and Cutting Edge Haunted House.
Jubilee Theatre presents Single Black Female
Single Black Female is a comedic female duo production that moves with rapid-fire vignettes. The play examines the lives of thirty-something African American middle-class women as they search for love, clothes, and dignity in a world that fails to recognize them among a parade of stereotypical images. The production will run at Jubilee Theatre through October 27.
Saturday, September 28
Fort Worth Opera presents Jennifer Rowley
Soprano Jennifer Rowley returns to Fort Worth for a one-night-only performance at the Amon Carter Museum of Art. The internationally renowned star, who has starred in Cyrano de Bergerac, La Bohème, and Tosca, will be joined by her husband, New York City Opera baritone Raymond Diaz, for a concert of arias, duets, and surprises, with Fort Worth Opera Artistic Director Joe Illick at the piano.
Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra presents The Music of Whitney Houston: A Celebration
Whitney Houston had a remarkable singing ability, a powerful voice, and a unique delivery that touched hearts and souls. The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra will present a celebration of her extraordinary talent with an evening of hits, including “Saving All My Love,” “How Will I Know?,” “Where Do Broken Hearts Go?,” and, of course, “I Will Always Love You.” The concert will take place at Will Rogers Auditorium.