Hottest headlines of 2021

Top 10 Fort Worth entertainment stories of 2021 star Simone Biles, Christmas lights, and 1883

Top 2021 FW entertainment stories: Simone Biles, holiday lights, 1883

Simone Biles, Gymnastics Championships
Simone Biles broke a record at Fort Worth's Dickies Arena this year. Getty Images
Sam Elliott, 1883
 Sam Elliott as Shea Brennan in 1883. Photo courtesy of Paramount+
Daystar Lights
You can get out and explore the lights at Daystar in Bedford. Photo courtesy of Daystar
Olympics Gymnastics 2021 women
Five of these Team USA gymnasts came to Fort Worth on tour. Getty Images
Fairmount Neighborhood Association presents Fairmount Festivus
Festivus for the rest of us, in Fairmount.  Photo by Stacy Luecker
John Wayne Museum
John Wayne's cowboy hat collection is on display in the Stockyards. Photo by Celestina Blok
GM Financial Parade of Lights Fort Worth
Parade of Lights made spirits bright again. Photo courtesy of Parade of Lights
Coronavirus COVID-19
We thought we'd seen the last of this ugly little thing. Andriy Onufriyenko/Getty Images
Tim McGraw, 1883 filming
Tim McGraw on set during the local filming of 1883. Facebook/Hank FM
BigShots Golf
BigShots has a little something for everyone. Photo courtesy of BigShots
Simone Biles, Gymnastics Championships
Sam Elliott, 1883
Daystar Lights
Olympics Gymnastics 2021 women
Fairmount Neighborhood Association presents Fairmount Festivus
John Wayne Museum
GM Financial Parade of Lights Fort Worth
Coronavirus COVID-19
Tim McGraw, 1883 filming
BigShots Golf

Editor's note: As we look back at the most-read entertainment stories of 2021, we see three topics that captured Fort Worth readers' attention most: Christmas lights, Simone Biles, and 1883. The world's greatest gymnast vaulted to another record in Fort Worth, then came back for an encore. Taylor Sheridan's Yellowstone prequel — the buzziest new show of the year — brought Hollywood to Cowtown. And by the end of the year, everyone, it seemed, was craving the merry and bright.

1. Where to see the most spectacular Christmas lights around Fort Worth in 2021. The magic came back. After a dimmer holiday celebration in 2020, the Fort Worth area lit up, merry and bright, for the Christmas season once again — from towering trees that twinkle and shine to dazzling drive-thru displays and immersive walk-thru experiences. This was our 2021 guide to the biggest, brightest, most spectacular Christmas light displays in the area — most of which will be on through New Year's. Also ...

2. Best homes and neighborhoods for Christmas lights around Fort Worth in 2021. Big Christmas light events are fun. But sometimes you just want to pour your own thermos of hot chocolate and hop in the car for a drive around the neighborhood. These residential neighborhoods and individual homes have been lighting up with choreographed shows, music, and over-the-top displays that would make Clark Griswold proud; many are still illuminated. 

3. Official trailer for Yellowstone spinoff 1883 debuts with killer line about Fort Worth. The official trailer for Yellowstone prequel 1883 dropped on Friday, December 3 — and it included one killer line about Fort Worth. Creator Taylor Sheridan's Paramount+ series, which was shot in and around Fort Worth last summer, premiered on December 19. It was being billed as one of the buzziest new shows of the year. 

4. Olympics' biggest stars join Simone Biles for thrilling gymnastics showcase in Fort Worth. Jordan Chiles, MyKayla Skinner, Jade Carey, and Grace McCallum dazzled Fort Worth at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships before they won a trove of Olympic medals in Tokyo — and then they came back to entertain fans in a thrilling gymnastics "spectacular." In August, it was revealed that nearly every member of the Team USA gymnastics squad would join headliner Simone Biles on the Gold Over America Tour at Dickies Arena on October 9. But earlier in the year ...

5. Fort Worth gymnastics fans have 2 chances to see Simone Biles at Dickies Arena this year. In March, it was announced that world's greatest gymnast, Simone Biles, would bring her jaw-dropping balance beam feats and death-defying tumbling to Fort Worth's Dickies Arena not once but twice in 2021 — and some speculated these could be the last chances to see her perform before she retired. First, she'd compete at the 2021 U.S. Gymnastics Championships, June 3-6 (which she won in record-breaking style). Then she'd return on a 35-city, post-Olympics tour.

6. John Wayne’s son debuts exhibit dedicated to 'Duke' in Fort Worth Stockyards. Ethan Wayne was just 17 years old when he lost his father, the iconic American actor and filmmaker John Wayne. Now at age 59, he has spearheaded an extraordinary exhibit called "John Wayne: An American Experience" that lets his father’s fans tip their hat to memories of the legendary “Duke” — and it's in the Fort Worth Stockyards. 

7. 14 things to know before you go to Parade of Lights 2021 in Fort Worth. Downtown Fort Worth lit up with holiday spirit once again, as the GM Financial Parade of Lights returned, in-person, on Sunday, November 21. Themed "Making Spirits Bright," this marked its 39th year as the city’s official kick-off to the holiday season (last year it was done virtually). Here was our guide to road closures, parking, COVID considerations, and more information for parade attendees.

8. 3 fun weekend events in Dallas-Fort Worth call it quits due to COVID-19. As COVID-19 rushed back for its great summer encore in Dallas-Fort Worth, it brought with it the dreaded cancellation of fun things, which fans of fun things suffered through in 2020. In late July, three big DFW weekend events suddenly canceled or postponed just days ahead of their presentations, all citing rising coronavirus numbers as a cause. 

9. Here's a first look at 1883, the Yellowstone prequel filmed in Fort Worth. A little more than a month before the Yellowstone prequel 1883 premiered on Paramount+, creators dropped the first teaser trailer of the show filmed in and around Fort Worth — and it was both star-studded and action-packed. 

10. Glitzy new golf-themed entertainment venue swings open in Fort Worth. A sprawling new high-tech, golf-themed "eatertainment" venue called BigShots Golf finally opened in April in far north Fort Worth, offering a little something fun for everyone — from avid golfers to connoisseurs of Hot Cheetos.