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

Photo by Tamytha Cameron

Save the date for Dallas' 11 most glam galas and lavish luncheons this fall

The gown lowdown

Dallas' fall fundraising forecast calls for champagne-sprinkled afternoons and haute evenings to make it rain millions for local nonprofits.

Cattle Baron's Ball blazes in with a 50th anniversary bash featuring pop-country queen Shania Twain. Two power lunches star powerful actresses Kerry Washington and Brooke Shields. And Crystal Charity Ball doubles down on the art and soul of its mission with "Masterpieces in the Making."

Beyond being fun, fancy parties to attend, these glitzy galas and lavish lunches raise crucial funds for organizations around Dallas, many of which are still feeling the economic effects of the pandemic. So grab your pen, circle these all-important dates in your social diary, and get those gowns and tuxes to the cleaners.

Crystal Charity Ball Ten Best Dressed Fashion Show & Luncheon, September 8
Per tradition, the annual Crystal Charity Ball luncheon and fashion show honoring the 10 best-dressed women of Dallas (as chosen by the organization) will kick off the fall society season. The 48th edition will take place at Neiman Marcus Downtown and will start with a late-morning champagne reception, followed by a seated luncheon and runway fashion presentation with guest designer Adam Lippes. Guiding the event are Angie Kadesky, Crystal Charity Ball chair, and Patty Leyendecker, Fashion Show chair. This year's "best-dressed" honorees areMarybeth Conlon, Monica Eastin, Kim Hext, Libby Hegi, Meredith Land, Ann McPherson, Wendy Messmann, Kim Quinn, Lisa Rocchio, and Sunie Solmon; Claire Emanuelson is the Hall of Fame honoree. Proceeds will help fund seven local children's charities. Tickets are sold out, but for more information, visit the website.

New Friends New Life Luncheon featuring Kerry Washington, September 29
New Friends New Life will welcome Kerry Washington, an Emmy-winning, and SAG nominated actor, producer, director and lifelong advocate and activist, as the speaker at its annual luncheon, a celebration of the nonprofit’s 25th anniversary. Taking place at the Hyatt Regency Dallas, the luncheon is co-chaired by Tracey Nash-Huntley and David Huntley, and Elizabeth Carlock Phillips and Kevin Phillips. Nancy Ann and Ray L. Hunt, Pat and Pete Schenkel, and Gail and Dr. Gerald Turner are honorary co-chairs. New Friends New Life assists trafficked and sexually exploited teen girls, women and their children, and raises awareness of the issue. Luncheon tickets start at $250, available on the event website.

Dallas Symphony Gala and After Party, September 30
The DSO's mega-gala is a "choose your own adventure" event: come for the concert only, dance the night away at the after-party, or make an entire evening of it and start early with a pre-concert reception and dinner. This year's Gala Concert stars two music luminaries: pianist Emanuel Ax and mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard. Leonard makes her DSO debut in selections from Bizet’s beloved Carmen, and Ax will perform works by Chopin. Maestro Fabio Luisi and the DSO will round out the evening with Ravel's La Valse. The After-Party Experience, featuring live music by Q The Band, will take place in the Meyerson Symphony Center lobby afterwards. This year's gala is under the guidance of co-chairs Kim and Greg Hext, with Diane and Hal Brierley as honorary chairs; Jane Humphrey and Samantha Wortley are co-chairing the after-party. Tickets (starting at $140 for concert and after-party and $1,250 for the whole evening) are available on the DSO site.

Trailblazer Awards Luncheon featuring Brook Shields, October 10
Model, actress, and author Brooke Shieldswill deliver the keynote address at the 2023 Trailblazer Awards Luncheon at the Hilton Anatole on October 10 (note the date change - it's no longer September 29). The annual fundraiser benefits The Family Place, Texas’ largest family violence service agency marking its 45th year. Lindsay Jacaman and Holly Krug will serve as luncheon co-chairs, with philanthropists and former Real Housewives of Dallas stars Stephanie and Travis Hollman as honorary chairs. The event will include a VIP reception, seated luncheon, and recognition of this year’s Texas Trailblazer Award recipient, Mary Kay Inc. CEO Ryan Rogers. The Family Place also will honor Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia and State Representative Victoria Neave Criado with the Legislative Impact Award. Tickets start at $350, available on The Family Place's website.

Cattle Baron's Ball, October 14
Dallas' ultimate Western-glitz party celebrates its landmark 50th year with one of the biggest headliners yet - Shania Twain. Co-chairs Isabell Novakov Higginbotham and Andrea Cheek have picked the theme “Iconic” for the American Cancer Society's 50th anniversary fundraiser. It's headed back to Southfork Ranch for the second year in a row, for a night of boots, bling, barbecue, beer, and bidding in the biggest luxury auction of the year. Texas country-rock giant Randy Rogers Band will open the night at the VIP Party. Cattle Baron's Ball is the largest single-night fundraiser in the nation for cancer research through the American Cancer Society. Information and a wait-list for tickets can be found here.

SPCA Fur Ball, October 20
A gala for true party animals, the annual black-tie ball raises important funds for SPCA of Texas' mission to provide every animal with exceptional care and a loving home. Plus, it's the only local formal event where guests include furry, four-legged friends. Human attendees will enjoy dinner, dancing, entertainment, Pony Up for Paws, and live and silent auctions. Taking place at a new location this year - The Factory at Deep Ellum - the 2023 gala is chaired by Christie and Elbert Choi, with an assist from honorary chair Jack D. Knox. Tickets (from $400) are available here.

Two x Two Gala, October 21
Stars from the worlds of art, fashion, and philanthropy annually gather for an invitation-only gala and art auction that raises jaw-dropping sums for amfAR and the Dallas Museum of Art (more than $113 million to date). Hosted by Cindy and Howard Rachofsky and Lisa and John Runyon at Rachofsky House, this year's black-tie gala will honor artist Maria Berrio. The black-tie gala dinner will feature a live and silent auction of significant contemporary art, as well as the presentation of amfAR’s 2023 Award of Excellence for Artistic Contributions to the Fight Against AIDS. In a new twist, there's no "First Look" party this year - just the gala. While these invitations are among the hardest-to-get in town, the public can view the art auction catalogue online.

FGI Night of Stars, November 10
Hundreds of Dallas’ most stylish will descend on the Ritz-Carlton hotel for Fashion Group International of Dallas’ haute black-tie gala and runway show, which will raise funds for scholarships for aspiring fashion professionals. This year's chairs are Holly Quartaro and Cristina Graham, and honorary chair is New York Fashion Week creatorFern Mallis. Designer-to-the-starsChristian Siriano is the Achievement in Fashion honoree, legendary model Bethann Hardison is the Lifetime Legacy honoree, artist Ashley Longshore is the Exuberance in Art honoree, and Nina Garcia of Elle Magazine and Project Runway is the Excellence in Media honoree. For more information and tickets, visit the website.

Perot Night at the Museum, November 11
Still basking in the glow of last year's blockbuster 10th anniversary gala headed up by VIP couple Dirk and Jessica Nowitzki, the 2023 edition promises to be just as show-stopping. The annual gala is one of the most fun and interactive fundraising evenings all season, with action taking place on all floors of the Perot Museum. This year's chairs, Catalina Gonzalez and Santiago Jorba and Elizabeth and Kevin Phillips, have planned food and drinks inspired by the museum's exhibits, hands-on experiments, live music, and more. All proceeds go toward the museum's initiatives to provide scholarships and financial assistance to schools and families. More information and tickets to come, but underwriting opportunities are here.

AT&T Performing Arts Center Bravo! Gala, November 18
Always an ovation-worthy evening, the fundraising celebration in support of the AT&T Performing Arts Center will feature a seated dinner on the Shannon and Ted Skokos Stage of the Winspear Opera House, followed by a performance by the hit indie/alternative band Lake Street Dive. The evening will start with a progressive cocktail hour that uses multi-level lobby spaces for performances by members of the Center's five resident companies. Co-chairs for the gala are Diane Brierley and Ellen Winspear. The night will honor The Moody Foundation, a historic and philanthropic giant in Dallas arts. Information and tickets (from $1,200) are here.

Crystal Charity Ball, December 9
The grand finale to Dallas gala season has the artful theme of "Masterpieces in the Making." It's a double entendre, explains ball chair Angie Kadesky. "While classic artistic masterpieces will be the decorative motif at the ball, the real masterpieces in the making are the children we serve," she says. Specifically this year, the seven local charities chosen as Crystal Charity Ball beneficiaries are: After School All Stars, Buckner Children Family Services, Fair Park First, Family Gateway, Metrocare Services, Salvation Army of North Texas, and YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas. As always, the glamorous black-tie evening will take shape in the Chantilly Ballroom at the Hilton Anatole. Tickets are invitation-only; inquire about underwriting and more opportunities to participate here.

Perot Museum Night at the Museum Gala 2022
Photo by Tamytha Cameron

Woody Abbott, Meredith Abbott, Katie Samler, and Matt Samler at the Perot's Night at the Museum.

Also time to RSVP for:

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Cattle Baron's bows down to empress Shania Twain for iconic 50th Dallas ball

Giddy Up!

Let's go, girls. Cattle Baron’s Ball has landed its biggest star yet - Shania Twain - to headline its landmark anniversary 50th anniversary gala.

Dallas' ultimate Western-glitz party is headed back to Southfork Ranch for 2023, with superstar Twain entertaining on the Andrews Distributing Main Stage and Texas country-rock giant Randy Rogers Band playing the VIP party.

The ball — set for Saturday, October 14 — works out nicely with Twain's schedule; she'll be playing a show on her world tour at Fort Worth's Dickies Arena the night before. (She's also bringing the tour to Dallas' Dos Equis Pavilion on July 21, giving North Texas Shania fans three potential dates with their country empress in 2023.)

Cattle Baron's Ball Chairs Isabell Novakov Higginbotham and Andrea Cheek have picked the theme “Iconic” for the American Cancer Society's milestone-year fundraiser. Texas Oncology will again be the presenting sponsor, NBC 5 anchor Deborah Ferguson will return as mistress of ceremonies.

The announcements were made at a reveal party February 8 at The Village Country Club.

Recognized by Billboard Magazine as the best-selling female country artist of all time and the queen of country-pop, Twain has remained a star for nearly three decades thanks to three massive albums - 1995's The Woman in Me, 1997's Come On Over, and 2002's Up! - each of which sold over 11 million copies in the U.S. alone. She also has seven No. 1 hits and eight more top 10 hits from those three albums.

Twain is already on a roll in 2023, having released a new album, called Queen of Me, on February 3. Her first album since 2017, it is already aiming for the top of the Billboard charts in its first week.

Hailing from San Marcos, the Randy Rogers Band has spent 20 years bringing Texas country to fans around the world. They've produced nine studio albums and charted seven singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. In a fun local connection, frontman Randy Rogers is part-owner of the restaurant and live music venue ChopShop Live in Roanoke.

Cattle Baron’s Ball is the premier fundraiser for the American Cancer Society in North Texas, and has raised more than $93 million since its inception in 1974. The 2022 event alone raised $4,170,617.

The ball is the largest single-night fundraising event for cancer research in the world.

“Underwriters’ support of the Cattle Baron’s Ball will not only ensure the event’s success but will also help the committee raise critical funds for cancer research in the hopes of finding a cure for cancer in our lifetime,” says co-chair Cheek in a release.

Adds Higginbotham, "Such profound generosity, such as the lead taken by Texas Oncology, contributes to revolutionize cancer research in fields such as immunotherapy and breast cancer.”

For more information, underwriting, and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.cattlebaronsball.com.

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Massive auction of ZZ Top bassist's guitars and flashy duds hits Dallas

Auction News

A massive collection of guitars, fancy clothes, boots, and other memorabilia belonging to the bassist from rock band ZZ Top makes its Dallas premiere. Julien’s Auctions presents “The Collection of Dusty Hill of ZZ Top," a three-day auction taking place December 7-9 in Dallas at 915 Slocum Street and online at Julien's Live.

The auction will feature nearly 1,200 lots showcasing Dusty Hill's one-of-a-kind instruments, Western style wardrobe worn on stage and in appearances, gear, documents, favorite cowboy hats, boots, buckles, and memorabilia. As a prelude, the collection will be on display at 915 Slocum Street through December 7.

A Dallas native who passed away in 2021, Hill was notorious for his collection of stuff, some of which was already sold off in an estate sale in Houston in 2022.

The auction's headlining item will be Hill’s fur bass guitar played on the “Legs” music video. The 1983 Dean Explorer style bass, in sheepskin finish with ZZ Top logo painted on the fretboard, was attached to a rig worn around Hill’s waist to make it spin. They're predicting it will fetch $80,000 to $100,000.

Another offering is Hill’s signature 1953 Fender Precision bass guitar, and most-played instrument by Hill out of all the guitars in this collection. The bass was heavily used by Hill and served as his go to stage guitar for numerous ZZ Top live performances and in the studio until Dusty retired the bass in 2012 due to road wear.

Other highlights include:

  • An MTV Moonman award statuette presented to Dusty Hill for Best Group Video "Legs" at the inaugural MTV Video Music Awards ceremony held in 1984
  • Bald eagle jacket by Manuel with talons and feather accents down sleeves, accented with prong-set stones, with personalized "Dusty Hill" Manuel label
  • Black leather motorcycle jacket with custom painted skeleton motif
  • Limited-edition pair of Manuel black and white leather cowboy boots in soft travel case. The auction notes state that "It is difficult to find a photograph of Dusty on stage from 2007 through 2021 where he is not wearing these boots as they were his go-to footwear for performances for over a decade and they were on the road with him, on his last tour."
  • Sky-blue wool suit jacket with yellow and red embroidered flowers accented with stones by Nudie's Rodeo Tailors, worn on the cover of ZZ Top's 1975 album Fandango!
  • Oil derrick gold nugget ring accented with four circular-cut diamonds. "As told by his wife Charleen 'Chuck,' Hill once invested in an oil prospecting scheme which he later referred to as his investment in a dry dirt hole because no oil was found. He commissioned this ring to serve as a reminder to himself to never again try his hand at prospecting and to stick to what he did best, making music."

”Dusty treasured all of the items in this auction and it means so much to me that the fans, whom he loved, will have an opportunity to own something from his personal collection. He would be so happy to know that this auction will benefit other musicians in need through the efforts of MusiCares,” Chuck says in a statement.

The Collection of Dusty Hill was previously exhibited at Julien’s international exhibitions in Kildare, Ireland, and then in New York at Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square. It's currently on display at 915 Slocum Street through December 7. Photos of auction items can be seen here.

Meaty new menus are the theme of this Dallas restaurant news roundup

News You Can Eat

This roundup of restaurant news around Dallas features an odd assortment of items, ranging from new seasonal menus to monthly specials to a sad closure in Deep Ellum. There's also sneakers, for a twist.

Here's what's happening in Dallas restaurant news:

Thunderbird Station, the bar in Deep Ellum, has closed. According to owner Kim Finch, she was besieged by ongoing challenges in the service and restaurant industry. The bar opened in 2020 in a space built in 1922 that was home to the Riegel's Gulf Service auto shop for 62 years, before it became home to the short-lived Bowls and Tacos restaurant. It got lots of acclaim here at CultureMap including Best Patio, a second nod for Best Patio, Best Bartender, Best Bar 2022, and Best Bar 2021.

Carte Blanche, the chef-driven restaurant on Greenville Avenue, has launched a new series on Sunday nights at 5 pm, featuring classic (and mostly traditional) Texas BBQ, featuring giant Wagyu beef rib pastrami, Wagyu brisket, chicken legs cooked over the coals Hill Country style, Berkshire pork "bacon steak, and whole smoked lamb shank. It's almost enough to make you think Dallas is filled with barbarians who will only eat meat. There are also sides like coconut creamed corn, and dessert such as whiskey pecan pie. Pre order via Toast, under the "BBQ" tab. Much of the menu for December 3 is already sold out, but there's still some cowboy beans, potato salad, cornbread, and braised cabbage with caraway.

Cava, the Mediterranean fast-casual chain, is testing Grilled Steak on its menu, as an option in their customized bowls or pitas, and in two new menu items: Steak Mezze Salad with feta, tzatziki, corn, pickled onions, red pepper hummus, arugula, spinach, and Greek vinaigrette; and Steak + Feta Pita, with the same basic ingredients, but in a pita. The steak is being tested in the Dallas area, one of only two markets where it's being tested (Boston is the other), beginning December 4. It's almost enough to make you think Dallas is filled with barbarians who will only eat meat.

XOXO Dining Room has a newly updated menu featuring Lobster Mac & Cheese with a 6-oz lobster tail, four-cheese blend, and truffle oil; Cupcake Wheel featuring six cupcakes displayed in a gold Ferris wheel; Social Dinner, a multi-course meal with a bottle of Cavatina Sparkling Rosé that serves 4-6 people; Tempura-fried Lobster Bites with XO sauce; Truffled Fried Chicken with Parmesan mashed potatoes; and Steak Frites with a 10-oz Prime NY Strip and truffle fries.

Which Wich Superior Sandwiches introduced a new menu featuring 50+ sandwich options and an array of 50+ toppings, offering customers the ability to create their own one-of-a-kind sandwich creation. The brand is going back to its "custom sandwich shop" roots with sandwiches ranging from top-quality deli meats to seafood, plant-based protein and vegetarian options.

Urban Rio in Plano has specials for December: Poblano Rojas tamales featuring two tamales filled with roasted poblanos and topped with jalapeno peppers, cilantro, queso fresco and tomatillo sauce; and the December taco of the month: Crab Cake Tacos, featuring a house-made crab cake with chipotle aioli, slaw, and pico.

Urban Crust in Plano has a pizza of the month for December: The Surf and Turf pizza with basil pesto, mozzarella, sirloin, Gulf shrimp, red onion, pepperoncini peppers, sun-dried tomato, and chili flakes.

Partenope has debuted a new Aperitivo Hour Monday-Friday from 4-6 pm with $5 draft Peroni, $8 glasses of red or white house wine, $9 spritzes and sangria, and $6 bar snacks including bruschetta with tomato & basil, prosciutto with olives, fried pizza dough with marinara, bread with olive oil, and fried Brussels sprouts, at both their downtown Dallas location and their recently opened second location in Richardson.

Federales in Deep Ellum has launched a Weekend Brunch Party every Saturday-Sunday from 10 am–4 pm with DJs, an All-You-Can-Eat brunch buffet featuring a carving station with brisket, turkey, Andouille sausage, omelet station, taco & nacho bar, seafood tower, crudités, salad, fruit, doughnuts, and desserts.

Thirsty Lion has launched a new seasonal holiday menu that includes Parmesan panko crusted halibut, seared scallops with cilantro jasmine rice, and filet mignon with white cheddar mashed potatoes. Seasonal cocktails include espresso martini, maple old fashioned with High West American Prairie Bourbon, and Tito’s winter white cosmopolitan.

Empire Baking Co. has a new seasonal baked good: Glazed Orange Olive Oil Cake with Candied Oranges, wrapped in a gift package, for $21.25, joining other seasonal treats including Nutella babka, gingerbread, iced apple-cinnamon walnut bread, and a pecan ring. Plus challah rolls, $4.15 for a half dozen.

Snooze A.M. Eatery has a new festive holiday menu served through January 3 that includes cranberry orange pancakes with orange custard, candied cranberries, and cranberry mascarpone; short rib and Gruyere polenta with roasted sweet potatoes & kale, savory sofrito, mushroom-beef gravy, and sunny-side egg; a vanilla cranberry cosmopolitan; and cranberry orange Snoozius with vanilla cranberry juice, OJ, and whipped cream — vodka optional.

Hopdoddy Burger Bar has a burger of the month for December: Three Wise Men, featuring three patties with Fontina cheese between each, plus garlic mayo on a toasted onion bun. They also have a limited-edition Caramel Pecan Cake Shake. Both are available December 6-January 2. Three patties: It's almost enough to make you think Dallas is filled with barbarians who will only eat meat.

True Food Kitchen has eliminated all seed oils from its cooking. The 45-location restaurant brand made the transition to cooking solely with avocado and olive oil last summer. This is the first step in evolving its ingredient standards, with plans for additional menu updates in early 2024.

Apothecary cocktail lounge has created custom-made sneakers designed by the Apothecary team, and are available for purchase online through December 24 at 11:59 pm, or until they sell out. They're green & gold high-tops and are $225. They come with perks that include reserved seats at the sneaker launch party in March 2024, early access to book 2024 Apothecary special dinners & events, and a free staff shot whenever sneaker owners drink or dine at Apothecary in 2024 (must be wearing shoes).

Best Dallas-area homes and neighborhoods for sensational 2023 Christmas lights

Shining bright

When it comes to holiday decorating, Dallas homes and neighborhoods know how to bring the "merry and bright."

From over-the-top homes that would make Clark Griswold proud to entire streets that synchronize animated shows, dazzling displays can be found all across North Texas. (After all, Dallas is the second most festive city in the country.)

Burkman Holiday Home Frisco
Photo courtesy of Burkman family

The Burkman Holiday Home of Frisco competed on ABC's The Great Christmas Light Fight in 2021.

Below is a list of top local homes and neighborhoods for Christmas light pilgrimages this season. Check back often as it'll grow and grow as the holidays draw near.

For a larger list of spectacular Christmas lights around Dallas-Fort Worth, including drive-thrus and commercial displays, click here.

Homes with over-the-top displays and shows

Burkman Holiday Home of Frisco, December 1-25
Two years after their appearance on ABC’s The Great Christmas Family Light Fight, the most famous "Christmas light family" in DFW will be lighting up its over-the-top display of 98,000+ lights. New features for 2023 include more motion/action village pieces, new-and-improved selfie stations, "Sampa's Light Factory," a nightly dance party with a hip-swinging Santa and live dance cam, and more. This year, they're collecting charitable donations for The LiyanaStrong Foundation and for a family friend suffering from a traumatic brain injury. Hours: 5:30-6:30 Superhero Hour (lights will be on at dusk for sensory sensitive individuals) and 6:30-10 for all other visitors, weather permitting. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays until December 18, then open daily until Christmas. The home is at 3809 Hazelhurst Dr., Frisco, on the Frisco/Little Elm border. Follow their Facebook page for updates.

Miracle on 134th Street, Celina, through December 23
A Celina family has turned their ginormous property into a holiday amusement park, complete with 2 million lights, a train, carousel ride, Santa's workshop, Sugar Plum Fairy Island, and so so so much more. The Christmas adventure park is a ticketed experience, $25.99 for adults; $19.99 for kids 3-12, with season passes available and free on-site parking. It runs 5:30-9 pm through December 23. Find it at 10455 County Road 133, Celina, 75009. Follow their Facebook page for updates on special photo ops and more.

The Browne Family Holiday Light Show, Parker, through January 5
This family has a tradition of turning their Dublin Park Estates home into a destination. The Browne Family Holiday Light Show is a full light show synchronized with music taking place throughout the Christmas season. While the show is free, it is an official drop-off point for Toys For Tots; visitors are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate. The show runs from "dark" to 9 pm Sundays through Thursdays, and "dark" to 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, at 2701 Dublin Park Dr. (in Dublin Park Estates), Parker.

Santa House, University Park
Once hailed "the single best Christmas light display in Dallas," this perennial favorite fills the front lawn with hundreds of lighted blow-mold decorations that homeowner Wayne Smith has amassed over the years. But look up — way up to the roof — and you'll find his distinctly "Dallas" touch: the head of the State Fair's very first Big Tex, restored to his original form as St. Nick in 1949 and donning a Santa hat. Find it nightly at 3629 Southwestern Blvd., Dallas.

'Movie House,' Allen
This Allen family home has a fun theme: favorite holiday movies. Thousands of lights and props are set to a choreographed show, complete with music and movie quotes from classic characters like Clark, Buddy, Ralphie and more. About 30 films are represented. You'll find it at 1600 Wagon Wheel Dr., Allen. The show runs nightly. Preview it here.

Light Show, Rockwall
This home in The Shores neighborhood of north Rockwall annually puts on a show of twinkling trees and lighted animations that "dance" to music. Visitors can tune their car radios to 87.9 FM to hear the music. Find the home at 1050 Ridge Road West, Rockwall (in The Shores, north of SH66, off SH205). It's up and running nightly, 5:30-10:30 pm, through the holidays.

Lights on Oak Bluff, Sachse, through December 31
This fantastic lights display consistently wins awards from the City of Sachse and the neighborhood HOA. Expect 14,000 individually computer-controlled lights, a 13-foot Megatree, Singing Faces, snowflakes, yard decorations, and synchronization to music, on 92.9 FM. The show runs 6-10 pm nightly (weather permitting), at 4310 Oak Bluff Ln., (in the Woodbridge subdivision) Sachse, 75048. Follow their Facebook page for updates.

Wisdom Way Lights, Haltom City, through January 1
The Gonzalez family's choreographed light show first went viral for a "Selena" theme; this year it's getting attention for its tribute to the Texas Rangers' World Series win. The choreographed show includes broadcast game highlights and more, and runs nightly until December 1. Then a "Super Mario Bros." show and two traditional Christmas themes will play through January 1. Visitors can view the shows from from their cars and listen on radio channel 89.7 FM. Wisdom Way Lights runs nightly from 6-11 pm. Find it at 4521 Wisdom Way, Haltom City, and follow Wisdom Way Lights on Facebook and YouTube for updates.

Curry Christmas Chaos, North Richland Hills
Three houses annually collaborate to present a light show synchronized to music that's anything but "chaos." From start to finish, it's typically over an hour long, and features a mix of pixels and standard LED lights "dancing" to music. Visitors can tune in to 89.9 FM to listen as lots of Christmas trees light up on the lawn. The show runs every night (unless Mother Nature decides differently), 6-11 pm. Find it at 3506 Reeves St., NRH. Follow the Facebook page for more information and updates.

Tell Family Lights, far north Fort Worth, through December 31
The family in this home near Keller Central High School also operates the popular Sugar Lane Lights in Haslet, now it its second year. But their own residential display is still going strong, bigger and better than ever this year, they say. Find the home at 5016 Keating St., Fort Worth, 76244. The choreographed light show is on 6-10 pm daily. From their car, visitors can scan a QR code or visit the website to vote on songs to play. (Make sure to not block anyone’s driveway and be careful driving down the street, they advise.) Follow their website or Facebook page for more information and updates.

Neighborhoods and subdivisions with special displays

Interlochen Lights, Arlington, dates TBA
The Interlochen neighborhood annually presents Interlochen Lights during the holiday season. Hailed as one of the best neighborhood light shows in Texas, the event allows guests to drive through the neighborhood and pick out favorite displays while they tune into holiday music on radio stations 102.1 FM or 98.7 FM. This is one of the busiest spots in Dallas-Fort Worth during the holiday season, and it's free. The route map is here. As of press time, dates were not yet available. Watch for updates on their website and Facebook page.

Deerfield Holiday Lights, Plano, December 1-30
The Deerfield neighborhood of northwest Plano hosts a top-rated winter wonderland you can walk or drive through. You can even book carriage rides in advance to see dancing Santas, millions of twinkling lights, and larger-than-life displays. Deerfield subdivision is located between Preston Road and Coit Road. Check the website for maps and important information about traffic flow and parking. The free event runs 7 pm-10 pm on weekdays and 7 pm-11 pm on weekends.

Regents Park Luminary Event, McKinney, December 16-17
This Stonebridge Ranch neighborhood takes advantage of its layout to host a magical event every year. Residents hand fold over 2,500 paper bags each year and line the streets and central park area with luminaries for families to enjoy. Grab a cup of hot chocolate or apple cider and drive or walk through streets lined with traditional luminaries and enjoy the Christmas lights that adorn these Craftsman-style homes. Rumor has it that a certain special guest in his red suit even loves this event so much that he makes a special trip just to enjoy it himself. For updates, follow the Facebook page (highly recommended as this is a weather dependent event). Runs December 16-17.

Diamond Loch, North Richland Hills, through December 31
This North Richland Hills neighborhood has dressed up for the holidays for decades. Drive through the cul-de-sac slowly to check out adjacent houses that join forces to present a massive computerized show. The rest of the street decorates nicely to make an enchanted "Whoville" Christmas experience known as #NRHGrinchLights. They grow the show every year, and The Grinch himself may actually pop in occasionally; follow their Facebook page to keep up. It's open daily, 5:30-11 pm. To find it, navigate to the address 6217 Windsor Ct., NRH, 76180. (Enter Diamond Loch from Glenview Drive. On busy weekends, traffic must enter going eastbound on Glenview. Turn east off of Hwy 377/Denton Highway onto Glenview Drive, then, in about 1/2 mile, turn right into Diamond Loch.)

Glenbrook Christmas, Bedford, through December 31
The Bedford neighborhood lights up nightly to tell the story of “The Night Before Christmas - In Texas That Is” - along with other festive displays. The entrance to Glenbrook is on Brookside Drive located between Cummings and Forest Ridge. The displays will be on daily, 6-10 pm. Follow the Facebook page for updates.

Morrisdale Estates, Euless
Morrisdale Estates neighborhood in Euless is known for great light displays. The Morrisdale tradition is for everyone in the neighborhood to put up the same red lights on their curbs to create a sea of red as you drive through the neighborhood. Bonus that it's still a bit of an undiscovered gem, so there's not as much traffic as other neighborhoods. Find the neighborhood between Pipeline Road and Hurst Blvd., 76040.

Larger neighborhoods lit up for the holidays

The Park Cities
The grand homes in the Park Cities neighborhoods of Dallas shine with beautiful light displays, many of which are professionally installed; pick just about any street where you see houses lit top to bottom in twinkling lights, and there are bound to be a dozen more. Be sure to check out Highland Park Village and its 1.5 million lights while you're in the area, and don't pass by SMU without driving down the campus' main drag, Bishop Boulevard, toward the fountain and back.

Kessler Park
Historic Kessler Park goes all out, with lots of holiday lights on homes and trees against a backdrop of the Dallas skyline. The holiday decorations are coordinated on various traffic islands in the neighborhood each year. From downtown Dallas, go west on Interstate 30. Take the Sylvan exit, turn south on Sylvan, drive about a half a mile, and turn west on Colorado. You can't miss some of the most majestic oak trees in Dallas, shining bright for the holidays.

Elderoaks Lights, Oak Cliff
A Dallas tradition over 30 years strong, Elderoaks sees 96 percent of the homes in the neighborhood participate in a dazzling display. Located along three streets just south of the old Oak Cliff Country Club (Elderoaks Lane, Elderleaf Drive, and Elderoaks Place), the neighborhood scenes celebrate Christmas with homemade decorations that span medieval times to present day. Don't miss the streaming show of Christmas carols. There's no fee to watch, and lights go on at dusk each night.

Ryan Place, Fort Worth
The gorgeous historic homes in this grand Fort Worth neighborhood get illuminated in spectacular fashion, as do the long walks that lead up to them. The beloved annual Candlelight Christmas in Ryan Place home tour takes place December 2-3, but these stately homes will stay illuminated through the holidays.

Historic Fairmount, Fort Worth
You can pick any night to drive around Fairmount and see historic bungalows lit festively for the season. But the best night of all is Festivus, the annual celebration and holiday lights tour. It takes place 6-9 pm Saturday, December 9. Maps of participating homes will be handed out on arrival. Donations of $10 or a toy for One Safe Place are being requested. Watch the historic district's Facebook page for more information as plans develop.


Know of another spectacular lights display in DFW? Email stephanie@culturemap.com. Please include a website or link to social media page with your recommendation.