When it comes to fall traditions, Huffhines Art Trails is one of the most colorful. The arts and crafts festival has been a Richardson staple since 1976, drawing hundreds of visitors to Huffhines Park on the fourth weekend in October.
This year it's October 28-29, when more than 160 art booths showing the work of close to 200 artists and craftsmen will be set up along the park's paved trails. In those booths you can find an astonishing selection of contemporary and traditional crafts, along with art that ranges in mediums from painting to poetry, glass and wood work to jewelry.
Not only is it the last big art show before the holidays, with handmade gifts you won't find anywhere else, Huffhines Art Trails is also a terrific family-friendly autumnal outing. Wind your way through the park with the leaves gently falling overhead, or glimpse Monarch butterflies resting on the Bois d 'arc trees as they journey toward their winter home in Mexico. A 15-foot-tall scarecrow greets you at the entrance — you could say he's this event's version of Big Tex.
Expect fall-inspired vignettes throughout the festival, with enough pumpkins, gourds, mums, and greenery to serve as an ideal background for family portraits. Pro-tip: Have little ones run off extra energy by completing the scavenger hunt first. Dogs are also welcome in the park, so bring your four-legged friend (leashed, of course) along for the stroll.
Each year Huffhines Art Trails selects an artist to feature, and you won't want to miss Lisa Morales' colorful paper collages. Much like a painter would use oils or acrylics, Morales paints and textures papers of all kinds to create mini pieces of art. She then uses the mountain of papers as her palette, tearing and placing the pieces to create collages that are full of color, texture, text, and images.
But it wouldn't be a North Texas festival without lots of delicious food and drink. Sample everything from mini doughnuts and shaved ice to roasted corn and gourmet Italian food (plus a corn dog or two, naturally). Old-fashioned sodas hit the spot for kiddos, while adults can get a buzz from locally roasted coffee concocted in an Italian-made, three-wheeled 2012 Piaggio Ape 50 that was imported from the U.K.
And don't forget about the entertainment — a diverse lineup of local musical acts is scheduled to perform practically nonstop during the festival's operating hours, which are 10 am-6 pm on Saturday and 10 am-5 pm on Sunday. Feel free to come and go during one or both of the days, since admission and parking are free.