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Photo courtesy of Larry the Cable Guy

Comedian Larry the Cable Guy will perform as part of the Fort Worth Stock Shown & Rodeo Auditorium Concert Series.

One of the members of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, a comedy troupe that included Bill Engvall, Ron White, and Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy has become one of the top comedians in the country and is known for voicing Tow Mater in the Cars series, among other roles.

Photo by Michelle Watson CultureMapSnap

These are the 13 best things to do in Fort Worth this weekend

Weekend Event Planner

The holidays are already in full effect in Fort Worth the weekend before Thanksgiving, with four events celebrating the season, but a visit from the King of Country overshadows them all. Other options include concerts at a ranch, a trio of well-known comedians, a classical music concert, and two smaller-scale concerts.

Below are the best ways to spend your precious free time this weekend. Want more options? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.

Friday, November 18

Fort Worth Botanic Garden presents Lightscape
Taking place within the Fort Worth Botanic Garden and set along a beautifully illuminated walking trail custom-designed for Fort Worth, Lightscape will feature spectacular artistic installations that come to life after dark with color, imagination, and sound. Visitors will walk a one-mile-long path with suspended strands and tunnels of light, a fire garden, undulating wave of bluebonnets, singing trees, treetop sculptures, and artistic installations, while toasting marshmallows over a fire and drinking hot chocolate and other seasonal drinks at stations along the trail. The event will run through January 8.

Artisan Center Theater presents The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Based on the best-selling book, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever follows the outrageous shenanigans of the Herdman siblings, or “the worst kids in the history of the world.” The siblings take over the annual Christmas pageant in a hilarious yet heartwarming tale involving the Three Wise Men, a ham, scared shepherds, and six rowdy kids. The production runs through December 23 at Artisan Center Theater in Hurst.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra presents Circle T Ranch Music Festival
The Dallas Symphony Orchestra will present the second annual Circle T Ranch Music Festival, a three-day concert series featuring performances by The Steep Canyon Rangers on Friday and contemporary and classical music from the orchestra on Saturday and Sunday. Along with performances, the family-friendly festival will feature food trucks and a number of pre-concert activities, ranging from face-painting to instrument demonstrations. All concerts will be at Circle T Ranch in Westlake.

Improv Arlington presents Shawn Wayans
Shawn Wayans was born into one of Hollywood's largest and most successful comedic families, so he was naturally gifted with the ability to make people laugh. He carved his own acting career with a starring role in the sitcom The Wayans Bros., along with movies like the Scary Movie franchise. He'll perform four times through Saturday at Improv Arlington.

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra presents "Wagner Highlights"
Audiences can marvel at some of the greatest moments in the operatic repertoire as Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Music Director Robert Spano delves into the music of Richard Wagner, including “The Ride of the Valkyries” from Die Walküre, the Prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and “Siegfried’s Rhine Journey” from Götterdämmerung. The program will include images by famed British illustrator Arthur Rackham. There will be three performances through Sunday at Bass Performance Hall.

Hyena's present Helen Hong
A fan favorite on the hit NPR podcast Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, Helen Hong has been a recurring character on HBO's Silicon Valley, CBS' The Unicorn, and others. She will perform four times through Sunday at Hyena's in downtown Fort Worth.

George Strait in concert
Country superstar George Strait may have retired from touring way back in 2014, but he's by no means finished playing concerts. He helped open Dickies Arena in 2019, and he's also played big shows in the past couple of years at the Houston Rodeo and in Austin alongside Willie Nelson. He's back at Dickies Arena for two special concerts - one Friday and one Saturday - where he'll be joined by opening act Tenille Townes.

The Panhandlers in concert
The Panhandlers are a Texas country music group made up of William Clark Green, Cleto Cordero, Josh Abbott, and John Baumann, four solo artists who've had a good amount of success in their own right. They'll play at Billy Bob's Texas in support of their new EP, West Texas is the Best Texas.

Saturday, November 19

Fort Worth Zoo presents 30th Anniversary Festival
The Fort Worth Zoo will celebrate the 30th Anniversary of their reopening with a special festival, where visitors can spend the day with favorite animals, enjoy a variety of live musical acts throughout the park, take advantage of photo ops, interact with strolling characters, enjoy giveaways (while supplies last), and check out themed animal enrichment activities in habitats across the zoo. Admission will be half-price all day long.

13th Annual Funky Finds Holiday Shopping Experience
The 13th Annual Funky Finds Holiday Shopping Experience will feature Santa as he wears shades, swimming trunks, and his Hawaiian shirt in holiday market surf side. The flamingos are rounding up the best in handmade and vintage funky finds for shoppers' tropical holiday pleasure. Visitors can also float over to snag the best finds before they're swept away with the tide. The event takes place on Saturday and Sunday at Will Rogers Memorial Center.

George Lopez: OMG Hi! Comedy Tour
Few comedians have enjoyed the type of success that George Lopez has over the past 20 years or so. He has had not one, but three eponymous sitcoms — George Lopez, Saint George, and Lopez. He was also the host of the short-lived talk show, Lopez Tonight. Obviously, the man knows funny, which he'll show in two performances at Will Rogers Auditorium.

Josh Weathers Band in concert
Josh Weathers is a Fort Worth-based soulful singer-songwriter. He has spent close to 20 years honing his craft of combining songs of hope with a high energy rock n’ soul live show. With his band or not, he's no stranger to the various stages around Fort Worth. They'll play at Tannahill's Tavern & Music Hall.

Sunday, November 20

40th Annual GM Financial Parade of Lights
The GM Financial Parade of Lights will take over the streets of Downtown Fort Worth for the 40th year, with more than 100 illuminated floats, an array of festive performers, holiday decor, live music, and hundreds of thousands of sparkling lights. The lighting of the Christmas tree in Sundance Square will take place an hour prior to the start of the parade, at 5 pm. For things to know before you go (including road closures and parking), go here.

Photo by Michelle Watson CultureMapSnap

George Strait will play at Dickies Arena on November 18 and 19.

Photo courtesy of Larry the Cable Guy

Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo goes worldwide for 2023 concert series

Country, K-Pop, and More

The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo has unveiled the initial lineup for its 2023 Auditorium Concert Series, taking place on various dates during the 23-day event, January 13 through February 4.

Kicking things off on opening night, January 13, will be country singers John Michael Montgomery and Deana Carter, each of whom rose to fame in the 1990s. Montgomery is known for hits like “Life’s A Dance,” “I Love the Way You Love Me” and “I Can Love You Like That,” while Carter has the super hit “Strawberry Wine” to her credit.

The blues-metal band Tesla will be next up, January 14. The group was at its peak in the late '80s/early '90s thanks to hits like "Love Song" and "Signs."

The series will take on an international flavor on January 27 with K-Pop band ONEUS, whose concert was previously announced. The boy group recently released their debut mini-album, LIGHT US.

Comedy fans will get their chance to participate when Larry the Cable Guy takes the stage on January 28. One of the members of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, a comedy troupe that included Bill Engvall, Ron White, and Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy, has become one of the top comedians in the country and is known for voicing Tow Mater in the Cars series.

“We’re excited about these initial announcements to our 2023 Auditorium Concert Series,” said Stock Show President and General Manager Brad Barnes in a statement. “Stay tuned for more announcements are around the corner as our partner Live Nation completes what will be an amazing lineup for our 2023 Show.”

Tickets for the shows, each of which will take place in Will Rogers Auditorium, will go on sale 10 am Saturday, November 19 at Ticketmaster.com. Tickets for each performance will provide admission to the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo grounds.

Photo courtesy of Whose Live Anyway?

Whose Live Anyway?

Whose Live Anyway?

Whose Live Anyway? is 90 minutes of hilarious improvised comedy and song all based on audience suggestions. Cast members Dave Foley, Greg Proops, Jeff B. Davis, and Joel Murray will leave you gasping with the very witty scenes they invent before your eyes. Audience participation is key to the show so bring your suggestions and you might be asked to join the cast onstage. Whose Live Anyway? showcases some of the improv games made famous on the long-running TV show as well as some exciting new ones.

Photo courtesy of Lewis Black

Lewis Black: Off The Rails

Lewis Black: Off The Rails

Lewis Black's live performances provide a cathartic release of anger and disillusionment for his audience. He is a passionate performer who is a more pissed-off optimist than a mean-spirited curmudgeon. Lewis is the rare comic who can cause an audience to laugh themselves into incontinence while making compelling points about the absurdity of our world.

Photo courtesy of Leanne Morgan

Leanne Morgan: Just Getting Started

Leanne Morgan: The Big Panty Tour

Leanne Morgan’s style of comedy combines her southern charm and hilarious storytelling about her own life. As a stay-at-home, mother of three with a husband, people are always accusing her of spying on them because she seems to be living the same life that they do. The fact that everyone can relate to her comedy has made her a hit even among the strangest of audiences.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

'Lightscape' shines bright in this week's 5 most popular Fort Worth stories

This week's hot headlines

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines. Looking for the best things to do this weekend? Find that list here.

1. What to expect at 'Lightscape,' Fort Worth's new walk-thru winter wonderland. Fort Worth’s most Instagrammable new holiday lights display is best enjoyed without clinging to a phone. “Lightscape,” which made its North Texas debut at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden on Friday, November 18, walks visitors through a winter wonderland experience unlike any other in DFW.

2. Hoffbrau Steak fires up the grill for new location in Grapevine. A longtime steakhouse is coming to Grapevine: Hoffbrau Steak & Grill House, a small family-owned and -operated chain that's been in Dallas-Fort Worth for more than 40 years, will open a location November 28 at 700 W. State Hwy 114, previously home to a Brick House Tavern & Tap, which closed during the pandemic.

3. Yellowstone and 1883 stars cowboy up at Fort Worth gala honoring Taylor Sheridan. Fort Worth has always been "where the West begins," and now it's where TV's hottest Western drama begins, too. The 2022 Lone Star Film Festival Gala - held November 11 at Hotel Drover in the Stockyards - leaned hard into the city's connections to Yellowstone and its prequel, 1883, with signs and programs that boasted "The Road to Yellowstone Began in Fort Worth."

4. Divine doughnuts and tempting tamales top this Fort Worth restaurant news. This roundup of restaurant news around Fort Worth has tidbits about doughnuts, Cajun food, vegan tamales, and gourmet ice cream, culled from press releases, social media, and the occasional hot tip. Here's what's happening in Fort Worth restaurant news.

5. Here comes Santa House, back to Grapevine for a very charitable 2022 Christmas season. After taking a much-needed break last year, Louie Murillo and his family are once again decking their halls, yard, and rooftop to bring back the Grapevine Santa House — a smash hit during the 2020 holiday season. The half-acre property is a "Where's Waldo?" maze of more than 1,000 Santa statues, which visitors can walk among, snap photos with, and then, they hope, make a donation to Grace Grapevine's Christmas Cottage program.

Texas parks beckon throughout 2022 holidays with festive events and peaceful escapes

If roasting ‘smores and hiking in the great outdoors sounds fun, pack up your family and visit one of Texas’ state parks this holiday season.

Texas state parks and historic sites are ringing in the holidays with a number of festive events. There are drive-thru light tours, special holiday hikes, arts and crafts for the kiddos, and more.

Reservations fill up quickly, so be sure to visit an individual park's website before you head out. And check the Holidays in the Parks page for many more fun options, pricing information, and more information.

Dallas-Fort Worth-area parks

Tyler State Park
Avoid the Black Friday madness with the 15th annual “Walk-off the Bird” Bird Walk, a 2.1-mile walk by the lakeshore at 9 am November 25. Bring your binoculars to relax and enjoy the bird life of the East Texas Pineywoods. At 2 pm the same day, enjoy a Fall in the Savannah fall foliage hike. Enjoy Reading Ranger Campfire Stories around a cozy campfire at 3 pm December 3. Head back December 9-10 for A Pineywoods Christmas, when you can stroll or drive through the Lakeview and Big Pine campgrounds to take in campers' elaborately decorated sites and take a Winter Wonderland Hike.

Lake Tawakoni State Park
Drive through or stay at the park and decorate your campsite with your favorite Christmas decorations to receive your second night of camping free during your stay. There will be a decorating contest, complete with awards, as well as a reading of The Night before Christmas — all part of Twinkle Tour 2022, 5-8 pm December 3.

Daingerfield State Park
Drive through the park lit up like Santa Land during the 10th annual Christmas in the Park drive thru lights tour December 14-17 (times vary). Marvel at the decorated campsites and lights, and enjoy hot chocolate and cookies while waiting for a chance to visit with Santa.

Eisenhower State Park
Help those in need and spread holiday cheer — and as a bonus, get free entry to the park — by bringing one unwrapped donation item to the park’s Holiday Donation Drive from November 25 to December 19. Come back December 9-10 to visit the Light Up the Park drive-thru lights event, featuring milk and cookies with Santa. This year, the park is taking unwrapped toys to donate instead of collecting entrance fees for the event.

Cleburne State Park
Enjoy Pancakes With Santa and make pinecone bird feeders 9-11 a.m. December 10.

Cedar Hill State Park
Walk off your Thanksgiving Day meal and explore nature in the cool fall air during the three-mile Thanksgiving Nature Walk 7:30-9 a.m. November 26. Search for birds taking their winter break at the park during their Winter Birding Walk, which takes place 7:30-8:30 am December 13. Explore Christmas on Penn Farm on December 17: Learn about the history and pioneers of the Penn Family and the farm they built 150 years ago.

Lake Mineral Wells State Park
Experience Christmas, cowboy style, at Cross Timbers Cowboy Christmas, December 3. Park ranger and cowboy poet David Owens will gather guests around a campfire at the Lone Star Amphitheater for an evening of cowboy culture through songs, stories and poems.

Dinosaur Valley State Park
In partnership with Toys for Tots, the park is hosting Christmas in the Valley, a full day of ranger-led events, programs, family friendly activities, arts and crafts, food and more. Bring a new and unwrapped toy for free admission for the whole family. The event takes place 1-4 pm. December 17.

Austin/San Antonio-area parks

Bastrop State Park
The park’s annual Gobble Till You Wobble hike November 25 has been canceled due to predicted rains. However, you can still follow ornaments with clues through the park every day in December during the annual Fa La La Through The Forest Scavenger Hunt. Enjoy the Lost Pines Christmas Parade, a collaborative event with Bastrop and Buescher Parks, at 6 pm December 10. Tour the inside of the historic Refectory and see how the Civilian Conservation Corps celebrated Christmas away from home during A Lost Pines CCC Christmas 9 a.m. to noon December 17.

Lyndon B. Johnson State Park & Historic Site
Attend Deck the Halls, 10 am. to 3 pm November 26 to explore how early Texans at the Sauer-Beckmann Farm got ready for the holidays by stringing popcorn and decorating cookies to hang on their Christmas tree; learn how to make wreaths out of local cedar and dip candles as the farm staff get ready for das Weihnachten (Christmas). Return to the park at 5:30 pm December 18 for the 53rd Annual Tree Lighting, a holiday tradition started by President and Mrs. Johnson.

Garner State Park
Join the Buffalo Soldiers program and friends as they stop into Garner State Park before leaving for Christmas break during the Marching Towards Christmas event 10 am to 2 pm December 10. Christmas activities will include hand-dipped candles, frontier Christmas painting, Christmas-themed hard tack in Dutch ovens, and stories of the Buffalo Soldiers.

Buescher State Park
Take a Giving Thanks Guided Hike and learn how the Civilian Conservation Corps built the park from 3-4 pm November 26. On the Fa La La in the Forest Scavenger Hunt, you can follow ornaments with clues through the park to secure a prize at the end, December 1 to January 1. Enjoy the Smithville Festival of Lights and Lighted Parade, a collaborative effort between Buescher and Bastrop parks, on December 3.

Hill Country State Natural Area
See how art, history and state parks are connected; learn some basic watercolor techniques and paint a card or two to take home during the Watercolor Christmas Cards event 2:30-4 p.m. December 3. Come back for Horses in History & Ornament Craft from 2:30-4 pm. December 22 and learn how horses played important roles in the lives of vaqueros, native people, ranchers and more. Then, play a round of horseshoes and paint a horse ornament to take with you.

South Llano River State Park
At Christmas at the Ranch, 2 to 5 pm December 3, guests can warm up with hot chocolate and cider, listen to live entertainment, enjoy crafts and cookie decorating, and anticipate Santa's visit while taking in the twinkling lights and Christmas decorations at the historic Ranch House that now serves as Park Headquarters.

Houston and Gulf Coast-area parks

Brazos Bend State Park
Holiday in the Park is an all-day affair on December 10. Events include a self-guided "Elf Hike," Christmas crafts, "Pup Parade," s'mores, and more.

Goose Island State Park
See the park in lights, enjoy holiday activities, and camp for free when you decorate your campsite during Christmas in the Park on December 17. Guests are invited to "Santa's Village" at the CCC Recreation Hall for holiday crafts, games, hot chocolate around the campfire, and to drop off letters to Santa in the North Pole Mailbox.

Lake Livingston State Park
Learn about your favorite Thanksgiving food (the turkey) during Campfire Turkey Talk on November 26. Rangers will cover the history of Thanksgiving, the habits and behaviors of wild turkeys, and share interesting facts about turkeys, including how it nearly became our national bird.

Lake Corpus Christi State Park
Get in the holiday spirit with the second annual Holiday Light Drive Thru 6-9 pm December 10. Visitors can enter the park for a drive through the lighted areas of Javelina and Opossum Bend camping loops, plus the Old Pavilion.

West Texas and the Panhandle-area parks

Franklin Mountains State Park
Pack your Thanksgiving leftovers and hike 1.5 miles up to Aztec Caves during the park’s Turkey Trot at 11 am November 25. On December 3, make ornaments and holiday cards with recycled materials as part of the Art in the Parks series. During Cookies and Cocoa, you can decorate and take home your own Christmas treat while sipping on a cup of hot chocolate 2-4 pm December 23. Come back on Christmas Eve for a guided, two-mile Santa Hike at 11 am.

Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site
Bring your family out for Home for the Holidays guided family hike on December 10 and moderate hike on 17.

San Angelo State Park
Enjoy a drive-thru tour of lights and optional pictures with Santa and Smokey Bear during Holly-Days in the Park 6-8 pm December 10.

Affluent Fort Worth neighbor leads list of lavish holiday spending budgets in U.S.

Santa Baby

As the most wonderful time of the year approaches, holiday shopping budgets are in the spotlight, and a study from WalletHub lists Flower Mound as one of the top cities where Santa doesn't need a whole lot of help.

According to the personal finance website, the average holiday budget in Flower Mound is $3,531 per person, the third highest in the nation.

The town's 2021 population of 77,243 (per the U.S. Census) boasts a median income $139,703 and earlier this year was named by Ventured.com as the richest city in Texas.

In spite of an increase over last year's gift list totals, Flower Mound dropped to the third spot after being ranked No. 1 last year with a budget of $3,427. Newton, Massachusetts (budget $4,233) and Palo Alto, California (budget $3,920) edged out the Texas city this year.

Flower Mound was the only Texas city in the top 10, but there's plenty of holiday cheer to be found in the report, and not just for Flower Mound Santa fans.

Each year, WalletHub calculates the maximum holiday budget for over 550 U.S. cities "to help consumers avoid post-holiday regret," the website says. The study factors in income, age of the population, and other financial indicators such as debt-to-income ratio, monthly-income-to monthly-expenses ratio and savings-to-monthly-expenses ratio.

Despite nationwide focus on inflation strains, holiday spending is expected to be healthy, and higher than last year.

"The seeming social upheaval in recent times may lead households to spend more in an attempt to take some control of the environment which they can control," says Robert Wright, University of Illinois, Springfield professor emeritus who was among five experts consulted for advice about holiday shopping.

This could be good news if your Christmas wishes are on local shopping lists. Eight other North Texas cities landed in this year's top 100 heftiest holiday budgets:

  • Allen, No. 17 , $2,670
  • Frisco, No. 37, $2,150
  • McKinney, No. 45, $2,070
  • Plano, No. 50, $1,999
  • Carrollton, No. 55, $1,837
  • Richardson, No. 58, $1,823
  • North Richland Hills, No. 81, $1,658
  • Lewisville, No. 90, $1,630

Fort Worth landed at No. 366 with a budget of $890, while Dallas landed at No. 401 out of 558 cities with an average holiday budget of $845.

Elsewhere in Texas, spending in the Austin area won't be ho-hum with the Capitol City's budget of $1,705 ranked at No. 78. Two Austin suburbs, Cedar Park (budget $2,855) and League City (budget $2,541) ranked 14 and 20, respectively.

Santa's bag could be a mixed bag in the Houston area with three suburbs in the top 100, but the urban center falling behind:

  • Sugar Land, No. 15, $2,793
  • Pearland, No. 36, $2,172
  • The Woodlands, No. 71, $1,733
  • Houston, No. 366, $890

Things don't look too jolly for San Antonio, ranked at No. 431 with an average budget of $803 or Pharr, which was the lowest ranked city in Texas.

At No. 553 with a budget of $487, the Rio Grande Valley city came in just a few spots ahead of last place Hartford, Connecticut, with a budget of only $211.