Dallas is never short on great events, but some demand more attention than others. Certain annual events have proven worthy of repeat trips and advance planning so we don't miss all they have to offer, year and year out.
Below are the five annual events in Dallas we never miss:
5) Deep Ellum Arts Festival
Dallas has a thriving arts scene, and nothing shows that off better than this three-day, three-block April festival. It takes over a section of Main Street in Deep Ellum and features hundreds of artists selling original works in nearly every medium; hundreds of bands performing on four separate stages; and delicious food from area restaurants and food trucks, with a special focus on restaurants in Deep Ellum. Oh, and admission is free. Considering it's one of the first big outdoor events after the official start of spring, it's something that should be on every Dallasite's to-do list.
4) Savor Dallas
This 9-year-old food and wine festival has already become a favorite for many local foodies. Every year, founder Jim White persuades a ton of local chefs to participate in the International Grand Tasting, the festival's signature event, giving visitors a chance to sample some of the area's finest cuisine. Most of the events take place at the Irving Convention Center, but the 2013 edition has expanded its selections to include events at Trinity Groves and everybody's favorite new museum, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.
3) Dallas International Film Festival
The Dallas International Film Festival started as AFI Dallas. Although that brief dalliance with the national film organization helped founder Michael Cain's dream become a reality, the festival has only continued its rise toward national prominence since changing its name. The film fest has become a reliable blend of of local, national and international talent, showcasing independent and mainstream films alike. It also attracts a host of celebrities, including Laura Linney and Gabourey Sidibe, who received awards in 2012. DIFF also spreads its screenings around the Dallas area, with the 2013 edition showing films in places like Klyde Warren Park, The Texas Theatre, Cinemark West Plano and, for the first time, the brand-new Look Cinemas.
2) Dallas St. Patrick's Parade and Festival
This Dallas tradition has been going on for 34 years and was, until this year, called the Greenville Avenue St. Patrick’s Day Parade. It almost didn't make it to No. 33, as it took a last-minute assist from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban to make the 2012 parade a reality. The parade has gotten bigger and bigger every year, and the organizers decided to change the name because the festivities, although still taking place on Greenville Avenue, appeal to people from across the region. The parade has an odd mix of revelry and family-friendliness, a notion that will again be tested this year with a concert by Snoop
Dogg Lion at the parade's terminus in Energy Square.
1) State Fair of Texas
See everything we mentioned above? Pretty much all of that and more can be found during the near month-long State Fair of Texas at Fair Park. The tradition is more than 120 years old and naturally attracts people from around Texas and surrounding states. There are myriad reasons for going to the fair, but the main attractions are midway rides and games and an ever-growing list of fried foods; this year also marks the unveiling of a new Big Tex. The fair also features music, art, car shows, animals, the annual Texas-OU football showdown and much, much more. Events just don't get any bigger than this.