Spring is festival season, at least in Dallas-Fort Worth. And, boy, there are a lot from which to choose; in compiling the below list, we counted nearly 30 major festivals between March 1 and May 31. If we included smaller, neighborhood festivals, the number might approach triple digits.
To help keep things under control, we’ve boiled down the choices to your best four to six options every month in March, April, and May. As always, if you don’t see the festival you like, you’ll likely find it on our more extensive calendar.
North Texas Irish Festival
The annual North Texas Irish Festival features top Irish musicians and dancers from around the world and a number of cultural presentations on 13 stages. If that’s not enough, you can indulge in Irish stew, shepherd’s pie, and fish and chips; drink some Guinness or whiskey; and send the tikes to the special kids zone. The festival takes place at Fair Park March 4-6.
All Out Trinity
All Out Trinity, taking place on and around the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge on March 5, kicks off with the annual Trinity River Levee Run, and the fitness and fun only continues from there. The pet- and family-friendly event features a variety of fitness activities, including cycling, yoga, boxing, and more. The festival also includes a marketplace for those hoping for some retail therapy.
Dallas St. Patrick’s Parade and Festival
The annual Dallas St. Patrick’s Parade & Festival on March 19 is the largest St. Patrick’s parade in the Southwest. The parade, starting at Greenville Avenue and Blackwell Street, draws upward of 125,000 people along the two-mile route to see more than 90 floats, bands, and more. It also includes a Family Zone, Brew Fest, and other activities. There’s also a post-parade concert by Third Eye Blind.
Texas Music Revolution 20
For the first time ever, the Texas Music Revolution takes place over two days, March 25 and 26. Of equal importance, after 19 years, this year’s event moves from Southfork Ranch to Oak Point Park & Amphitheater in Plano. The national and local lineup includes Lee Ann Womack, Chris Knight, Quaker City Night Hawks, Stoney LaRue, The O’s, and more.
Deep Ellum Arts Festival
The Deep Ellum Arts Festival expands in 2016, shifting three blocks east to now begin at Malcolm X Boulevard and end at Exposition Hall. The three-day festival, running April 1-3, covers six city blocks of Main Street and features more than 100 performances from bands and solo musicians from all over the area on four outdoor stages and two new indoor stages inside the iconic Sons of Hermann Hall.
Main St. Fort Worth Arts Festival
Not to be outdone, Fort Worth hosts its own arts festival two weeks later, April 14-17. The largest arts festival in Texas spans more than 27 blocks in downtown Fort Worth, from the Tarrant County Courthouse to the Fort Worth Convention Center, while showcasing over 200 hand-selected juried artists. It’s also Fort Worth’s largest music festival, featuring more than 100 local, regional, and national musicians performing on three stages.
Old 97’s County Fair
Dallas’ own Old 97’s join forces with the HomeGrown Music and Arts Festival to create this new one-stage, one-day festival. Taking place on April 16 at Main Street Garden, it features an array of alt-country bands — including Drive By Truckers, Lucero, Deer Tick, Justin Townes Earle, Nikki Lane, Brent Best, and Madison King — a 40-foot Ferris wheel, corn dogs, and plenty of opportunities to try your luck on the midway.
Mayfest is an annual four-day family festival held on 33 acres in Trinity Park in Fort Worth. Starting on April 28 and ending on May 1, it features three dedicated music stages with bands playing pop, rock, country, jazz, Texas country, bluegrass, and more. There are also four performing arts stages located throughout the festival that showcase tap dancing, martial arts, ballet, hip-hop, and much more.
Denton Arts & Jazz Festival
Denton gets in on the act April 29-May 1 with its annual Arts and Jazz Festival at Quakertown Park. Featuring seven stages of continuous music, fine art, crafts, food, games, and information booths, it includes performances from UNT's One O’Clock Jazz Band, Patrice Rushen & Friends, The Flatlanders, and Brave Combo, among others.
Taco Libre Dallas
The second annual Taco Libre, taking place on April 30 at Main Street Garden, includes an expanded event site; 21 taquerias, including ones from as far away as El Paso and Austin; a music lineup that includes The Bronx, Grupo Fantasma, and Larry G(ee); and the always-entertaining sight of Lucha Libre wrestling. Taco and chili pepper eating contests round out the experience.
Unlike most other festivals in the area, this one focuses on something other than American culture. The annual — and free — Asian Festival, taking place May 14 at Fair Park, showcases more than 20 diverse Asian cultures, featuring the best of Asian performances, delicious Asian cuisine, and the chance to learn through art making, art watching, wellness classes, and more.
After a two-year break while Addison tried out the Fork & Cork concept, Taste Addison is back, taking place May 13-15 at Addison Circle Park. Addison has more than 180 restaurants in a 4-mile radius, meaning there are plenty of bites to be had. Also expect lots of music, including a headlining performance from the Band Perry.
HomeGrown Music and Arts Festival
Main Street Garden seems to have a stranglehold on fun festivals, as it once again hosts the HomeGrown Music and Arts Festival on May 14. Featuring 12 acts with ties to Texas, including Ghostland Observatory, Neon Indian, Wild Child, and Bright Light Social Hour, the festival also has live art demonstrations and local vendors selling art, wares, food, and beverages.
Wildflower Arts and Music Festival
Wrapping up the spring festival season is the family-friendly Wildflower Arts and Music Festival in Richardson, taking place May 20-22. The eclectic arts and music festival features six performance stages with headliners like Toadies, Dennis DeYoung and the Music of Styx, and Jimmie Vaughan, along with a marketplace, food garden, Kidz Korner, and a whole lot more.