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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.

The four-day men's and women's competition will crown national champions and determine the members of the U.S. National Team who will then compete at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Minneapolis, June 27-30, 2024.

According to a release from the Fort Worth Sports Commission (part of Visit Fort Worth), more than 150 athletes and tens of thousands of fans are expected to attend.

"Tens of thousands" might be a lean estimate considering the bold-face names expected to compete: Tokyo Olympic medalists Simone Biles, Suni Lee, Jordan Chiles, and Jade Carey; 2016 Olympic champ Gabby Douglas; and U.S. rising superstars Skye Blakely, Shilese Jones, Leanne Wong, Konnor McClain, Kayla DiCello, Zoe Miller, Joscelyn Roberson, Katelyn Jong, Lexi Zeiss, Tiana Sumanasekera, and more.

This will be the second straight Olympic year for Fort Worth to host the national championships. They were also contested at Dickies Arena in May 2021 ahead of the Tokyo Olympics; Biles won her seventh national title at the meet.

“With the incredible success of the 2021 championships, we are excited to return to Fort Worth,” USA Gymnastics chief programs officer Stefanie Korepin says in the release. “The Xfinity U.S. Gymnastics Championships will offer fans an early look at the athletes who ultimately will compete to make the 2024 Olympic team.”

Not only did Fort Worth host a successful 2021 competition, but the city is a convenient location for many of athletes and coaches. Texas has become a powerhouse state for elite gymnastics, with many of the world's top athletes now training at World Champions Centre in Spring (Biles' home gym, owned by her family); World Olympic Gymnastics Academy, or "WOGA," in Plano (owned by Olympic champ Valeri Liukin, father of 2008 gold medalist Nastia Liukin); and Texas Dreams Gymnastics in Coppell (owned by Olympian Kim Zmeskal and national team member Chris Burdette).

Dickies Arena also hosted the 2022 NCAA Gymnastics Championships and the Biles-led Gold Over America Tour following the Tokyo Olympics.

“We truly value our partnership with USA Gymnastics and we couldn’t be more excited to host this prestigious championship and welcome the best gymnasts and fans in the country to experience all Fort Worth has to offer,” says Jason Sands, executive director of the Fort Worth Sports Commission, in the release.

Tickets to the 2024 Xfinity U.S. Gymnastics Championships will go on sale later this year, organizers say.

Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Watch Texas superhero Simone Biles chase a 90-year-old gymnastics record this weekend

U.S. Gymnastics Championships

Simone Biles is officially back and pushing the limits of human possibility - both on the gymnastics floor and on the medal stand. The world’s most decorated gymnast will compete for her record eighth national title at the Xfinity U.S. Gymnastics Championships, August 24-27, in San Jose, California.

That’s “record,” as in the first woman or man to win eight national all-around titles. When Biles won her seventh title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships in Fort Worth in 2021, NBC notes, she tied a male gymnast named Alfred Jochim, who won seven, from 1925 to 30 and in 1933. (Yes, 90 years ago.)

At 26, Biles also could become the oldest U.S. women’s all-around champion since USA Gymnastics was founded in 1963. She will go for gold by competing the most difficult vault in women’s gymnastics, the Yurchenko double pike.

To get to the title, Biles will have to flip, twist, and soar above some of her fiercest competitors and Olympic teammates, including Jade Carey, Suni Lee, and her Houston training mate Jordan Chiles. Also in the mix: 2022 national champion Konnor McClain and silver medalist Shilese Jones, and superstars Skye Blakely (of Frisco) Leanne Wong, and Joscelyn Roberson (of Texarkana).

“Fasten your seatbelts. Because there has never been a better time to be a gymnastics fan than now,” say the experts at Inside Gymnastics Magazine.

How to watch this potential history-making competition? With several broadcast and streaming sites all carrying coverage, it’s more complicated than a roundoff-triple-double.

Men will compete for their national titles on Thursday and Saturday, women, on Friday and Sunday. All the action will be shown across NBC properties. The schedule looks like this, all times CDT:

Thursday, August 24

  • 7 pm - Men Day 1 - live on Peacock

Friday, August 25

  • 7 pm - Women Day 1 - live on Peacock

Saturday, August 26

  • 9:30 am - Men Day 1 - rebroadcast on CNBC
  • 3:30 pm - Women Day 1 - rebroadcast on CNBC
  • 6 pm - Men Day 2 - live on Peacock, NBC.com, and CNBC

Sunday, August 27

  • 11 am - Men Day 2 - rebroadcast on NBC
  • 5:30 pm - Women Day 2 - live coverage begins on Peacock and NBC.com
  • 6 pm - Women Day 2 - live on NBC

On the men’s side, the biggest names include Asher Hong and Donnell Whittenburg; reigning all-around champ Brody Malone is out due to injury.

Both the men and women will be competing for spots on five-person teams at the World Championships in October, and looking toward the 2024 Olympic team.

Biles began a comeback to competitive gymnastics earlier this month after a two-year hiatus following the Tokyo Olympics. She won it by a full five points.

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'Yellowstone' stars to greet fans at Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo

Yellowstone news

Yellowstone fans, get your comfy shoes ready - there'll be a long line for this one. Cole Hauser a.k.a. "Rip Wheeler" on Yellowstone, and Taylor Sheridan, the show's co-creator, executive producer, and director of the series, will meet fans and sign autographs at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.

The event will take place from 4:30-6:30 pm only on Friday, February 3. Location is the 6666 Ranch booth near the south end of Aisle 700 in the Amon G. Carter, Jr. Exhibits Hall.

According to a February 2 announcement from FWSSR, "fans will have the opportunity to snag an autograph as well as purchase some distinctive Yellowstone and 6666 Ranch merchandise while also enjoying all the features the Stock Show offers."

The event is free to attend (with paid Stock Show admission) and open to the public.

It's the second year in a row for Hauser to appear at FWSSR; in 2022, he and fellow cast mates drew huge crowds.

Sheridan, a Paschal High School graduate, is no stranger to Fort Worth; he lives in a ranch near Weatherford and filmed 1883, the prequel to Yellowstone, in and around Fort Worth. Currently, another spinoff, 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, is filming in North Texas.

The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo is winding up its 2023 run on Saturday, February 4.

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

Weekend Event Planner

As it always is during the first weekend of December, holiday spirit will be alive and well in events in and around Fort Worth through theater, concerts, and a special show. Other choices include a few non-holiday theater productions, including the national tour of a Broadway musical, a comedian, and three country concerts, including one singer playing before his biggest audience yet.

The North American Tour Boleyn Company of SIX
Photo by Joan Marcus

Broadway at the Bass presents Six at Bass Performance Hall through December 3.

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. Looking for the best Christmas lights in the area? That list is here.

Thursday, November 30

Casa Mañana presents Christmas in the Movies
Everyone has that list of must-watch Christmas movies, from the classic White Christmas to the recent hit Spirited, as well as Love Actually, The Polar Express, Holiday Inn, or Elf. Visitors can cozy up with a spiked hot cocoa or winter cocktail for a night of songs from the big screen. With performances taking place in the Reid Cabaret Theatre, the production runs through December 16 at Casa Mañana.

Stage West presents Poor Clare
Clare is a stylish teen living in medieval Italy, trying out the newest hairstyles, and keeping up with the latest fashions and juicy town gossip. But everything changes when she meets a man named Francis who has started ranting in the streets. Her mother, sister, and maids don’t understand it, but this man’s ideas are, like, totally starting to make sense – and now she can’t unsee the world he has shown her. The production, making its regional premiere, runs through December 17 at Stage West Theatre.

Broadway at the Bass presents Six
Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived. From Tudor Queens to Pop Princesses, the six wives of Henry VIII take the mic to remix 50 years of historical heartbreak into an exuberant celebration of 21st century girl power. The national tour of the Tony-winning musical runs through Sunday at Bass Performance Hall.

Friday, December 1

Artisan Center Theater presents The Elves and the Shoemaker
A lone shoemaker makes shoes that are uncomfortable and impossible to walk in … leaving a lot of barefoot villagers and the shoemaker without means to provide for his family. The shoemaker’s fate changes when a stranger makes an offer of a lifetime. The shoemaker and his family quickly learn that fortune doesn’t necessarily equal happiness. The production runs through December 30 at Artisan Center Theater in Hurst.

TCU School of Music presents Christmas Festival at TCU
The Christmas Festival at TCU ushers in the seasons of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany with a seamless program of ensemble and combined works familiar and new. The TCU Symphony Orchestra, Cantiamo, Concert Chorale, and Frog Corps will perform as individual groups and as a massed ensemble of nearly 200 performers. The concert takes place at Van Cliburn Concert Hall at TCU.

Lauren Daigle in concert
Contemporary Christian singer Lauren Daigle has been topping the Billboard Christian charts since she released her debut album, How Can It Be, in 2015. Now 32, Daigle has had multiple No. 1 songs that have helped her maintain her dominance in the genre, including "Thank God I Do" off of her recently-released self-titled album. She'll play at Dickies Arena.

Theatre Arlington presents A Christmas Carol: The Radio Show
It’s Christmas Eve, and with the actors snowed in and unable to make it to the studios of WXMS for the live radio performance of A Christmas Carol, the sound effects person decides to take the audience through the classic tale himself. This telling is performed as a 1940s radio play with one person providing all of the characters’ voices and sound effects. The production runs through December 17 at Theatre Arlington.

Stolen Shakespeare Guild presents Emma
Stolen Shakespeare Guild will highlight an evening with Jane Austen’s matchmaking heroine, Emma, and her romantic misadventures as she navigates finding love. The production runs through December 17 at Arts Fort Worth.

Hyena's presents Kurt Metzger
Kurt Metzger is an Emmy and Peabody Award winning comedian and writer who was a series regular alongside Alan Alda, Jessica Lange, Steve Buscemi, and Edie Falco on Louis C.K.’s Horace and Pete. He also appeared on Inside Amy Schumer, IFC’s Benders, and FX’s Louie, voiced the lead role of Randall Skeffington on Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans, and can be heard on Aqua Teen Hunger Force. He'll perform four times through Saturday at Hyena's Comedy Club.

Brett Young in concert
Unlike some other country stars, Brett Young's career has been a bit of slow burn. He released three albums in 2012 and 2013, with none of them making much of an impact. But his 2017 self-titled album made it to No. 2 on the Billboard Country charts, followed by the No. 1 Ticket to L.A. in 2018. He'll play at Billy Bob's Texas in support of his new album, Across the Sheets.

Saturday, December 2

Jon Pardi in concert
Country singer Jon Pardi has been popular since his debut in 2014, with all four of his albums getting to the top five on the Billboard Country charts, topped by 2016's No. 1 California Sunrise. His string of hits read like a primer for any good country musician, including "Head Over Boots," "Dirt on My Boots," "Heartache Medication," and "Ain't Always the Cowboy." He's graduated from dates at Billy Bob's Texas to this concert at Dickies Arena, which comes soon after the release of his first Christmas album, Merry Christmas from Jon Pardi.

City of Grapevine presents Merry & Bright Christmas Drone Show
Grapevine’s Merry & Bright Christmas Drone Show takes the Christmas Capital of Texas to new heights, with a fleet of 160 drones creating Christmas magic in the sky over Main Street in front of Grapevine Main Station. There will be shows every Saturday night through December 16.

Stoney LaRue in concert
Singer-songwriter Stoney LaRue is part of the recent wave of Texas Country/Red Dirt artists, having put out six albums since 2002, including 2019's Onward. LaRue is as close to a regular at Billy Bob's as you can get, having played there multiple times and even recording a live album there in 2007. He'll play there yet again on Saturday night.

Dallas-Fort Worth chocolatier gets crazy order for 50,000 chocolate bars

Chocolate News

Dallas-Fort Worth chocolatier Kate Weiser recently fielded the biggest order in her chocolate-making career: 50,000 chocolate bars - stat.

The mega-order came from Dallas-based Omni Hotels & Resorts, who have an ongoing holiday promotion with a chocolate component.

Famous for her artisic hand-painted bonbons, Weiser says her typical customer at her three stores in Trinity Groves, NorthPark Center, and the Shops at Clearfork is more likely to buy a box of 10 or 15 chocolates, or maybe the large 35-piece collection if it's a splurge.

The hotel chain's request was unprecedented and required Weiser and her team to stop everything else they were doing to fulfill the order.

"We weren’t expecting an order of this magnitude, especially during the holiday season which is our busiest time," she says. "We start planning for the holidays in January, and this request came in September, which gave us only two months to turn it around."

Called Ticket to Wonder, the promotion involves some kind of giveaway where guests get chocolate bars, 50 of which have hidden tickets that can be redeemed for a free five-night stay.

Weiser had to produce an initial run of 45,000 chocolate bars that would be manufactured and shipped to Omni locations across the U.S.

All by the beginning of November.

Weiser ended up delivering a 3-ounce milk chocolate bar made with 42 percent Madagascar vanilla, with chocolate sourced from a Swiss company called Felchlin.

"Getting the chocolate was the first hump," Weiser says. "But I had just been treated to a trip to Felchlin to tour their facility. We usually use a French brand, but we loved their chocolate and were trying to figure out a way to incorporate it into our day to day."

They did a tasting, and the Omni loved the Felchin chocolate, she says. But the order required 10,000 pounds.

"At that time, I didn’t think about logistical nightmare of getting 10,000 pounds shipped to the U.S. on such a short turnaround," she says. "My distributors from whom I get my chocolate were all, 'Are you nuts? We might have 50 cases, and you’re going to need 1,000'."

But one reached out to Felchin's CEO and the company basically shipped over their entire supply.

“We basically sold them out and they had to send more,” says Weiser. "Felchlin is an incredible premium chocolate brand. They’re a little bit of a smaller company, but they are really up and coming."

The next big step: the actual physical production of the bars.

"Sometimes I feel like I have someone watching over us, because the timing couldn't have worked out better," she says. "Just a few weeks before, I had installed an insanely expensive automated bar-making machine that we'll be able to use to do some of the production on our bonbons. But we put it right to work. This Omni order was the first thing we used it for."

Even with the automated process, it still took two weeks at full capacity, 10 hours a day, to get the job done.

The promotion has been such a success that the Omni has already placed a follow-up order for another 5,000 bars.

“We’re going to figure that out,” Weiser says.