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Photo courtesy of Lightscape

Lightscape, the new walk-thru holiday lights experience at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, is closing Thursday, December 22 due to harsh winter weather conditions.

In a Facebook post, organizers said, "Due to inclement weather, Lightscape is closed for Thursday, Dec. 22. We will be monitoring temperatures and wind speeds for Dec. 23. Watch this space for current information. Stay safe—and warm!"

A spokeswoman for the event adds that ticketholders for December 22 have been offered the chance to reschedule.

"As of right now, tomorrow (Friday) is still open, however, the FWBG is closely monitoring temperatures and wind speeds," she says.

An arctic front is bringing dangerously cold temperatures and strong winds to Dallas-Fort Worth on Thursday. A wind chill watch has been issued for all day Thursday through Friday morning. It started snowing in Fort Worth Thursday morning.

"Simply, it will be very cold and potentially dangerous if precautions are not taken," WFAA meteorologists say. "Exposed skin can get frostbite very quickly with the cold on Thursday into Friday."

Lightscape is the third major local holiday event to to announce a weather-related cancellation; Enchant at Fair Park will also stay dark Thursday, and Prairie Lights in Grand Prairie is canceling Thursday and Friday.

Making its North Texas debut this year, Lightscape illuminates the Fort Worth Botanic Garden with a one-mile-long outdoor path with suspended strands and tunnels of light, a fire garden, undulating wave of bluebonnets, singing trees, treetop sculptures, and and artistic installations. Read more about what to expect here.

Timed tickets, $18-$28 (along with $20 on-site parking passes), are available here. It runs through January 8.

For more spectacular Christmas lights dazzling Dallas-Fort Worth, go here.

Photo courtesy of Prairie Lights

Grand Prairie's Prairie Lights goes dark for 2 nights due to frigid weather

Arctic blast alert

Prairie Lights, the beloved drive-thru Christmas Lights park in Grand Prairie, is closing for two nights - Thursday, December 22-Friday, December 23 - due to weather.

In a Facebook post, organizers said, "Prairie Lights Holiday Lights Experience will be closed on Thursday & Friday, December 22 & 23 due to extreme weather conditions. Please remember, General Admission tickets are valid every night through New Year’s Eve. We appreciate your patience and look forward to welcoming guests following the closure."

When a commenter asked if it was a joke, they further explained, "With the forecasted sub-zero wind chills, this closure is for the protection of our staff who work outdoors for hours each night, as well as our guests that would be participating in outdoor activities at Holiday Village."

They plan to reopen on Christmas Eve, they say.

An arctic front is expected to bring dangerously cold temperatures and strong winds to Dallas-Fort Worth on Thursday. A wind chill watch has been issued for all day Thursday through Friday morning.

"Simply, it will be very cold and potentially dangerous if precautions are not taken," WFAA meteorologists say. "Exposed skin can get frostbite very quickly with the cold on Thursday into Friday."

Prairie Lights is the second local holiday event to announce a weather-related cancellation; Enchant at Fair Park will also stay dark Thursday, December 22.

Prairie Lights takes place at Lynn Creek Park in Grand Prairie, where visitors drive through 4 million lights set along two miles of path. Hundreds of displays in shapes of all kinds line and arch over the roads. At the halfway point, guests can exit their vehicle to enjoy photos with Santa, a magical walk-thru forest, and more. The second half of the drive ends with an always popular light tunnel.

It runs nightly, beginning at 6 pm, through New Year's Eve. Admission is $50-$200 per vehicle; an upcoming Days of Savings promotion, valid December 26-31, will allow visitors to save 20 percent using the code SAVE20. More information and tickets here.

For more spectacular Christmas lights dazzling Dallas-Fort Worth,go here.

Photo courtesy of Enchant

Enchant holiday event at Dallas' Fair Park temporarily canceling due to weather

Baby, it's cold outside

UPDATE 12-23-2022: Enchant also will be closed Friday, December 23 due to weather. They are offering date changes for affected ticket holders to attend another night through January 1, and refunds for those who will not be able to reschedule at www.enchantchristmas.com.

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Enchant, the popular outdoor holiday lights experience at Dallas' Fair Park, will be canceled Thursday, December 22 due to impending severe winter weather.

In a statement, organizers say:

"Unfortunately, due to the forecast of severe weather on Thursday, December 22, in Dallas, Enchant has made the difficult decision to not open on Thursday evening this week. We are offering date changes for 12/22 ticket holders to attend another night through January 1 and refunds for those who will not be able to reschedule at www.enchantchristmas.com. We regret any inconvenience and disappointment to our guests, especially the little ones. Santa and his elves are waiting to meet them - and we hope you will be able to visit Enchant this holiday season."

A decision on the Friday, December 23 event would be announced soon, they say.

According to WFAA, an arctic front will bring dangerously cold temperatures to Dallas-Fort Worth on Thursday. A wind chill watch has been issued for all day Thursday through Friday morning.

"Simply, it will be very cold and potentially dangerous if precautions are not taken," WFAA meteorologists say. "Exposed skin can get frostbite very quickly with the cold on Thursday into Friday."

Enchant, which covers 10 acres at Fair Park, is touted as the world's largest holiday-themed lights event. It features an immersive walk-thru light maze created from over 4 million sparkling lights, a 100-foot-tall Christmas tree, an ice-skating trail, live entertainment, Santa visits, and a village marketplace with crafts, gifts, festive culinary treats, and holiday cocktails.

Enchant runs nightly, starting at 5:30 pm, through January 1.

For more spectacular Christmas lights dazzling Dallas-Fort Worth, go here.

Photo courtesy of Oxygen Concentrator

Latest Dallas-Fort Worth freezing spell sticking around another day

Weather News

Dallas-Fort Worth is hunkered down under a thin but lethal layer of ice, with sleet and freezing rain expected to prevail through Thursday, February 24.

The area is under a winter storm warning until 6 pm. It was originally predicted to hit 38 degrees on Thursday, but unfortunately is now forecast to not get much above freezing. Dreamy meteorologist Kyle Roberts says there will be "minimal melting."

DFW Scanner reports that there's a major accident in Fort Worth, with all lanes of southbound I-35W closed near Texas Motor Speedway due to an overturned 18-wheeler, and possibly an officer involved in the crash, as well.

WFAA is ruling with updates that include not only radar but also a weather person pointing to a TV screen showing images of stuff happening on Facebook. They have it covered.

FOX 4 says a "light, but study round" of freezing drizzle is expected to fall throughout the morning. (Surely they mean "steady" and not study.)

And Southlake Department of Public Safety's social media team kills it again with its own weather update.

Roads
Everyone is being warned to stay off the roads to prevent inevitable accidents like this one on Harry Hines Boulevard, or this backup on Royal Lane at US-75. The Dallas Police Department said it had responded to nearly 500 crashes as of 5 pm Wednesday.

Team of truck drivers with the City of Dallas Department of Public Works have been out for 48 hours using sand trucks to de-ice bridges, crossovers, and streets.

For the best and most up-to-date compendium of collisions and other roadway snafus, watch community news site DallasTexasTV.

Fort Worth public transit
Trinity Railway Express (TRE) is operating on a Saturday schedule.

Trinity Metro bus routes will run on a Saturday schedule on Thursday February 24, with the following exceptions:

  • No service on Molly the Trolley
  • No service on The Dash
  • No Route 31/CentrePort Circulator
  • No Routes 23, 30, 111, Burnett Plaza Lunch Line, Express Routes 61, 63, 65, 66 & 67

TEXRail will operate on its regular schedule. TRE will operate on a Saturday schedule. ACCESS paratransit will be available for life-sustaining trips.

Customer care representatives will be available by phone at 817-215-8600.

DFW Airport
FlightAware reported 1,057 total cancellations at DFW on Thursday, following Wednesday when more than 1,000 flights were canceled.

Dallas public transit
Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) has extended "Operating Scenario 2" of their Severe Winter Weather Operating Plans through the end of the day on Thursday, February 24. DART rail operations remain suspended. To replace the rail service, they'll operate 14 shuttle bus routes between rail stations that will run every 45 minutes. DART bus routes will operate on a Sunday schedule from 5 am-9 pm. DART will determine a service restoration timeline based on weather conditions. The Dallas Streetcar will not operate at this time, but there will be a shuttle bus running to and from EBJ Union Station and the Bishop Arts District, making all stops.

DART transit centers will be open from 5 am-9 pm, manned by DART staff:

  • Addison Transit Center
  • Arapaho Center Station
  • Buckner Station
  • Central Business District (CBD) West Transfer Center
  • Central Business District (CBD) East Transfer Center
  • Downtown Garland Station
  • Downtown Irving/Heritage Crossing Station
  • J.B. Jackson, Jr. Transit Center
  • Lake June Station
  • Ledbetter Station
  • Parker Road Station
  • South Garland Transit Center
  • Cockrell Hill Transfer Location will be available between 6 am-2 pm.

The Operating Scenario 2 shuttle bus routes are available on the DART website at www.dart.org/winterweather.

Photo courtesy of Houston SPCA

SPCA of North Texas clarifies myth about whether pets really 'love the cold'

Animal News

With Dallas-Fort Worth enduring sub-freezing temperatures and icy conditions for the next few days, the SPCA of Texas is offering advice for how to keep your pets safe during cold weather.

You would think that some of this advice would be common sense, but neighborhood pages on Facebook indicate otherwise. It seems to be a not-that-uncommon belief that dogs "love" the snow and cold, with old-school comments like, "Growing up, our dogs never ever came in the house."

As the SPCA notes, freezing temperatures can be dangerous and even deadly for companion animals, and they recommend you keep your pet indoors as much as possible.

Their rule of thumb: If you are cold outside, your pet will be, too.

Wet and cold weather can lead to hypothermia or pneumonia in animals. Especially with very young or very old animals, who are more susceptible to suffering medical issues due to the cold.

They say that walks are OK, but limit outside time to quick walks or bathroom breaks, and consider providing your pet with a pet sweater and booties to protect their paws from ice and snow. Also, avoid pavement — walk on grass when possible.

Advice for those who for whatever reason must
The SPCA of Texas never recommends leaving pets outside full time, but if it's unavoidable, they offer these instructions:

  • Always weatherproof their living quarters. The shelter must be covered, dry, insulated, filled with straw or other bedding and should retain heat. It should also be made up of three sides, a roof and a floor.
  • The house should be elevated and the entrance pointed away from wind.

It could be against the law under animal cruelty in the state of Texas to leave your pet outdoors in extreme temperatures without appropriate shelter.

Monitor the time your pets spend outdoors and make sure they have fresh water to drink, not frozen.

Again, it's a lousy idea to leave your dogs outdoors, but those who are nonetheless doing that should feed their dogs more often, since they need more calories in the winter to produce body heat.

Pet owners often innocently assume their pets can withstand the cold weather with the aid of their thick coats; however, this is not always the case. Indoor dogs shed their undercoats and should never be made to stay outside for extended periods of time.

Never shave your pets down to the skin in the winter; leave their coats long for more warmth. And when you bathe your pets, completely dry their coats before letting them go outdoors.

Watch their paws
If you take your dogs out for a walk, wipe their paws and legs clean after you come in. This is because they may walk on salt, antifreeze, or other chemicals, which can be poisonous to pets if they lick their paws. Chemicals used to melt snow and ice can not only irritate paws but also lead to frostbite, cuts, or cracks.

Check your car
Before starting your car, check to make sure there are no animals hiding in the exhaust pipe or under your tires. Cats and small animals often seek shelter near or under your car so be sure to look carefully and honk the horn before turning on the engine.

Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold, and the animal could freeze to death.

Courtesy of Colossal

Texas bioscience company makes colossal move to resurrect the extinct woolly mammoth

EVOLVING FOR THE FUTURE

In a move that may conjure fanciful thoughts of a particular Steven Spielberg film, a newly launched bioscience and genetics company with ties to Dallas is pioneering a plan to ensure the long extinct woolly mammoth will once again trudge through the Arctic tundra. (No need to panic, movie fans, as the furry beast is an herbivore and has no taste for human flesh, lest we forget the lessons learned from Jurassic Park.)

The appropriately named Colossal, which is based across Dallas, Austin, and Boston, has secured $15 million in funding from a variety of sources (including Austin-based Capital Factory and famed self-help guru Tony Robbins) to bring the woolly mammoth back from its roughly 10,000-year extinction.

Colossal is the brainchild of Baylor University grad and tech and software entrepreneur Ben Lamm and George Church, a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School who has innovated new approaches to gene editing. Their goal is to pioneer animal de-extinction technology to restore lost ecosystems for a healthier planet. And they’re starting by resurrecting the woolly mammoth back to its cold-resistant, curled-tusk, fur-covered glory.

Specifically, Colossal will work to bring to life a cold-resistant elephant-mammoth hybrid with the core biological traits of the woolly mammoth, meaning it will walk, look, and sound like the giant creature, and will be able to inhabit the same ecosystem left abandoned by the woolly mammoth’s extinction.

The company uses breakthrough advances in CRISPR genetic engineering to make such scientific dreams a reality. It’s all in an effort to “rewild lost habitats and help combat the effects of climate change and the loss of biodiversity.” And Colossal notes that its gene-editing process also has the potential to help advance biotechnology products and genomics while also treating diseases. Such technological advancements will also be used to help recover species on the brink of extinction.

“Never before has humanity been able to harness the power of this technology to rebuild ecosystems, heal our Earth, and preserve its future through the repopulation of extinct animals,” Lamm says in a release. “In addition to bringing back ancient extinct species like the woolly mammoth, we will be able to leverage our technologies to help preserve critically endangered species that are on the verge of extinction and restore animals where humankind had a hand in their demise.”

Indeed, Colossal points to a 2019 United Nations report that warned that more than 1 million animal, plant, and fungi species are now threatened with extinction. That situation could domino, leading to the collapse of ecosystems and negatively impacting human health and livelihood.

By resurrecting certain extinct species, Colossal hopes to rewild habitats and revitalize lost ecosystems, thereby creating a healthier planet. To wit, restoring the woolly mammoth can potentially revitalize the Arctic grasslands, which could combat the dire effects of climate change through a variety of properties, including carbon sequestering, methane suppression, and light reflection.

“Technologies discovered in pursuit of this grand vision — a living, walking proxy of a woolly mammoth — could create very significant opportunities in conservation and beyond, not least of which include inspiring public interest in STEM, prompting timely discussions in bioethics, and raising awareness of the vital importance of biodiversity,” Church says.

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Giant sea creatures made of recycled beach trash wash onto Galveston Island in must-see new exhibit

inspiring sea change

A giant great white shark, massive bald eagle, oversized octopus, and more enormous sea life have invaded Galveston Island.

"Washed Ashore," a compelling traveling art exhibit of giant sea animal sculptures made of trash collected from beaches, is now on display across 19 locations in Galveston.

The clever showcase features more than 20 pieces — most more than six feet tall and as much as 17 feet wide — such as coral reefs, jellyfish, penguins, sunfish, and more.

Sculptures can be found at museums, hotels, parks, attractions, and popular outdoor spaces. Thanks to a partnership between Oregon-based non-profit Washed Ashore and the Galveston Park Board, the exhibit, which is open though March 5, is free.

This innovative, powerful exhibit is designed to educate the public about the hazards of plastic pollution in the world’s waterways and comes at a touchstone environmental moment. Some 35 million metric tons of plastic entered the global aquatic ecosystems in 2020, according to the Ocean Conservancy’s research partners.

Similar "Washed Ashore" exhibits have been displayed at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, as well as zoos, aquariums, and botanical gardens across the nation. Notably, this Galveston debut marks the first time the exhibit will not be behind a paid gate, per press materials.

“The sculptures are impressive,” Visit Galveston Chief Tourism Officer Michael Woody says. “But they’re even more impressive when you look at them closely. The artists at Washed Ashore placed recognizable objects – like buckets and shovels – at a child’s eye view. This way, hopefully, they will learn to take with them what they bring to the beach.”

For more information on the exhibit, visit the official site.

Photo courtesy of Visit Galveston

Meet Greta the great white shark.

These are the 5 best food and drink events in Fort Worth this week

This week in gluttony

It’s a frigid start to February this week, but tasty events bring opportunities to warm up once the coldest weather passes. Get cozy with hand-made pasta and wine, a dim sum cooking class, two new Sunday brunch launches, and a complimentary educational class to watch online from the warmth of your own home.

Thursday, February 2

An Evening with Batasiolo Wine Dinner
Only 11 lucky individuals get to partake in this four-course dinner set to take place in il Modo’s intimate pasta-making room. Wines from Beni Di Batasiolo Winery will be paired with each course. Reservations are $199, plus tax and gratuity, and include valet parking. Dinner begins at 6 pm.

Saturday, February 4

Who Eats Cornbread? Who Eats Biscuits? Baking and Texas Identity Webinar by the TCU Center for Texas Studies
Curl up at home with hot biscuits or cornbread while watching this tasty and educational webinar led by Rebecca Sharpless, professor of history at TCU. She’ll talk through the history of baking in Texas and the American South, speaking from research conducted for her latest book, Grain and Fire. Learn who used white cornmeal, who used yellow, who used sugar, who didn’t, flour to fat ratios, and why it all matters. The free webinar begins at 10:30 am.

Jazz Brunch Launch at The Fitzgerald
The Camp Bowie Boulevard restaurant will channel New Orleans vibes with the launch of its new jazz brunch. The live jazz pianist will provide tunes on Fitzgerald’s heated patio both Saturday and Sundays from 11 am-2 pm. Plan for brunch dishes like crab cake Benedict, shrimp and grits, crawfish omelets, and bananas Foster banana pudding.

Dim Sum Time at Indulge Cooking Studio
The downtown cooking studio located inside Third Street Market hosts an array of classes regularly. This one will feature dim sum, the traditional Chinese meal made up of small plates featuring various dumplings and snacks. The menu will include chicken shumai, Chinese greens, spring rolls, and an egg custard tart. The class is $89 and will begin at 11 am.

Sunday, February 5

New Sunday Brunch at Craft & Vine
The Roanoke restaurant, wine bar, and craft cocktail lounge will launch Sunday brunch with new buffet-style stations. Enjoy eggs Benedict, a carving station, waffle bar, and more, as well as champagne flights, a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar, and even a bar cart for crafting Old Fashioneds. The price is $39 per person and $15 for kids 12 and under. Brunch service begins at 10 am and the live music starts at 11 am.

Luke Bryan trucks to Dallas-Fort Worth for 2 tour stops, including Dickies Arena

Country on

Luke Bryan fans, clear your calendars in late September 2023. The five-time Entertainer of the Year and American Idol judge is making not one but two stops in North Texas on his "Country On Tour."

He'll play Dallas' Dos Equis Pavilion on September 28, then scoot over to Fort Worth for a show at Dickies Arena on September 29. The only other Texas stop on his 36-city tour will be in Lubbock, on July 27. (So sorry, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio.)

Special guests throughout the tour will include up-and-coming country artists Chayce Beckham, Tyler Braden, Ashley Cooke, Jackson Dean, Jon Langston, Conner Smith, Alana Springsteen, Hailey Whitters, and DJ Rock.

According to the tour site, Beckham, Dean, Whitters, and DJ Rock will play the Dallas-Fort Worth shows.

Bryan has a history of investing in new artists by inviting them to join him on tour, a press release reminds.

“Artists get into the business to make music and perform it for the fans,” Bryan says in the release. “Leaving it all out on that stage is what it’s all about for me. I’m excited to support and have so many talented new artists along for the ride this year. It’s one of the most rewarding parts of our job.

The tour is named for Bryan's 30th No. 1 single, “Country On” - a celebration of farmers, truckers, military, first responders, and all of Americana that hit the top of the country singles charts around Christmas 2022. He has amassed a career tally of 56 total weeks at #1.

Bryan launches his 2023 headline dates at Resorts World Theatre in Las Vegas on February 1. He's also returning as a judge on ABC's American Idol this spring.

Bryan's "Country On Tour" kicks off June 15 in Syracuse, New York.

Tickets go on sale on at 10 am Friday, February 3 at Lukebryan.com.

Presale for Bryan's fan club members will run 8 am Tuesday, January 31 through 5 pm Thursday, February 2. For details, go HERE.

Citi cardmembers will have access to presale tickets from 10 am Wednesday, February 1 to 10 pm Thursday, Feb 2 through the Citi Entertainment program. For complete presale details visit www.citientertainment.com.