Photo courtesy of Farrah Fawcett Foundation

Hollywood icons and angels descended on Dallas for the second year, for the 2023 Farrah Fawcett Foundation Tex-Mex Fiesta.

Held at The Rustic on September 28, the star-studded benefit included a red carpet, Tex-Mex buffet dinner, award presentations, live auction, and margaritas that flowed all night long - all to raise money for the fight against cancer. Proceeds went to The American Cancer Society/Cattle Baron's Ball and Stand Up To Cancer.

Co-chairs Alana Stewart, Jaclyn Smith, and Linda Gray - the late Farrah Fawcett's bestie, Charlie's Angels co-star, and last year's Angel Award winner, respectively - welcomed guests. Then actor and famously tanned man George Hamilton took over to emcee the presentations with his signature charm, wit, and sweet banter with ex-wife Stewart.

Dr. Lawrence Piro, Fawcett’s former oncologist and Chief Medical Advisor for the Farrah Fawcett Foundation, underscored the importance of the evening’s fundraising efforts. Fawcett passed away from rectal cancer in 2009, at the age of 62. The foundation that bears her name and raises money for cancer-related causes is her greatest legacy, her friends agreed on stage.

A live auction led by Samantha Robinson of Heritage Auctions raised thousands of dollars with one-of-a-kind items like lunch with George Hamilton the following day at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek (sold for $10,000) and a "Hollywood Experience" including lunch with "The Fonz" Henry Winkler (sold for $14,000).

Country music star Brett Eldredge got the crowd on its feet with a quick set of his hits, and DJ 13lackbeard kept the party beats lively. Actress Dyan Cannon gave a heartfelt tribute, and Patrick Foley - Fawcett’s long time friend, make-up artist, and Neiman Marcus’ resident make-up artist - was recognized for his support of the Foundation.

But the emotional highlight of the evening was the presentation of the foundation's 2023 Angel Award to Katie Couric. The trailblazing journalist famously underwent a colonoscopy on air after her husband, Jay Monahan, died of colon cancer at age 42 in 1998. In September 2022, Couric revealed her own breast cancer diagnosis.

In her acceptance speech, Couric spoke poignantly about all the things the cancer took away from her two daughters, who were just 2 and 6 years old when their dad passed.

"I know what it's like to lose someone you love way before their time," she said. "In two words: It sucks ... devastating, life-shattering, horrific. No adjective sufficiently describes what that period of my life was like."

She encouraged people not to "get squeamish" about "cancers that occur below the belt" (referring specifically to rectal and colon cancers).

"I've always said, 'Don't die of embarrassment,'" she said. "You know, if we're lucky, we all have colons, we all have anuses, it's just part of our biology, so let's get real about that, people."

After Couric's colonoscopy on The Today Show, the number of people who got screened increased 20 percent, she said.

"But that statistic means so much more," she said. "It means that so many people got to watch their child score a goal at a soccer game, so many people got to watch their child graduate with honors, so many people got to watch their child walk down the aisle."

She said she often wonders what Farrah and Jay would be doing today.

"Honestly, I get so sad and so mad when I think about everything [her daughters] have missed," she said. "We couldn't save them, but we can use every ounce of our energy to spare others from a similar fate."

Among the patrons there to support the event were actress Donna Mills, designer Cynthia Rowley, John Tatum, Jim Foley, Christine Romeo, Jeffrey Lane, and hundreds of generous Dallasites.

Farrah Fawcett Foundation Tex-Mex Fiesta 2023

Photo courtesy of Farrah Fawcett Foundation

Jaclyn Smith, Alana Stewart, Katie Couric, Linda Gray

Ad Placement 300x100
Ad Placement 300x600

CultureMap Emails are Awesome

These are the 20 best things to do in Dallas this weekend

Weekend Event Planner

The first weekend in December will feature an array of holiday-themed events, from theater to music to festivals. If you're not quite ready to commit to the season, there are a few other choices, including a big comedian, a theater production that pays homage to the Harry Potter series, and a dance production.

Below are more best ways to spend your precious free time this weekend. Want more options? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.

Thursday, November 30

Dallas Theater Center presents A Christmas Carol
Three spirits have come to visit the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, and to take him on a fantastic journey through Christmases past, present, and future. Brimming with joyful songs, magical spirits, and holiday cheer, the holiday classic embodies a story of joy, redemption, and the spirit of Christmas. The production runs through December 30 at Wyly Theatre.

The Firehouse Theatre presents Miracle on 34th Street
Miracle on 34th Street tells the story of single mother who doesn't want her daughter's head filled with romantic notions. Their neighbor tries to woo the mother by charming her daughter and taking her to see Santa Claus at Macy's. When it turns out that Macy's Santa may, in fact, be the real Kris Kringle, a wave of love spreads across New York City that melts even the most cynical hearts. The production runs through December 17 at The Firehouse Theatre in Farmers Branch.

Bishop Arts Theatre Center presents Black Nativity
Bishop Arts Theatre Center's annual holiday production of Black Nativity, inspired by Langston Hughes's iconic 1960 Broadway show, is back with a mesmerizing display of hand-clapping, toe-tapping, and finger-snapping theatrical wonderment like never before. The production runs through December 17.

Andrea Bocelli in concert
Iconic Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli will perform songs from his extensive repertoire, including music in honor of the holiday season. Selections will include his recent No. 1 album, A Family Christmas, his 2020 solo album, Believe, as well as a variety of arias, crossover hits, and love songs. The concert takes place at American Airlines Center.

Friday, December 1

Majestic Theatre presents Pete Davidson
Comedian Pete Davidson has seen his profile raised immensely from the time he joined Saturday Night Live in 2014. He shot his first one-hour stand-up special for Comedy Central in 2016 and was named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 the same year, and was listed as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2022, the same year he left SNL. He also co-wrote and starred in the semi-autobiographical film, The King of Staten Island, and recently wrote and starred in the Peacock comedy, Bupkis. He'll perform two shows of stand-up comedy at Majestic Theatre.

Ballet Ensemble of Texas presents The Nutcracker
There's no shortage of Nutcracker productions to take in this time of year, and Ballet Ensemble of Texas will add their version to the list. Updated in 2022, the production rings in the holiday season with humor, tradition, and splendor. The production will feature Melody Mennite, principal dancer with the Houston Ballet, as guest artist, and more than 200 young dancers from the Ballet Academy of Texas. There will be four performances through Sunday at Irving Arts Center.

Garland Civic Theatre presents Puffs
Puffs gives audiences a new look at a familiar adventure from the perspective of three potential heroes just trying to make it through a magic school that proves to be very dangerous for children. Alongside them are the Puffs, a group of well-meaning, loyal outsiders with a thing for badger. Their epic journey takes the classic story to new places and reimagines what a boy wizard hero can be. The production runs through December 17 at Granville Arts Center.

Art Centre Theatre presents A Christmas Story
A Christmas Story is a beloved holiday classic that follows the wintry exploits of youngster Ralphie Parker, who spends most of his time dodging a bully and dreaming of his ideal Christmas gift, a Red Ryder air rifle. Frequently at odds with his cranky dad but comforted by his doting mother, Ralphie struggles to make it to Christmas Day with his glasses and his hopes intact. The production runs through December 17 at Art Centre Theatre in Plano.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra presents Christmas Pops
The tradition of Christmas Pops continues with the Dallas Symphony Chorus performing anthems, holiday favorites, and sing-along carols. The concert features an appearance by you-know-who, a bit of snow, and the joyous music of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. There will be nine performances through December 10 at Meyerson Symphony Center, as well as Family Christmas Pops, an hour-long, family-friendly version on the next two Saturdays.

Theatre Arlington presents A Christmas Carol: The Radio Show
It’s Christmas Eve, and with the actors snowed in and unable to make it to the studios of WXMS for the live radio performance of A Christmas Carol, the sound effects person decides to take the audience through the classic tale himself. This telling is performed as a 1940s radio play with one person providing all of the characters’ voices and sound effects. The production runs through December 17 at Theatre Arlington.

Dallas Black Dance Theatre presents Black on Black
Audiences can step into a world of creativity and inspiration with Black on Black, an evening of intimate and captivating performances, all produced and choreographed by Dallas Black Dance Theatre company members. There will be performances on both Friday and Saturday at the Dallas Black Dance Theatre Studios.

Mainstage Irving-Las Colinas and Camp Death Productions presents Santa Claus vs. The Martians
Based on the 1964 infamously bad cult movie Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, Santa Claus vs. The Martians recreates many of the hilariously bad acting moments and low budget props from the original film, as Martian leader Kimar kidnaps Earth's Santa Claus in order to bring happiness and laughter to the children of Mars. Opposing Kimar in his plan are Martian villain Voldar, as well as two Earth children, Billy and Betty Foster. The production runs through December 17 at Mainstage Irving-Las Colinas.

Theatre Coppell presents The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
In this hilarious tale, a couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant is faced with casting the Herdman kids - probably the most inventively awful kids in history. You won’t believe the mayhem - and the fun - when the Herdmans collide with the Christmas story head on. The production runs through December 17 at Coppell Arts Center.

Richardson Theatre Centre presents It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play
It’s a Wonderful Life is about the life of George Bailey, a generous and well-meaning man who has become too downcast and tired to continue living. It will take help from a lovable angel to show George what life would be like if he wasn’t born for George to have a change of heart and understand the true spirit of the holidays. The production runs through December 17 at Richardson Theatre Centre.

Saturday, December 2

Dallas Holiday Parade
The Dallas Holiday Parade is the city’s largest one-day, outdoor event and has become a holiday tradition for thousands of families throughout North Texas. The show-stopping parade commonly known as "The Miracle on Commerce Street" begins at Commerce and Houston, and finishes up at Dallas City Hall. After the parade, the fun will continue at Main Street Garden with a festival featuring over 20 vendors, 10 food trucks, and entertainment.

Klyde Warren Park presents Tree Lighting Celebration
Klyde Warren Park's annual Tree Lighting Celebration will feature a festive day of activities and entertainment, including photos with Santa, story time with Mrs. Claus, face painting, crafts, games, and snow flurries. The day culminates with live music from the Emerald City Band, visits from Frosty and Rudolph, and the lighting of The Mayor's Tree. Visitors can then go across the street to...

Reliant Lights Your Holidays
Reliant Lights Your Holidays will feature the illumination of hundreds of thousands of LED lights, with a holiday concert featuring The Poylphonic Spree. There will also be a Christmas-themed drone show, a wintery snow playground, kids craft area, photos with Santa, and miniature golf on the Reliant Putting Green. The event takes place at Sammons Park, outside of Winspear Opera House. (For a longer list of the best Christmas lights in the area, go here.)

The City of Carrollton presents Santa on the Square
The City of Carrollton's annual Santa on the Square features festive lights, face painting, a trackless train around the Downtown Carrollton Square, and holiday crafts. Later in the evening will be the official tree lighting ceremony and Carrollton’s 160-drone light display presented by Sky Elements Drone Shows. The event takes place in Historic Downtown Carrollton.

City of Grapevine presents Merry & Bright Christmas Drone Show
Grapevine’s Merry & Bright Christmas Drone Show takes the Christmas Capital of Texas to new heights, with a fleet of 160 drones creating Christmas magic in the sky over Main Street in front of Grapevine Main Station. There will be shows every Saturday night through December 16.

The Colony Parks & Recreation Department presents The Colony Christmas Spectacular
At the Colony Christmas Spectacular, visitors can enjoy the jolliest hits of the season. 99.9 FM will highlight holiday ballads set to a light show display which visitors can enjoy without leaving the warmth of their cars. The show will take place nightly through January 7 at the Central Fire Station in The Colony.

Dallas Theater Center presents A Christmas Carol
Photo by Jordan Fraker

Dallas Theater Center presents A Christmas Carol at Wyly Theatre through December 30.

TRE is hosting train rides with Santa to 2023 Dallas holiday parade

Holiday News

The Trinity Railway Express (TRE) is running two trains to the Dallas Christmas parade and they've recruited Santa to make an appearance.

The commuter rail service, which runs between Fort Worth and Dallas, is hosting two special train rides on Saturday, December 2, when both Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on board.

The occasion is the 2023 Dallas Holiday Parade, which takes place in downtown Dallas on December 2, starting at 9 am.

The idea is that you take the train to see the parade, and get to hang out with the Clauses along the way.

The TRE has two routes benchmarked that'll get anyone from Fort Worth or the mid-cities to the starting line in time to see the parade begin.

There are two trips where Santa will be aboard. The schedules are as follows:

TRETRE Holiday Train routesTRE

Both routes arrive in time for riders to be in position when the parade begins:

  • Train No. 3904 will be first, departing the T&P Station in downtown Fort Worth at 6:48 am, and arriving one hour later at Union Station in downtown Dallas at 7:50 am.
  • Train No. 3906 will be the second train, departing the T&P Station in downtown Fort Worth at 7:48 am, and arriving at Union Station at 8:50 am, just in time for the parade.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be walking through the train from Fort Worth to Union Station, taking pictures with riders and passing out candy canes. If they were smart, they'd be handing out nips of peppermint schnapps.

The route has stops at 10 stations between Fort Worth and Dallas, so anyone can board and get with the festivities, whether they're coming from North Richland Hills, Irving, or even DFW Airport.

Each train ride will end at Union Station in downtown Dallas, with live musical performances and promotional giveaways, as well as photo opportunities with the Claus Family.

Santa will also be on hand at Union Station from 7:30 am– 9:30 am to give out hot chocolate to riders. Santa will magically be everywhere! (Truthfully, each train will have their own Santa and Mrs. Claus, as well as a separate Santa on the platform at Union Station passing out hot chocolate.)

This is the second year for the TRE “Ride with Santa” program.

White Rhino Coffee buzzes into cool Dallas suburb with newest shop

Coffee News

An expanding coffee chain is adding a cool new Dallas-area location to its pack: White Rhino Coffee will open in Garland on Friday, December 1, according to a release.

The new shop, at 5325 N. President George Bush Hwy., Ste. 200, will be the first in Garland and the 11th location for the concept, which was founded in 2007 in Cedar Hill.

White Rhino is known for craft coffee, pastries, and Southern bistro food such as maple-glazed chicken biscuits. Their drink menu includes drip coffee, espresso shots, cold brew, lattes, Americanos, cappuccinos, matcha lattes, chai, and more.

A December debut means a chance to introduce seasonal sips, too. A full holiday-time menu will feature Peppermint Mochas, Holiday Cookie Lattes, and Caramel Apple Ciders, plus snacks like Sticky Toffee Cake and German Chocolate Whoopie Pie, the release says.

Sampling of these treats and more will be offered during a special grand opening at the Garland store on December 1. It'll be a festive event: Santa will even be on hand to take photos and greet guests, from 11 am-3 pm.

The festive cheer won't stop there. To celebrate the new store opening, free holiday cookies will be offered at all White Rhino locations on December 1, while supplies last.

In addition to being known for high-quality coffee (from its own roastery), White Rhino touts its friendly service and welcoming atmosphere; each location is tailored to the neighborhood it serves.

The company also champions its charitable initiatives, which include donating more than $1 million annually to causes supporting children, the homeless, and the hungry in the communities in which it operates, they say.

“When we launched the first White Rhino 16 years ago, we never imagined we’d be welcoming our 11th location, but here we are and we couldn’t be more pleased to share our concept with Garland,” said company founder Chris Parvin in a statement. “Our goal is always to be good neighbors in each community we operate in, and we’re looking forward to providing a hospitable spot for people to eat, drink and gather.”

It's the latest opening in the suddenly cool Dallas suburb, which is attracting buzzy new restaurants, coffee shops, and more to its newly revitalized downtown area and beyond.

The new Garland White Rhino will be open daily, 6 am-7 pm.