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The world will bid a final "goodbye and thank you, Ma'am" to Britain's Queen Elizabeth II at her state funeral on Monday, September 19 at London's Westminster Abbey.

While the service for Her Majesty, who passed away September 8, will be attended by 2,000 family, friends, dignitaries, and heads of state, the event is expected to draw a record 4.1 billion viewers from around the world.

In the United States, every major network, broadcast outlet, and streaming service will provide coverage. And in Dallas, viewers will need to get up before the sun to tune in live. The funeral starts at 5 am local time, with many noteworthy events happening before and after it (see schedule, below).

Here is a complete guide to the network, cable, and streaming service coverage, per the L.A. Times and Hollywood Reporter. (All times are local to Dallas.)

Networks (television and streaming):

  • PBS: PBS will carry the BBC’s live coverage from London, starting at 3 am. A primetime special, The State Funeral of HM Queen Elizabeth II: Events of the Day, will then be broadcast at 7 pm.
  • ABC: David Muir and Robin Roberts will anchor coverage, starting at 4:30 am.
  • NBC: Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, and Lester Holt will anchor coverage, starting at 4:30 am.
  • CBS: Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell will anchor coverage (time TBA).

Cable networks (television and streaming):

  • BBC America: Coverage from London will start at 3 am.
  • CNN: Anderson Cooper and Erin Burnett will anchor coverage starting at 4 am, with additional anchors and reporters joining throughout the morning.
  • MSNBC: Chris Jansing will anchor coverage, beginning at 2 am, following with a special edition of Morning Joe from London and continuing through services.
  • C-SPAN: Live coverage will begin at 4:30 am.
  • Bloomberg TV: Live coverage will run from 4-6:30 am.
  • Fox News Channel: Martha MacCallum, Ainsley Earhardt, and Piers Morgan will anchor coverage, starting at 2 am.

Other streaming options:

  • BritBox will stream BBC live coverage, starting at 3:30 am.
  • BBC is live-streaming from London, 24 hours a day, on their news app and at www.bbc.com/news. (Click on the Queen Elizabeth II tab.)
  • ITV News offers live-streaming at www.itv.com/news and through YouTube.
  • Sky News offers live-streaming at news.sky.com, as well as through Peacock and YouTube.
  • Subscription-based streaming platforms (with free trials available) will be streaming the funeral, including: FuboTV, Sling, YouTube TV, Peacock Premium, Hulu + Live TV, and Paramount+. The service will be available to stream on regular Hulu as soon as it concludes.

Schedule of events

The funeral service itself will begin at 11 am in London (BST), which is 5 am in Dallas (CDT). The service is expected to last about an hour, but it's preceded and followed by other events that also will be broadcast. Here is a schedule of events for the day, according to this handy guide from BBC. All times below are CDT.

12:30 am: The Queen's lying-in-state at Westminster Hall will end. Hundreds of thousands (including soccer legend David Beckham) have been "queueing up" and waiting in line up to 14 hours to walk by her coffin and pay their respects. The BBC is live-streaming the lying-in-state here.

2 am: The doors of Westminster Abbey will open for guests to begin arriving for the state funeral. Heads of state — including U.S. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden — will attend, as will royal family members from across Europe (many of whom were blood relatives of the Queen). Find the guest list here.

4:44 am: About 15 minutes before the funeral, the Queen's coffin will be carried, via gun carriage, from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey. Senior members of the royal family (including King Charles and princes William and Harry) will follow the coffin in the procession.

5 am: The funeral at Westminster Abbey begins. It will be presided over by the Dean of Westminster David Hoyle and the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.

5:55 am: Near the end of the funeral, a bugle call called "Last Post" will be played, and two minutes of silence will be observed nationally across the UK. Then the "new" national anthem "God Save the King" will be sung and a lament will be played by the Queen's piper.

6:15 am: A walking procession — including military bands and members of the armed services — will draw the coffin from the Abbey to Wellington Arch.

7 am: The coffin will be transferred to a state hearse for its final journey to Windsor.

9 am: The state hearse will arrive in Windsor for a walking procession up Windsor Castle's Long Walk. Members of the armed forces will line the three-mile route, and members of the royal family will meet the cortege outside the castle.

10 am: The coffin will enter St. George's Chapel for a committal service attended by a congregation of 800. At the conclusion of the 45-minute service, the Queen's coffin will be lowered into the royal vault, and the royal family will leave the chapel. The service will include many traditions symbolizing the end of the Queen's reign, including the removal of the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign's orb and scepter from the top of the coffin. (Read more about what to expect here.)

1:30 pm: The Queen will be buried together with her late husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, at the King George VI memorial chapel inside St. George's Chapel. The private ceremony is just for family, and it is unclear whether any part of it will be made public.

Photo by Priscilla Dickson

Dallas designer Lela Rose, actor Luke Wilson to receive Texas Medal of Arts Awards

Honoring Texans

Two Dallas-born stars of fashion and entertainment will receive the state's highest honor for achievement in the arts, a Texas Medal of Arts Award, in 2023. Fashion designer Lela Rose and actor Luke Wilson are two of 11 medal recipients announced at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth on Wednesday, September 14.

Two other North Texans also are being honored: Yellowstone and 1883 creator Taylor Sheridan (a Weatherford resident and honorary Fort Worthian) and country superstar Miranda Lambert (a Lindale native who was crowned an honorary Fort Worthian when she was inducted in the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame last year).

The complete list of 2023 Texas Medal of Arts Award recipients is:

  • Film/Actor: Luke Wilson, Dallas
  • Design: Lela Rose, Dallas
  • Film/Producer: Taylor Sheridan, Weatherford
  • Music/Songwriter: Miranda Lambert, Lindale
  • Arts/Health: Center for Performing Arts Medicine, Houston
  • Lifetime Achievement/Musical Theatre: Carole Cook, Abilene
  • Music: Christopher Cross, San Antonio
  • Architecture: Miró Rivera Architects, Austin
  • Visual Arts: Deborah Roberts, Austin
  • Literary Arts: Benjamin Alire Saenz, El Paso
  • Dance: Septime Webre, Brownsville

The medals will be awarded at the 11th biennial Texas Medal of Arts Awards on February 21-22, 2023, in Austin. One of the Lone Star State's premier arts events, the glittering awards ceremony, presented by the nonprofit Texas Cultural Trust, is making its post-pandemic return in 2023.

Celebrating the creative contributions of Texans across multiple disciplines, the 2023 event will reflect and look ahead to the role the arts play in our lives and communities, according to a release. Texas Culture Trust 2019 TMAA honoree Brandon Maxwell will chair the event.

A statewide group of experts selected the 2023 TMAA honorees across a wide variety of creative disciplines.

“The state of Texas is fortunate to have been the birthplace of a vast number of incredibly creative and talented artists in every medium,” says TXCT board of directors executive committee member Judy Robison in the release.

Since 2001, the TMAA has celebrated 118 Texas leaders and luminaries for their creative talents, excellence, and generosity.

Dallas native Luke Wilson has established himself as a versatile actor, with performances in such broad comedies, thoughtful dramas, and provocative independent features as The Royal Tenenbaums, Old School, Legally Blonde, and Fort Worth-set 12 Mighty Orphans. In television, he can be seen starring in Stargirl on The CW.

Dallas' Lela Rose is known for her eponymous brand of sophisticated, elegant designs worn by the world's most fashionable. In 2018, Rose launched Pearl by Lela Rose, a woman-led, fashion-forward ready-to-wear line specializing in fabulous clothes that are fun to shop for.

For more information on the Texas Medal of Arts Awards, visit the website.

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Hannah J. Frias contributed to this story.

Lela Rose (with dog Bobbin) at a Dallas event in 2018.

Photo by Priscilla Dickson
Lela Rose (with dog Bobbin) at a Dallas event in 2018.
HBO

Bar on Dallas' Henderson Ave whips up new House of Dragons-themed pop-up

Dragon News

Dallas bar The Whippersnapper has a timely new pop-up: The Henderson Avenue bar will go beyond the wall with a Game of Thrones theme, in anticipation of the upcoming new series on HBO, House of The Dragon.

According to a release, The Whippersnapper will transform into "Whipperfell," hoping to enlist dedicated GoT fans of the television series and drinkers alike.

This is the sixth interactive themed pop-up event The Whippersnapper has embraced. It'll run for a limited time, starting August 25 and ending October 15.

Phil Schanbaum, co-founder of This and That Hospitality, says that doing GoT was a no-brainer.

"Our goal is to bring the incredibly well-loved world of Westeros to life and recreate the magic for the dedicated fan base of the series," Schanbaum says. "We're excited to get people through the doors to see all their favorite characters and set pieces that make the show so iconic."

Game of Thrones fans can expect an immersive experience at Whippersnapper, featuring re-creations of different sets that will be easily identifiable from the TV series.

A centerpiece will be the opportunity to sit on the Iron Throne, the show's famous chair forged from 1,000 swords. Whoever sits on the throne is considered ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. All hail!

Visitors can also expect employees in costume, a photo booth and other Instagrammable opportunities, interactive experiences, nightly entertainment, and artwork from local artist Jonny Freeman.

Adding to the immersive pop-up will be a selection of creative cocktails highlighting favorite moments from each character; and a special food menu with items inspired by infamous episode titles from the series.

Costumes are encouraged although not required.

They'll also sell exclusive Game of Thrones-themed pop-up merchandise, which will be displayed behind the bar.

Located at 1806 McMillan Ave., the Whippersnapper is a trailblazer in Dallas in the realm of the themed pop-up bar. The first was in January 2019, when it transformed itself into The Drunken Clam, a fictional bar from the TV show Family Guy. Subsequent iterations have included Breaking Bad, The Simpsons, The Office, and Friends.

They're not the first to do a Game of Thrones-themed pop-up, however: That crown goes to Ill Minster Pub, the bar that was located in the Gables Villa Rosa apartment building in Uptown Dallas, which did a GoT pop-up in 2019. RIP to Ill Minster, which was closed by the apartment building earlier this year.

Photo courtesy of Magnolia

7 spectacular surprises inside Chip and Joanna Gaines' new Fixer Upper castle in Waco

Royal revelation

“Are you ready to see your fixer upper?” the enthusiastic tour guide asked, channeling Chip and Joanna Gaines and their famous “big reveal” line from TV’s Fixer Upper. This time, it wasn't the home owners waiting outside a first glimpse at their home makeover; it was a small group of tourists gathered on the porch, ready to step inside the Gaineses’ most ambitious renovation project yet — a century-old castle in Waco.

For the first time ever, Texas’ king and queen of renovation have unlocked the doors and let the public into one of their famed fixer-uppers before it’s featured on their Magnolia Network show.

Known as the historic Cottonland Castle, this three-story, 6,700-square-foot residence was started in 1890 and finished in 1913. The Gaineses purchased the dilapidated structure in 2019 and designed and executed a regal flip that will be featured on an eight-episode special called Fixer Upper: Welcome Home – The Castle, beginning October 14.

They plan to sell it in the fall. But before a home sale comes an open house, and for three months only — through October 29 — the castle is open six days a week for guided tours.

Hour-long castle expeditions take visitors through every room, nook, and cranny — from turret to toilettes. Knowledgeable guides dispense history, impart design information, and reveal behind-the-scenes stories from Chip and Jo that may or may not make it on TV.

For Fixer Upper fans, Magnolia maniacs, and Gaines gangs in Dallas, it’s worth the 90-minute drive down I-35 to experience the castle transformation in real life before it hits the small screen. A tour offers the very rare chance to walk through the door (in this case, a 10-foot-tall, 400-pound, solid-oak door) into the world of a Chip-and-Jo reno.

Without revealing too much, here are seven fun surprises you’ll find behind the castle walls.

1. History meets homey. A castle museum, this is not.

“Chip and Joanna’s vision was that they really wanted to honor it with historical pieces but also make it more practical for the modern family that’s going to live here in the future,” guide Megan Shuler said at the beginning of the tour.

While many original features — including seven fireplaces — were restored, the castle has been fixed up as a home for the future, not a shrine to the past. One-of-a-kind and collected antiques (such as the kingly dining room table from Round Top, Texas) blend with pieces from the Gaineses’ own Magnolia Home collection. A 17-page “Castle Sourcebook” lists design elements and products and where to buy them. And in the ultimate modern touch — a branding tie-in — a forthcoming “Colors of the Castle” paint collection will be available through Magnolia this fall.

2. Sweet nods to the castle’s past. Posted on the wall in the foyer is a poem written by Alfred Abeel, the owner who completed construction in 1913. It talks of making the castle “‘home sweet home’ all seasons of the year.”

On the center of the dining room fireplace mantel is Abeel’s family crest, along with the phrase (in Latin), “God’s providence saves me.” Next to it, children’s heights are recorded from the 1930s to the early 2000s, the last time a family lived here.

3. A cozy nook in the turret. The original design was modeled after a small castle on the Rhine River in Germany, and there is one tower turret. A space historically used (in “real” castles) for military defense has, here, been turned into one of the coziest corners of the house. Tucked into a corner next to the winding staircase, two comfy chairs sit under an antique-y light fixture from Austria. It's the perfect place to curl up with a book from the library upstairs.

4. Rooms with storylines. “One of the challenges Chip and Joanna had when they bought the castle was, there was no one, really, they were designing it for,” Shuler explained. “So they would create storylines for each room to help tell their story.”

Two of the four bedrooms, for example, are the “boy’s bedroom,” and “girl’s bedroom.” The storylines are that the future homeowner’s son would come back from college and stay in his childhood bedroom, and that the future homeowner’s granddaughters would stay in the room while hanging out at the grandparents’ house.

The boy’s room contains more masculine furnishings and decor, including a watercolor portrait of Roy Lane, the famous architect who helped complete the castle. The girl’s room is painted in “Rose Pink,” a color named after Joanna’s grandmother.

5. Bodacious bathrooms. There are three-and-a-half “throne rooms” in the castle, and they’re some of the prettiest spaces, mixing metals, woods, and tiles; even original radiators look like works of art. One of the most spectacular rooms in the house, in fact, is a grand, gleaming bathroom — which (tease!) will be fully revealed on the show.

6. Party in the basement. “Gathering spaces” are a hallmark of Chip and Jo’s homes, and in the castle, they take place in the dungeon — er, basement. A “card room” for poker games or family game nights sits next to the family room, which houses the only TV in the castle. The guest bedroom’s also in the basement, along with a laundry room and a former wine cellar now left “blank” for the new owners to reimagine.

7. Behind-the-scenes tales and tidbits. Fixer Upper devotees will devour the charming and quirky tidbits about the Gaineses shared throughout the tour. There are a few design elements and furnishings originally meant for their own home, including an item banished to the castle by their daughters. There’s a fun story about what Chip did when they found bones — yes, bones — in the basement. And, the prime selfie spot for Fixer Upper fans is a large mirror that, the tour guides say, Joanna used to touch up her makeup during the filming of the show.

Castle tour tickets, $50, are available through the website, with 20 percent of proceeds benefiting The Cove nonprofit organization. (Note that the home does not have an elevator and requires guests’ ability to access three staircases.)

Tips for a Magnolia pilgrimage in Waco:
Shop: No castle jaunt would be complete without a stop at the Magnolia Silos complex. A new 8:15 am tour, offered Monday through Saturday, takes visitors behind the scenes and on the roof before the crowds (and the heat) arrive. Hint: August is a “slower” month at the Silos, and Tuesday through Thursday are less crowded. Tour tickets are $25 and come with a free coffee from Magnolia Press.

Eat: Chip and Joanna’s Magnolia Table cafe stays busy all day, every day. If you don’t have time to wait for a table, visit the takeaway market next door. Grab to-go items like pimiento cheese and crackers, a butter flight, banana pudding, and chicken salad sandwiches, and enjoy them on a table outside (if it's not too hot).

Stay: Availability at Magnolia’s four vacation rentals can be hard to come by, but watch the website for nights to pop open. Make it a girls’ getaway with a stay at the grand Hillcrest Estate (which sleeps 12), or go solo and book the darling Hillcrest Cottage, the Gaineses’ newest and smallest lodging, which opened in fall 2021. A forthcoming Magnolia boutique hotel, in the historic Grand Karem Shrine building downtown, is slated to open in 2024.

The castle will be on tour only through the end of October, before it's featured on a special season of Fixer Upper - Wecome Home.

Photo courtesy of Magnolia
The castle will be on tour only through the end of October, before it's featured on a special season of Fixer Upper - Wecome Home.
Photo courtesy of Southfork

Dallas' top tourist attraction Southfork Ranch gets a new boss

J.R. News

The historic Southfork Ranch in Parker, Texas, has a new boss: Dallas-based Refined Hospitality Concepts (RHC) has assumed the management the property, and will manage all private events, including catering, daily tours, overnight stays, and the ranch's gift shop and public events.

According to a release, the changeover took place July 1.

Southfork Ranch came to prominence thanks to its role as the site of the CBS TV series Dallas. The series was originally broadcast in the U.S. from 1978-1991, but continues to be broadcast in syndication and still is in first-run status in many countries around the world.

The original owner of the ranch and his family were still living at Southfork Ranch as the filming began. When requests for private parties began to pour in, tents were erected and a pavilion was built to accommodate these types of events.

After years evolving as a tourist attraction, the owner opened the doors of the Ewing Mansion to the public and the expansion of the ranch as an event center began in 1985. A 63,000-square-foot conference and event center was built to accommodate several thousand people for special events and functions. A rodeo arena, which was originally constructed for the filming of Dallas rodeos, hosts open competition rodeos as well as private shows.

The ranch was previously managed by Forever Resorts, an Arizona-based National Park Service concessionaire founded in 1981. In April 2022, Forever Resorts was acquired by Aramark, the food service giant whose Aramark Destinations division scored a dozen valuable properties near national parks such as Grand Canyon Lodge – North Rim, Big Bend Resort & Adventures, and Mormon Lake Lodge.

Founded in 2019, Refined Hospitality Concepts (RHC) currently operates brands such as Primo's MX, Bourbon & Banter, Scout, Overeasy, Waterproof, and Sfereco. Partner brands include Gas Monkey.

"Refined Hospitality Concepts is honored to be a part of the Southfork legacy," says RHC CEO Robert Hall. "Fans of this legendary property have our full commitment to continue to carry the torch maintaining the history of this exceptional destination."

Experiences at Southfork Ranch range from tours and equestrian experiences to the "Live and Dream like a Ewing" package, which includes a night’s stay at the famed mansion, Champagne, hors d’oeuvres, dinner and a breakfast by the pool.

Maybe they'll open a Sfereco there. Meatballs for all!

RHC retained most of the staff of the ranch including General Manager Janna Timm and Executive Chef Juan Rivas, to ensure a seamless transition for guests.

Guests interested in booking experiences or events at Southfork Ranch can visit southforkranch.com or call the ranch at 972-442-7800.

Photo courtesy of Fan Expo Dallas

These are the 11 best things to do in Dallas this weekend

Weekend Event Planner

This weekend in and around Dallas will start with a focus on local theater, with two companies opening new productions, move on to a big convention with a ton of celebrities, and wind up with a lot of comedy, as four big name comedians and one notable host will perform. There's also a Pride celebration, a symphonic tribute to a popular singer, and a fun dance production.

Below are the 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, June 16

Kitchen Dog Theater presents New Works Festival
After a week's delay due to COVID precautions, Kitchen Dog Theater will unveil High Five as the centerpiece production of their New Works Festival. The world premiere production, running through June 26, is a hilarious and heartfelt evening of five short plays that each shine a spotlight on one of the five senses: taste, touch, vision, hearing, and smell. Also starting this weekend is the Staged Reading Series, which will be "mixtape" of festivals past, featuring staged readings of the hottest new plays around. There will be two readings on Saturday, followed by another on June 22 and two more on June 25. All productions are at Trinity River Arts Center.

Shakespeare Dallas presents A Midsummer Night's Dream
As part of their annual Shakespeare in the Park series, Shakespeare Dallas presents A Midsummer Night's Dream. Four Athenians run through the forest pursuing each other while Puck, a mischievous fairy, helps his master play a trick on the fairy queen. A story of order and disorder, reality and appearance, and love and marriage. The production, playing at Samuell-Grand Amphitheatre through July 23, will play in repertory with The Tempest, opening on June 22.

Friday, June 17

Fan Expo Dallas
Fan Expo Dallas will present three days of events, family-friendly attractions, and celebrities at Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, where fans can experience the ultimate playground for comics, sci-fi, horror, anime, and gaming. Celebrity guests scheduled to appear include Nathan Fillion; Brendan Fraser; Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Dominic Monaghan, and Billy Boyd from Lord of the Rings; Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, and other stars of Dexter; Brent Spiner and Levar Burton from Star Trek: The Next Generation; and more. The event goes on through Sunday.

Dallas Arts District presents Pride Block Party
Dallas Arts District, collaborating with the Dallas Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Center, and Crow Museum of Asian Art of the University of Texas at Dallas, will present the fifth annual Dallas Arts District Pride Block Party in celebration of national LGBTQ+ Pride Month. The inclusive event will feature pride-themed tours, performances, film screenings, drag artists, fashion shows, gourmet food-fare, a community mural, family-friendly activities, and more.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra presents Paul Simon Songbook
The Dallas Symphony Orchestra will present a symphonic tribute to Paul Simon’s work in Simon and Garfunkel as well as the classic solo albums Graceland and Rhythm of the Saints. Audiences can sing along to favorites such as “Mrs. Robinson,” “Cecilia,” “The Sounds of Silence,” “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” and more. The concert, conducted by Jeff Tyzik, will have three performances through Sunday at Meyerson Symphony Center.

Bandan Koro African Drum and Dance Ensemble presents Griots: Celebrating a Compilation of Dallas’ Cultural Storytellers of the African Diaspora
The Bandan Koro African Drum and Dance Ensemble will pay homage to an array of Dallas’ key artistic and cultural storytellers such as Erykah Badu, Vicki Meek, Michelle Gibson, Baba Hassan, the late Afiah Bey, Bandon Koro’s own Tony Browne and Nana Kweku, and more. Through sensory immersion in traditional West African drum, dance, cultural ceremonies, and a spectrum of inventive artistic expressions, they will honor, highlight and navigate the pathways of cultural lineage to keep the history of the African Diaspora in the Dallas-Fort Worth area everlasting. The production, part of AT&T Performing Arts Center's Elevator Project, will be at Annette Strauss Square.

Saturday, June 18

Hyena's presents Bobcat Goldthwait
Bobcat Goldthwait is no stranger to entertainment and is one of the most recognizable comedians in show business today. His stand up features hilarious riffs on politics, divorce, going broke, and his career as a writer and director of film. His show is a wild ride of fun finding the funny no matter what the situation. He'll perform twice on Saturday at Hyena's Comedy Club in Dallas.

Marlon Wayans: Microphone Fiend Tour
Comedian Marlon Wayans is also an actor, producer, writer, and director who's been entertaining fans for decades, including In Living Color, The Wayans Bros., Scary Movie, and more. His first-ever comedy special, Woke-ish, premiered on Netflix in 2018, and he can also be seen in the 2019 Netflix movie, Sextuplets. He'll perform for one night only at Majestic Theatre.

Fred Armisen: Comedy For Musicians But Everyone is Welcome with Def Rain
Comedian Fred Armisen is his own kind of performer, bringing a unique quirkiness to his time on Saturday Night Live, the beloved sketch show Portlandia, and elsewhere. His show, Comedy For Musicians But Everyone is Welcome, finds him utilizing his two strongest skills (he was the bandleader/drummer for Late Night with Seth Meyers for a while). He'll be joined at The Factory in Deep Ellum by fellow musician Def Rain.

Sunday, June 19

Patton Oswalt: "Who's Ready to Laugh?"
Patton Oswalt is a comedian whose size belies his impact on the entertainment world. He's had award-winning comedy specials, many memorable film roles, and guest appearances on TV shows like Parks and Recreation. He recently created M.O.D.O.K., the new Marvel stop-motion animated adult comedy series and released the Netflix special, I Love Everything, in 2020. Four months after delaying the date due to injury, he'll perform a night of stand-up comedy at Majestic Theatre.

Nick Cannon presents Wild ‘N Out Live Tour
Nick Cannon's Wild ‘N Out Live Tour brings Cannon’s MTV series to the road, mixing up comedy, variety, and game show elements all in one for fans of the improv/competition show. Cannon and the Wild ‘N Out cast members will also invite members of the audience to join them for Wild 'N Out’s most popular games. The event takes place at Dos Equis Pavilion.

Fan Expo Dallas will take place at Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, June 17-19.

Photo courtesy of Fan Expo Dallas
Fan Expo Dallas will take place at Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, June 17-19.
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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Texas hot spot hooks No. 1 ranking as best college city in America

Studies Show, Study Here

It might be a bit reductive to call Austin a college town, but that's what makes it so good. It certainly benefits from the creativity and industry of college living, but there's a lot more to do than go to gentrified lunches and cool, underground shows.

Recognizing this special balance, financial website WalletHub has declared Austin the No. 1 college city in the United States for 2023, beating out some obvious contenders like Pittsburgh and Columbus, Ohio.

In addition to being the best city overall, Austin also tops the large cities list, and is one of only two Texas locales represented in the top 10 of any category; the other is College Station, No. 6 on the small list.

The most represented state, perhaps not surprisingly, is Florida, with four cities in the overall top 10. The top 10 college cities for 2023, according to WalletHub, are:

1. Austin
2. Ann Arbor, Michigan
3. Orlando, Florida
4. Gainesville, Florida
5. Tampa, Florida
6. Rexburg, Idaho
7. Provo, Utah
8. Scottsdale, Arizona
9. Miami
10. Raleigh, North Carolina

And how did Austin make the grade? WalletHub looked at key metrics across three categories to determine the rankings.

Austin scored best, No. 12, in the “social environment” category, determined by metrics like students per capita; breweries, cafés, and food trucks per capita; and safety issues like vaccination and crime statistics.

Its ranking at No. 21 in the “academic & economic opportunities" category puts it in the 95th percentile, even above Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts, famous for their Ivy League prevalence.

And perhaps unsurprising to those who currently reside in Austin, the Capital City ranked worst in "wallet friendliness,” at No. 204 out of 415.

Elsewhere in Texas, El Paso did well on the overall list at No. 36, followed by Houston (No. 64), Dallas (99), Fort Worth (153), and San Antonio (169).

Dallas landed well down the list in every category: wallet friendliness (226), academic & economic opportunities (168), and social environment (147).

Fort Worth fell even farther down the list in the same categories: wallet friendliness (242), academic & economic opportunities (201), and social environment (149).

Notably, cities that tend to fall lower in similar studies ranked relatively well among college towns.

These are the 9 best food and drink events in Dallas this week

This week in gluttony

Christmas spirit is in full swing, with all but one of this week’s events being holiday-themed. Check off pics with Santa for both the family and fur babies; take a Christmas cocktail-making class; sample holiday spirits from around the world; and stroll acres of candlelit walkways while indulging in holiday hors d’oeuvres and drinks – just to name a few. ‘Tis the season.

Tuesday, December 6

Caymus Wine Dinner at Carrabba’s Italian Grill
Decadent four-course meal features pairings with wines from award-winning Caymus. Courses include Stuffed Mushrooms with Shrimp, Rigatoni Al Forno with Chicken, Filet & Scallop Spiedino with Mashed Potatoes, and Crème Brulée, paired with Caymus wines including Cabernet Sauvignon and Conundrum Red Blend. The dinner is $75 starts at 6:30 pm. For the Dallas location, reserve here, and for Plano, reserve here.

Fontodi Wine Dinner at La Stella Cucina Verace
The Dallas Arts District Italian restaurant will host a five-course dinner paired with wines from Fontodi, a producer located in the Chianti Classico region of Tuscany. Courses will include beef carpaccio, butternut squash cappellacci with brown butter and sage, porchetta di Pienza with marble potatoes, Wagyu New York strip tagliata with porcini mushroom and butternut squash, and apple crostata. Dinner begins at 7 pm and is $175 plus tax and gratuity.

Thursday, December 8

Santa Paws at Texican Court Hotel
The Irving hotel invites furry friends and their humans to pop by for photos with Santa and complimentary hot apple cider and s’mores by the fire. Santa will be available for pet photos from 5-7 pm. Also enter to win a “Pups Night Away” overnight stay. Don’t miss the hotel’s pocket tequila bar, Salt, for new holiday cocktails in jolly keepsake glassware.

Reindeer Games Bar Crawl
Here’s a holiday bar crawl that spans beyond just drink specials. Participants get their money’s worth with a night of mini golf, axe throwing, unlimited video games, a chartered “sleigh bus,” and a pizza buffet. Start at Another Round and make stops at Flashback Retro Pub, LoneStar Axe Dallas, and Sylvan Avenue Tavern. Participants will also get a beer or seltzer at each stop. Tickets are $150 per duo, and the crawl will run from 6:15-10:30 pm.

Holiday Spirits Around the World at Hotel Vin
Sample an array of global spirits during this tasting experience at Grapevine’s Hotel Vin. Spirits to be served include Montenegro Italian liqueur, The Dalmore Scottish whiskey, Komo tequila, and Horse Soldier bourbon. Each spirit will be paired with globally-inspired bites. The tasting is $50 and will begin at 7 pm.

Friday, December 9

Cocktails by Candlelight at Old City Park
Candlelight will feature more than 13 acres of holiday cheer with decorated buildings, carolers, craft vendors, and candlelit walkways in Old City Park. Its 50th edition is set to begin on December 10, but adults only can get a sneak peek the night before during Cocktails by Candlelight, which comes with heavy hors d’oeuvres and drinks. Tickets are $100 per person or $175 per couple, and the event begins at 6 pm.

Saturday, December 10

Shaken, Not Stirred, Holiday Cocktail Class at Elm & Good
The modern American restaurant inside the Kimpton Pittman Hotel will host a holiday cocktail class great for groups looking to make spirits bright. Elm & Good’s lead mixologist Indy Acevedo-Fowler will guide guests through creating three cocktails: a cranberry margarita, peppermint espresso martini, and sangria rosa. Guests will also receive a branded take-away gift. The class is $35 and will begin at 2 pm.

Sunday, December 11

Brunch with Santa at the AC Hotel Dallas by the Galleria
Meet the big guy himself while indulging in brunch dishes during this family-friendly Sunday Funday. Tickets are $25 for adults (includes one mimosa) and $15 for kids 3-12. Children will get to meet Santa and take family photos. Brunch will run from 11:30 am-1:30 pm.

Monday, December 12

12 Days of Thompson
The Thompson Hotel Dallas will spread Christmas cheer with 12 days of daily holiday activations. The festivities start Monday with Home Alone, S’mores & Sips, a movie night with cocktails themed after the Christmas classic, a s’mores bar, and movie screening amid downtown views. The price is a $15 charitable donation. Doors opens at 5 pm with the movie to start at 6 pm. Other 12 Days of Thompson events range from a pie-baking class and cookie decorating to brunch with Santa and Holiday High Tea. See the complete calendar of events here.

Dedicated volunteers extract Spaghetti Warehouse trolley from Dallas' West End

Trolley News

Thanks to a dedicated team of conservation-minded folks, the vintage trolley from the Spaghetti Warehouse in Dallas' West End has been moved to a temporary new home: in a warehouse at Orr-Reed Architectural Co., the salvage store just south of downtown Dallas, which will provide a safe space for the vehicle while it undergoes a restoration.

A permanent home is still TBD, but Orr-Reed will be housing the trolley for at least the next 12 months.

The trolley was one of the original streetcars that ran through East Dallas nearly a century ago. It surged to fame in 2019 when Spaghetti Warehouse closed after 47 years, and the company held a giant auction of its extensive collection of memorabilia.

The streetcar got a bid from an anonymous buyer, but that buyer bailed once they encountered the difficulties of removing the trolley from the location.

The trolley was donated to the Junius Heights Historic District, a neighborhood association in Old East Dallas who wanted to save the trolley because of its role in the original streetcar program that was key to the establishment of Junius Heights.

Orr-Reed is providing the space and backup manpower for free.

"The first time it went on the auction block, I wanted to buy it because I'm obsessed with keeping the city’s history," says Orr-Reed owner Hannah Hargrove. "Dallas is known for tearing things down and replacing it with bigger and better things, but 'bigger and better' only lasts 50 years. Since we have the space, we wanted to be helpful in providing the trolley's next chapter of life."


spaghetti warehouse trolley A team unloads the Spaghetti Warehouse trolley into a warehouse at Orr-Reed.Johann Huebschmann

The move
JD Middleton, who builds out restaurants and bars for his "day job," oversaw a team of volunteers who broke the trolley down into pieces and transported it to the new location.

"My buddy JJ Velez and I saw it in the news, we both had a personal connection," Middleton says. "My grandfather drove the trolley, it's possible he drove that one, while JJ had seen it when he was a little kid, after the Christmas parade in downtown Dallas."

With another friend, Randy Lasiter, assisting, they volunteered to do it on a 100 percent volunteer basis. For the past six months, they've been going there in the early morning, before heading to their regular job sites.

"We do a lot of crazy things for customer requests, and this was right up our alley," Middleton says.

This entailed cutting the exterior into parts: removing the front and back "nose pieces," breaking down the body of the trolley into panels, then splitting up the chassis foundation — like a vertebrae that they cut up, to be reassembled by a welder.

Middleton says that Uncle Dan’s Pawn Shop donated saw blades and trailers and other equipment, as did Frida's Social Club on McKinney Avenue, who provided a big trailer and truck to haul it over to Orr-Reed.

Middleton assembled a group of friends who spent four hours on December 3, loading the trolley piece-by-piece onto trailers, then unloading it at Orr-Reed. He's also volunteered to help restore it.

"There's some rusting on the inside, it's like an old Ford Model-T that's been sitting in a garage," he says. "We'll get it sand-blasted and primed and painted, then put it back together again."

Their work is saving the Junius Heights Historic District hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"It's like an art project for us, and we're getting the opportunity to help take care of history," Middleton says. "JJ ate there when he was a little kid, and he'd like to take his kid to see it when it's finished. That’s why we're doing it."


Spaghetti Warehouse trolley Spaghetti Warehouse trolley, in pieces.Johann Huebschmann

The new home
The Junius Heights group does not yet have a permanent home for the trolley, nor a plan for how it will be managed or maintained. Details details.

For now, it resides in Orr-Reed's "dry house" — a warehouse they've used for overflow and for items that need to be kept out of the elements such as big furniture items, casement windows, and things that cannot get wet.

Hargrove and her staff built shelving and redesigned the warehouse to make it work.

"It'll definitely affect our day-to-day routine — there's a giant cumbersome trolley that's taking up space — but it’s worth it," Hargrove says. "If we hadn't done it, they would have had to spend a lot of money on storing it rather than restoring it. I'm a keeper of history, it’s my duty, although I've never done anything on this scale."

"We're not doing it for the money, we're doing it because someone has to," she says. "I feel like I'm doing the right thing."