The gown lowdown
Save the date for these 13 must-attend Dallas galas and luncheons of spring 2023
With the busy holiday season behind us, it's time to start looking forward to all the bounties of spring. And in Dallas, that means not just wildflowers and baseball, but all the glitzy galas and lavish luncheons that benefit beloved nonprofits. This season sees a coterie of Hollywood and Broadway stars as event headliners - Nicole Kidman, Rob Lowe, and Patti Lupone among them. Art Ball has become an even more exclusive black-tie gala, and Mad Hatter's has reformatted from a tea party to a luncheon - with the most majestic theme yet. Here are the dates and events to circle in your social calendar.
St. Valentine's Day Luncheon, February 13
After postponing to May last year, the season's loveliest luncheon moves back to its traditional Valentine's-week date. Themed "Let Love Shine," the 39th annual Leukemia & Lymphoma Society benefit is chaired by Katy Bock and Sunie Solomon, along with advisory chairs Nancy Gopez, Maggie Kipp, and Melinda Knowles. The event will feature champagne, lunch, inspiring speakers, and a fashion show of looks from Highland Park Village, produced by Jan Strimple. The mega-luncheon will be held at the Meyerson Symphony Center, and funds raised will help fight blood cancers.
Mavs Ball, March 3
Mavs fans won't want to miss the eighth annualMavs Ball, featuring appearances from favorite players, CEO Cynt Marshall, and Governor Mark Cuban. The star-studded night at the Omni Dallas Hotel includes a cocktail reception, seated dinner, live and silent auctions, and live entertainment. The gala is the premier fundraising event for the Mavs Foundation and celebrates the year's grantees and charitable work of the Dallas Mavericks during this season.
Broadway Dallas Moulin Rouge Gala, April 1
The first of two Broadway-themed galas on the same night, this one will feature a full performance of Moulin Rouge (which is playing at the Music Hall at Fair Park, March 15-April 2). The evening, which also includes dinner, drinks, and an after-party, promises to celebrate the best of Broadway while supporting Broadway Dallas and its nonprofit mission to deliver the spirit of Broadway to North Texas through educational programs and community outreach initiatives. The gala will be headed by honorary chairs Ambassador Kathryn Walt Hall and Craig Hall, along with gala chairs Jolie Humphrey and Gail Plummer.
Turtle Creek Rhapsody with Patti Lupone, April 1
Broadway legend Patti Lupone will headline "Rhapsody," Turtle Creek Chorale’s benefit gala at the Meyerson Symphony Center. The evening will feature opening receptions, seated dinner, open bar, live auction, a private performance by Lupone, and an after-party experience with live band, dancing, and dessert. Funds raised will support the chorale’s mission to entertain, educate, unite, and inspire through its musical, cultural, and educational programs. James Lynn Williams is the honorary chair.
Junior League Milestones Luncheon with Rob Lowe, April 14
Known for snagging big-name Hollywood speakers, this year's event doesn't disappoint. Award-winning actor, activist, and author Rob Lowe is the keynote speaker for the annual Junior League of Dallas luncheon.Pam Busbee will be honored as Sustainer of the Year at the event, taking place at Omni Dallas Hotel and chaired by Heather McNamara. The luncheon benefits Junior League's many civic causes throughout greater Dallas.
AWARE Affair, April 14
This gala makes the list on the merits of its location alone: the immersive art venue Lighthouse ArtSpace. Themed "An Artful Evening of Advocacy Fighting Alzheimer's," the event has Rangers Baseball LHP Taylor Hearn and Venise and Larry Stuart serving as honorary chairs, with Lori Bush, Pamela Musgrove, and C'Mone Wingo as co-chairs. The artsy Affair will include a cocktail reception, live and silent auctions, seated three course-dinner, and entertainment. Attire is "art chic cocktail - tie optional." Proceeds to go help fight Alzheimer's disease.
Art Ball, April 15
Considered the most glittering gala of spring, this beautiful black-tie ball at the Dallas Museum of Art is now in its 61st year. Leigh Anne Clark and Bela Cooley will chair the ball, which supports the museum's mission to offer free admission to the more than 800,000 annual visitors. Tickets will be coveted, as it will be a more intimate event of just 330 guests this year. (Also, save the date for DMA's Art in Bloom Kickoff Luncheon on March 6, which will look ahead to its 25th anniversary next year. Look for more details to come, here.)
Mad Hatter's Luncheon, April 20
Hats and fascinators will be nothing less than regal with this year's theme: "Commemorating the 35th Annual Majestic Mad Hatter’s Luncheon - A Celebration of English Elegance." The bigger the better for this posh afternoon event at the Dallas Arboretum. The 35th event - reformatted from a tea party to a luncheon - is chaired by Anne Stodghill and Kristina Wrenn, with Kim Hext as honorary chair and Sarah Jo Hardin serving as president of the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum. The afternoon will once include a champagne reception, luncheon, hat contest, and (instead of a fashion show) a presentation by renowned fashion designer Michael Faircloth on the history, humor, and hope of the hat. Funds raised benefit A Woman’s Garden.
TEX Gala, April 20
This rare Thursday night gala benefits the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation, which improves the lives of children, the military, and first responders' families in the community. Attendees will experience a red-carpet arrival, dinner on the playing surface of Globe Life Field, live and silent auctions featuring exclusive Rangers experiences and sports and Hollywood memorabilia, and a live performance from country superstar Kenny Chesney. For information and tickets, visit the website.
Chick Lit Luncheon with Lisa Vanderpump, April 21
TV personality, author, and philanthropist Lisa Vanderpump will headline this favorite Dallas luncheon. Besides featuring a chat with The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Vanderpump Rules star, the afternoon event will include a special tribute to Paige McDaniel, set to retire in May as the president and CEO of Community Partners of Dallas. The big-deal luncheon at the Hilton Anatole is chaired by Sally Dutter and Beth Thoele, with Debbie Scripps as honorary chair.
Children's Cancer Fund Gala, April 21
The is the biggie for Cowboys fans. Honorary chairs Troy Aikman and Dak Prescott join event co-chairs Heather Randall and Blake Stephenson in a black-tie ball that helps fight childhood cancer. Besides being an epic evening that includes dinner, auctions, fashion, and after-party, the gala always tugs at the heartstrings because the highlight is seeing seeing children rocking the Hilton Anatole runway, alongside their idols and favorite superheroes, in a fashion show.
Genesis Annual Luncheon with Nicole Kidman, May 12
Consider this take two. After 2020's luncheon starring Nicole Kidman canceled due to COVID and pivoted to a virtual conversation with the Oscar-winning actress, she's agreed to come back to Dallas in person. The 30th annual edition of the beloved luncheon will take place, per usual, at the Hilton Anatole. It raises funds for the organization's continuous effort to provide safety, shelter, and support for women who have experienced domestic violence.
House of DIFFA, May 13
Happening at the Hilton Anatole this year, May's most colorful black-tie gala always features a one-of-a-kind runway show and killer silent auction. The 2023 theme, "The List" will celebrate inclusion and pay tribute to Studio 54, London Punk, and Coachella, to name a few. ("Everyone is on The List," they say.) Haley Clark and Richard Rivas co-chair the gala, which benefits organizations that help raise awareness, advocate for individuals, and fight HIV/AIDS in the Dallas community.