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North Texas' celebration of St. Patrick's Day, one of the area's favorite holidays for merriment and gaiety, is making a comeback for 2022 after a pandemic-induced two-year layoff. The actual St. Patrick's Day falls on a Thursday, but for some restaurants and bars, the party is happening all week long. We're looking at St. Patrick's Day Week.

Although Dallas' Greenville Avenue Parade got all the buzz last weekend, there is plenty of hoopla to be found in Tarrant County this week, including big events in the Stockyards and Crockett Row, plus a host of individual celebrations, drink specials, and Irish fare. (And check out our list of the Best Irish Pubs in Fort Worth.)

Here's what's happening in the Fort Worth area for St. Patrick's Day Week.

Fort Worth

Cowtown Goes Green in the Stockyards
The biggest and most well-known St. Patrick's Day celebration in Fort Worth takes place in the Stockyards on Saturday, March 19. The day includes a Shamrock beer garden, armadillo races, cow milking, lawn games, the Cowtown Kids Rodeo matinee, live music, Irish dancers, and an Irish-Western parade (following The Herd trail drive at 4 pm). The whole family-friendly event, presented by Cavender’s, takes place 10 am-8 pm.

Shamrocks & Shenanigans at Crockett Row
The West 7th district will host a St. Patrick's Day festival on Saturday, March 19, featuring rides and photo opps with live green miniature ponies, face painting stations, balloon art, gift card giveaways, and live local DJs. Participating Crockett Row restaurants will also be serving fan-favorite green beverages and brunch and/or lunch specials, and a portion of restaurant sales will be donated to Cook Children’s Medical Center. It runs 11 am- 3 pm, and admission is free.

Third Thursday in Near Southside
St. Paddy's Day happens to coincide with the Near Southside district's Third Thursday event. From 5-8 pm Thursday, March 17, guests can enjoy visit participating businesses including Stir Crazy Baked Goods (featuring artwork by Joshua Crockett), SiNaCa Studios, The Holly Natural Wine Bar, Arcadia Coffee, The Table, and more. Bars along Magnolia and South Main are promising Irish Pub fun, and Fort Worth Bike Share will be on hand to offer bikes to bar hop. Don't forget to wear green.

Arlington

43rd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Block Party at J. Gilligan’s Bar & Grill
The Metroplex’s biggest day-of St. Patrick’s Day party happens Thursday, March 17 at this time-honored downtown Arlington bar and grill. Hundreds will visit throughout the day for the 43rd edition of this annual tradition. Arrive as early at 11 am for lunch or later at 4 pm when the fun begins outside under tents. There’ll be live music, green beer, and those famous Irish nachos that have featured on Food Network. Note that a cover charge of $6 begins after 6 pm.

Shamrocks & Shenanigans at Texas Live!
The Arlington entertainment complex will host a St. Patrick’s Day-themed party with live music, drink ticket packages, and gold coin giveaways on Saturday, March 19. Drink ticket packages start at $10 for two drink tokens and go up to $20 for five drink tokens, but expect prices to go up closer to the event. The party starts at 4 pm.

Mansfield

St. Paddy’s Pickle Parade & Palooza
Mansfield (where Best Maid pickles originated) touts itself as the pickle capital of Texas. The city will celebrate the title with two days of festivities — Friday, March 18 and Saturday, March 19 — including a 5K, 10K and Kids 1K, live music, food, drinks, and the world’s only St. Paddy’s Day pickle parade, which will take place on Saturday. On Friday, runners can pick up their race packets and enjoy vendors and music. Saturday the real fun happens with the parade starting at 10 am, a concert by Kevin Fowler at 2:30 pm, and multiple contests including pickle juice drinking, pickle eating, and pie eating. Admission is free.

Keller

St. Patrick’s Day at Shannon Brewing Company
The Keller brewery with Irish roots will host its annual St. Patrick’s Day party on Saturday, March 19. It will feature live music and bagpipe performances, food trucks, and even cigar rolling. Admission is free, but drink card packages start at $25 in advance for a pint glass, pint glass koozie, and a drink card for six eight-ounce pours. Or purchase at the door for $30, but only until 4 pm. A la carte purchases also welcome. The party will run from 12-9 pm.

Irving

St. Patrick's Day Celebration at Toyota Music Factory
Toyota Music Factory is celebrating St. Patrick's Day on Thursday, March 17 from 6-10 pm with music, festivities, and promotions at 20 restaurants and bars including Thirsty Lion, Yard House, Grimaldi's Pizza, Gloria's Latin Cuisine, Pacheco Taco Bar, and more. Play the Toyota Music Factory Saint Patricks Bingo game at participating restaurants and bars for a chance to win prizes. Cleghorn: America's Celtic Rock Band will perform on the Texas Lottery Plaza at 6 pm, and there'll be a costume contest on the plaza at 9 pm. Wear your green and take a picture with a Leprechaun. Entry is free, but RSVP here.

Food & drink specials around DFW

Here are all the bars and restaurants serving fish & chips, Irish whiskey, green beer, and more:

Andy's Frozen Custard has two limited-time treats: Mint Cookie Concrete with vanilla frozen custard, mint, and crumbed mint cookies; and the CrumbleMint Shake, with vanilla frozen custard, crumbled Oreo cookies, and mint.

The British Emporium in Grapevine is overflowing with Irish goodies for at-home celebrations. Stock up on treats and groceries from the Emerald Isle, including teas, Guinness chips, hot chocolate, mugs, soda bread, bacon, sausages, black pudding, marmalades, Kerrygold butter, and more.

Bar Louie is hosting a week-long celebration for St. Patrick’s Day from March 12-19, with Green Beer, $3 Jameson Sidecars, Irish Slammers, and pints of Guinness.

Big Shots golf-themed venue will offer green beer specials all day on St. Patrick's Day, plus Reuben sandwiches, Reuben nachos, Irish Mules, and Irish Old Fashioneds with Jameson Orange.

Blackland Distillery in Fort Worth's Foundry District has a green deal: Guests who show up wearing green on St. Patrick's Day will receive 17 percent off a whiskey bottle of their choice. They'll also be serving limited-time-only Irish-themed cocktails, including "Shamrock Shake-Nog" and "Buena Vista Blackland Coffee."

Chef Point's Colleyville and Watauga locations will be serving up traditional corned beef & cabbage and shepherd's pie for St. Patrick’s Day beginning at 4 pm Thursday, March 17 and on into the weekend until they sell out.

Chet's Dallas, the newly opened cocktail bar and Irish-American eatery in the West End Dallas, will celebrating from March 14-19 with Irish decor and drink specials that include $7 Guinness Pints, Green Beer, Irish Mule with Jameson Whiskey, Cucumber Jalapeño Gimlet with Zephyr Gin, and Luck of the Irish Shot with Bailey’s, Creme de Cacao, Creme de Menthe, plus food classics like Irish Stew and Shepherd’s Pie.

Corner Bakery is serving a special green apple flavored Shamrock Lemonade.

Dog Haus is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day on March 17 with green beer on tap, $6 Jameson shots, and $7 Pickle Back shots.

Fort Brewery & Pizza in Fort Worth will be serving “Lucky Charms” green beer St. Patrick's Day, through the weekend, for $3. There'll also be Irish nachos and pizza on the menu, nightly live music, and more.

From Across the Pond, the family-friendly British pub in Colleyville, is offering Irish specials like corned beef & cabbage, colcannon, Reuben sandwiches, corned beef hash, and hearty beef stew — plus Irish whiskey drinks — all day Thursday, March 17 through the weekend, until they sell out.

Funky Picnic Brewery & Cafe is hosting St. Patrick's Day-themed trivia on Wednesday, March 16 at 7pm. On March 17, they'll serve a special smoked corn beef & cabbage dish and will release a new Dry Irish Stout. All week through March 17, they're offering the following drink specials: $2 Green Tea shots, $3 Jameson shots, $4 green beer (Kolsch), and $5 Green Goblin cocktails.

Harwood Arms, the British Isles inspired pub in Dallas' Harwood District, will host a St. Patrick’s Day on Thursday, March 17, with an all-day celebration beginning at 11 am. A traditional bagpiper will begin playing at 5 pm, followed by live music at 6 pm.

Hotel Drover in the Fort Worth Stockyards is serving green beer and a green, Jameson whiskey-based cocktail called "Luck of the Drover" through Sunday, March 20 at The Lobby Bar, Veranda Bar, and 97 West Kitchen + Bar.

Hyatt Regency Frisco-Dallas will celebrate on March 17 at their lobby bar and lounge with a $7 green beer, the Karbach Horseshoe Pilsner for St. Patrick’s Day, as well as $8 Jameson shots and the seasonal feature, the Shamrock Shooter for $10, containing Irish whiskey, melon liqueur, and Irish cream liquor. Chef Bryan Patton has a seasonal special as well: the Copper & Steel Shepherd’s Pie.

Lochland's in Lake Highlands Dallas will celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a day of live music, Irish dancers, bagpipers, corned beef & cabbage, and more traditional Irish fare, on Thursday, March 17.

Michaels Cuisine in Fort Worth is serving up special Irish cuisine all day on March 17. Dishes include Luck of the Irish (corned beef) soup ($9), Irish nachos ($15), Corned Beef & Cabbage ($24), Guinness Irish Beef Stew ($18), Corned Beef Sandwich ($16), and Ranch Reuben Sandwich ($16). Green beer and a Leprechaun champagne cocktail are available at the bar, too.

The Radler on Magnolia Avenue in Fort Worth is throwing a St. Paddy's Day Bash, with the kitchen open 12-10 pm. Drink specials include $10 green domestic steins, $6 green tea shots, and $8 Car Bombs.

Roots Market and Juicery will serve $5 green juices and smoothies on Thursday, March 17 including Maca Spice, Lean Greens, Super Greens, and Strong and Radiant. Green juices include Green Goddess, Greenology, Skinny Greens, and Go Green.

The Statler Dallas hosts Dublin Downtown, a three-day celebration with drink specials, live music, and festivities from March 17-19, starting at the Ballroom on March 17 with a performance by Emerald City at 8 pm. Tickets start at $19 and can be purchased at TheStatlerDallas.com/St-Patricks-Day. VIP seating is $59 and includes a hosted bar. VIP tables for four are $399 and include a bottle of Champagne. Scout at The Statler will host Boozin' Bingo on March 17 at 8 pm. From March 17-19, Scout will serve $3 pints of green beer and $2 Jameson Irish Whiskey shots, and Primo’s MX Kitchen & Lounge will serve $5 green margaritas, frozen or on the rocks. Hotel packages include a guest room, general admission tickets, and valet parking.

Stirr is serving $6 Irish Coffees, $6 Teeling Shots, and $6 baby Guinness shots on March 17.

Taco Cabana will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day from March 11-30 with a signature Leprechaun Margarita for $3 at all Texas locations. The margarita is a refreshing blend of Taco Cabana’s frozen Mango and Blue Curaçao margaritas, which creates its signature green color.

Thirsty Lion Gastropub in Irving and Euless is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with a seasonal menu from March 3-17 featuring Irish inspired dishes and beverages including Scotch Eggs, Bacon Cheddar Potato Cakes, Shepherd’s Pie, Corned Beef Mac & Cheese, and an Irish Mule with Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey, ginger beer, and lime.

Trinity College Irish Pub in the Crockett Row at West 7th area is making a week of celebrating St. Paddy's Day. Festivities include live music from Keltik Clan and 5 Second Rule on March 17, a special Jameson Orange menu, green beer, and more.

Tulips FTW is hosting "St. Patios Day" on March 17, with $4 Green Tea Shots, $5 Guinness, $6 Frozen Irish Coffees, $9 Irish Car Bombs, and $12 Dew and Brew (shot of Tullamore dew and Guinness).

Twin Peaks customers get free Fried Pickles on March 17 with any $20 purchase.

Vidorra is serving $6 Green Whiskey-rita's, $6 Teeling shots, and $6 baby Guinness shots on March 17.

Velvet Taco's weekly featured taco is a St. Paddy's-themed Rueben, with grilled corned beef, swiss cheese, velvet sauce, house-made sauerkraut, and house-brined pickles on a flour tortilla ($5.50), available March 16-22 at all locations.

Whiskey Hatchet, the cocktail bar and axe throwing lodge in Deep Ellum, is serving $5 Irish Car Bombs, $5 Jameson, and $5 Green Draft Beer on Thursday, March 17.

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Celestina Blok contributed to this story. Got an event to add? Email stephanie@culturemap.com.

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Airbnb-style parking app aims to ease the race for spaces around Dallas-Fort Worth

Parking made easier

An app being hyped as the “Airbnb for parking” has driven into Dallas-Fort Worth. FanSpotz LLC recently introduced its peer-to-peer mobile parking app in DFW after launching in Fayetteville, Arkansas, home of the University of Arkansas.

The app helps drivers find reasonably priced parking spaces — in yards and driveways, for instance — being rented out by everyday folks during sporting events, concerts, holiday gatherings, rodeos, festivals, and other activities where parking is at a premium.

“FanSpotz can be used for any kind of event or location that experiences surges in event parking,” says Dallas native Steven Zapata, co-founder and chief customer officer of FanSpotz. “Growing up in Dallas, I remember parking blocks away from Lower Greenville in residential neighborhoods on busy Friday nights. If only there was a service like FanSpotz then, I would have used it.”

All parking payments are processed through the FanSpotz app using Stripe, a mobile payment service.

This is how FanSpotz works:

  • A property owner lists available parking spots and set prices.
  • A driver browses the app to hunt for parking and reserve a parking spot based on price and location.
  • The app directs the driver to the reserved parking spot.

Parking spots can be advertised, and spots can be booked weeks in advance of a big event. The FanSpotz app is available through the Apple App Store and Google Play.

In North Texas, FanSpotz is looking for parking “hosts” around:

  • AT&T Stadium in Arlington
  • Texas Christian University’s Amon G. Carter Stadium
  • Fort Worth Stockyards
  • University of North Texas’ Apogee Stadium
  • LiveNation Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory, Irving
  • Dallas Market Center
  • Bishop Arts District
  • Southern Methodist University’s Gerald Ford Stadium
  • Lower Greenville, Dallas
  • Uptown and Turtle Creek, Dallas
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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.