Hottest headlines of 2023
Meow Wolf and Yellowstone captivate Fort Worth as hottest A&E stories of 2023
Editor's note: As we look back at the most-read arts & entertainment stories of 2023, we see topics ranging from the cancellation of a beloved air show to the crowning of a new Cliburn Junior competition winner. The first Fort Worth Music Festival was a hit, as was the announcement that the U.S. Gymnastics Championships are returning to Fort Worth. A big Yellowstone celebrity appearance got the most attention from readers, and the opening of Meow Wolf was THE big arts story of the year.
1. 15 fun and useful things to know before you go to new Meow Wolf in Grapevine. The portal finally opened. After more than a year of build-up, the immersive art sensation Meow Wolf opened its fourth location nationwide and first in Texas at Grapevine Mills mall on Friday, July 14. We gave readers some advice - essential background, tips, and things to know to get the most out of your experience at Meow Wolf “The Real Unreal.”
2. 'Yellowstone' stars to greet fans at Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo. Yellowstone fans got their comfy shoes ready for long lines when it was announced that Cole Hauser, a.k.a. "Rip Wheeler," and Taylor Sheridan, the show's co-creator, would meet fans and sign autographs at the 2023 Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo on February 3.
Lucky fans at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo got to meet Yellowstone's Rip. Getty Images
3. Fort Worth's Alliance Air Show canceled after 32 years. The AllianceTexas Aviation Expo - formerly known as the Bell Fort Worth Alliance Air Show - would not take place in 2023, and perhaps not ever again, according to release issued by Alliance Air Productions on June 7.
4. U.S. Gymnastics Championships come to Fort Worth ahead of 2024 Paris Olympics. For the country's top gymnasts, the road to the Paris Olympics will run through Fort Worth next year: The 2024 Xfinity U.S. Gymnastics Championships will take place at Dickies Arena, May 30-June 2, 2024, it was announced in September.
Will Simone Biles and Jordan Chiles be back in Fort Worth to make a run at Paris 2024? Getty Images
4. Full lineup revealed for first-ever Fort Worth Music Festival at the Stockyards. The full lineup for the inaugural Fort Worth Music Festival & Conference at the Stockyards was unveiled in February, allowing fans and industry insiders to set their schedules to get the most out of the event. Many of the names are Fort Worth favorites.
6. Over-the-top Barbie party will turn Southlake theater into glittery pink paradise. We'd been living in a Barbie world since the first whispers of a Greta Gerwig-created Barbie movie were uttered years ago. The film that sparked a viral fashion trend and caused a global shortage of pink paint was finally opening July 21 - and a Southlake theater invited fans to step inside a real-life Barbie dream world on opening weekend.
Barbie and Ken came cruising to the big screens over the summer. Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.
7. Keller family wins ABC's Great Christmas Light Fight with over-the-top drone show. A Keller family whose holiday light display features 400 drones won ABC's Great Christmas Light Fight on Sunday, December 3. The Ward family not only took home the trophy and $50,000 from the reality show contest, but did so by presenting the series' first-ever drone performance. It was one of the best homes and neighborhoods for Christmas lights this year, and one of the most spectacular displays in all of DFW.
8. 15-year-old South Korean pianist wins 2023 Cliburn International Junior Competition. Seokyoung Hong, a 15-year-old phenom from South Korea, took home the top prize at the 2023 Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival in Dallas on Saturday, June 17.
Cliburn Junior winner Seokyoung Hong (center) with second-place Yifan Wu (left), and third-place Jan Schulmeister. Photo by Ralph Lauer
9. New Charlie Brown Christmas exhibit fills Fort Worth with holiday spirit this summer. June and July were set to get jolly when "Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!" opened at Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. The very merry exhibition went behind the scenes of the 1965 animated film in which a Christmas play, good friends, and a "sad" little tree help a dejected Charlie Brown find the true meaning of the season.
10. New lagoon-waterpark with lazy river dives into Dallas-Fort Worth. A long-awaited waterpark in Cedar Hill debuted Memorial Day weekend with two of Texas' favorite splashy attractions: a lagoon and lazy river. The Lagoon at Virginia Weaver Park opened May 27 after more than a year in development.