The gown lowdown
The 11 glitziest galas no Dallas social butterfly should miss in fall 2022
Philanthropic Dallasites are ready to flex some fundraising muscle again, if this season's schedule of glamorous galas is any indication.
For the first time since the onset of the pandemic, fall is filled with black-tie balls and benefits. But there are some new twists. For instance, an opulent Dallas Opera affair has pivoted to a more low-key evening. TACA's high-energy Party on the Green is now Glitz at the Ritz. Two x Two is spreading out over two weeks. And Cattle Baron's Ball is saddling up in a new location.
Beyond being fun, fancy parties to attend, these events raise crucial funds for the organizations, many of which are still recovering from COVID-related setbacks.
Now, grab your pen, circle these all-important dates in your social diary, and click the links for tables and tickets.
Cattle Baron’s Ball, September 17
Co-chairs Nancy Gopez and Kris Johnson are ready to “Lasso a Cure” — in a new location — at Dallas’ biggest party of fall. Getting back to its roots, Cattle Baron’s Ball is moving out of Gilley’s and back up to Southfork Ranch. It’ll still be a boots-n-bling bash with barbecue, beer, and bidding in the biggest luxury auction of the year. Superstar country band Old Dominion is the headlining entertainer, and Chris Young will rock the VIP stage. Cattle Baron's Ball is the largest single-night fundraiser in the nation for cancer research through the American Cancer Society. Information and tickets (from $1,250) are here.
Black Tie Dinner, September 24
The 41st annual gala, taking place at the Sheraton Dallas downtown, is the nation’s largest, one-night LGBTQ fundraising dinner. This year's event will honor Olympic silver medalist Gus Kenworthy with the Elizabeth Birch Award; Kenworthy was one of the first two openly gay men to compete in an Olympic Games, in 2018. In addition, 911: Lone Star actor Rafael Silva will receive Black Tie Dinner’s Vanguard Award. Expect to see other local and national figures, enjoy live entertainment, dinner, recognition awards, auctions, after-party, and more. This year's theme is "The Power of Pride," and the event is co-chaired by Terry D. Loftis and Regina Lyn. For more information and tickets (from $400), visit BlackTie.org
Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala & After-party, October 1
This annual mega-gala at the Meyerson Symphony Center promises “a revelatory evening of music, dance, and drama.” DSO welcomes mezzo-soprano Susan Graham and baritone Thomas Hampson, who will perform operatic selections from The Merry Widow alongside the orchestra led by music director Fabio Luisi. Members of Dallas Black Dance Theatre and vocal students from SMU will also take the stage. There are a variety of ways to participate: Start with a cocktail reception and elegant seated dinner, or just attend the concert and after-party, which will feature savories, desserts, and dancing to live DJ-spun music. This black-tie event, chaired by Donna and Herb Weitzman, is one of the Dallas Symphony’s largest annual fundraisers, benefiting the DSO’s music and education programs. Tickets (from $90-$225 for just concert and after-party) are here.
SPCA Fur Ball, October 1
The Fur Ball is not only a tail-wagging good time, but an evening to raise critical funds for the SPCA of Texas' important mission to provide every animal with exceptional care and a loving home. (Plus, it's the only black-tie ball where guests include furry, four-legged friends.) Taking place at the Hyatt Regency Dallas, the gala is chaired by Dhruva and Hiren Patel, with an assist from live auction chair Cindy Lindsley and table host chair Rebecca Marabito. The evening will include dinner, auctions, and dancing to live music from the Roof Raisers. The emcee for the evening is NBC 5 news anchor Brian Curtis. Get tickets (from $400) here.
Two x Two First Look and Gala, October 6 & 22
Perhaps the most star-studded black-tie gala and art auction of the season, this Rachofsky House affair has two parts — one more formal than the other — but both are fabulous. Benefiting amfAR and the Dallas Museum of Art and hosted by Cindy and Howard Rachofsky and Lisa and John Runyon, this year's event honors artist Rashid Johnson. (View the complete auction catalog here.) While the First Look preview party and gala traditionally are held the same week, this season they’re two weeks apart. The chic First Look party ($250) is Thursday, October 6, and Gala (invitation-only) will be Saturday, October 22. More information on both events is here. Start wardrobe-planning now because the fashion at Two x Two is always as fierce as the philanthropic power that it serves up (over $100 million to date).
TACA Glitz at the Ritz, November 3
It's out with Party on the Green and in with Glitz at the Ritz, the new black-tie fundraising event benefiting The Arts Community Alliance (TACA). Taking place at the Ritz-Carlton, Dallas (of course) the evening — co-chaired by Wanda Gierhart Fearing and chef Dean Fearing — will include a multicourse dinner by Fearing's and stage show starring actor/singer Erich Bergen (of CBS' hit show Madame Secretary and Broadway's current Chicago revival). Tickets (from $750) are available here.
Perot Night at the Museum, November 12
The annual gala that takes over all floors of the Perot Museum celebrates the museum’s 10th anniversary. Dallas’ most VIP couple, Dirk and Jessica Nowitzki, are chairing all of the 10th anniversary happenings and have big things in store. Guests can expect food and drinks inspired by the museum's exhibits, hands-on experiments, live music, and more. It's not only a fun event but a powerhouse fundraiser, last year bringing in $4 million for the museum. More information and tickets to come, but underwriting opportunities are here.
Dallas Historical Society Centennial Gala, November 12
A 100th anniversary deserves a swanky gala, and that’s what co-chairs Kristen Sanger and Lisa Singleton have planned to celebrate Dallas Historical Society's 100 years as the pre-eminent repository for the collection, preservation, and exhibition of the heritage of Dallas and Texas. The gala evening, taking place at the Hall of State at Fair Park, will begin with a cocktail reception among the Dallas Historical Society exhibits, followed by a seated dinner with specially designed menu, recognition program, and more. The Moody Foundation will be honored with the DHS Centennial Jubilee Award. Tickets (from $1,500) and information are here.
FGI Night of Stars, November 18
Hundreds of Dallas’ most stylish will descend on the Thompson Hotel for Fashion Group International of Dallas’ haute black-tie gala and runway show. Event chairs Ken Weber, Richard Rivas, and Cristina Graham will preside over the evening, which will celebrate creativity and raise funds for scholarships for aspiring fashion professionals. Awards will be presented to House of Cardin, Fern Mallis, and Palmer Harding. For more information and tickets (from $500), go here.
AT&T PAC Bravo! Gala, November 19
Always an applause-worthy evening, the fundraising celebration in support of the AT&T Performing Arts Center will feature an intimate performance by Broadway star Joaquina Kalukango. The evening also will include performances by local artists and the center’s resident companies throughout the Winspear Opera House, progressive cocktail hour, and three-course seated dinner. Kalukango, who won a Tony Award for her role in Paradise Square, will cap the evening. Co-chairs for the event are Morgan W. Cox III and Derrall Hill. It will honor the late philanthropist Margaret McDermott and The Eugene McDermott Foundation. Information and tickets (from $1,200) are here.
Crystal Charity Ball, December 3
The grande dame of all Dallas galas is set to knock guests off their Guccis, as event chair Susan Farris has given the 2022 ball a “Splendido Italiano" theme. Think Italian fashion, vespas, gelato, and culinary delights from five regions of Italy. As always, the glamorous black-tie evening will take shape in the Chantilly Ballroom at the Hilton Anatole. All proceeds will go to the 10 local charities that were selected as this year's beneficiaries, including the Agape Clinic, Educational First Steps, Family Compass, and more. Tickets are invitation-only; inquire about underwriting and more opportunities to participate here.
11 more galas to save the date for:
- The Concilio Big Dreams Gala, September 15
- Hope Gala, benefiting New Hope Equine Assisted Therapy, October 7
- Hope for Humanity, benefiting Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, October 13
- Spirit of Taos, benefiting Wilkinson Center, October 14
- African American Museum, Dallas' Masquerade Cabaret & Auction Gala, October 15
- Ruby Red Gala, benefiting Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum, October 21
- St. Jude Evening Under the Stars, November 5
- Zoo to Do, benefiting Dallas Zoo, November 5
- Folds of Honor Gala, November 12
- Big Brothers Big Sisters Big Black Tie Ball, November 12
- Operation Kindness Canines, Cats & Cabaret Gala, November 12
For more gala and benefit listings, visit our complete event calendar.