Photo courtesy of Lightscape

Lightscape, the new walk-thru holiday lights experience at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, is closing Thursday, December 22 due to harsh winter weather conditions.

In a Facebook post, organizers said, "Due to inclement weather, Lightscape is closed for Thursday, Dec. 22. We will be monitoring temperatures and wind speeds for Dec. 23. Watch this space for current information. Stay safe—and warm!"

A spokeswoman for the event adds that ticketholders for December 22 have been offered the chance to reschedule.

"As of right now, tomorrow (Friday) is still open, however, the FWBG is closely monitoring temperatures and wind speeds," she says.

An arctic front is bringing dangerously cold temperatures and strong winds to Dallas-Fort Worth on Thursday. A wind chill watch has been issued for all day Thursday through Friday morning. It snowed across DFW on Thursday morning.

"Simply, it will be very cold and potentially dangerous if precautions are not taken," WFAA meteorologists say. "Exposed skin can get frostbite very quickly with the cold on Thursday into Friday."

Lightscape is the third major local holiday event to to announce a weather-related cancellation; Enchant at Fair Park will also stay dark Thursday, and Prairie Lights in Grand Prairie is canceling Thursday and Friday.

Making its North Texas debut this year, Lightscape illuminates the Fort Worth Botanic Garden with a one-mile-long outdoor path with suspended strands and tunnels of light, a fire garden, undulating wave of bluebonnets, singing trees, treetop sculptures, and and artistic installations. Read more about what to expect here.

Timed tickets, $18-$28 (along with $20 on-site parking passes), are available here. It runs through January 8.

For more spectacular Christmas lights dazzling Dallas-Fort Worth, go here.

Photo courtesy of Prairie Lights

Grand Prairie's Prairie Lights goes dark for 2 nights due to frigid weather

Arctic blast alert

Prairie Lights, the beloved drive-thru Christmas Lights park in Grand Prairie, is closing for two nights - Thursday, December 22-Friday, December 23 - due to weather.

In a Facebook post, organizers said, "Prairie Lights Holiday Lights Experience will be closed on Thursday & Friday, December 22 & 23 due to extreme weather conditions. Please remember, General Admission tickets are valid every night through New Year’s Eve. We appreciate your patience and look forward to welcoming guests following the closure."

When a commenter asked if it was a joke, they further explained, "With the forecasted sub-zero wind chills, this closure is for the protection of our staff who work outdoors for hours each night, as well as our guests that would be participating in outdoor activities at Holiday Village."

They plan to reopen on Christmas Eve, they say.

An arctic front is expected to bring dangerously cold temperatures and strong winds to Dallas-Fort Worth on Thursday. A wind chill watch has been issued for all day Thursday through Friday morning.

"Simply, it will be very cold and potentially dangerous if precautions are not taken," WFAA meteorologists say. "Exposed skin can get frostbite very quickly with the cold on Thursday into Friday."

Prairie Lights is the second local holiday event to announce a weather-related cancellation; Enchant at Fair Park will also stay dark Thursday, December 22.

Prairie Lights takes place at Lynn Creek Park in Grand Prairie, where visitors drive through 4 million lights set along two miles of path. Hundreds of displays in shapes of all kinds line and arch over the roads. At the halfway point, guests can exit their vehicle to enjoy photos with Santa, a magical walk-thru forest, and more. The second half of the drive ends with an always popular light tunnel.

It runs nightly, beginning at 6 pm, through New Year's Eve. Admission is $50-$200 per vehicle; an upcoming Days of Savings promotion, valid December 26-31, will allow visitors to save 20 percent using the code SAVE20. More information and tickets here.

For more spectacular Christmas lights dazzling Dallas-Fort Worth, go here.

Photo courtesy of Enchant

Enchant holiday event at Dallas' Fair Park temporarily closing due to winter weather

Baby, it's cold outside

UPDATE 12-23-2022: Enchant also will be closed Friday, December 23 due to weather. They are offering date changes for affected ticket holders to attend another night through January 1, and refunds for those who will not be able to reschedule at www.enchantchristmas.com.


Enchant, the popular outdoor holiday lights experience at Dallas' Fair Park, will be canceled Thursday, December 22 due to impending severe winter weather.

In a statement, organizers say:

"Unfortunately, due to the forecast of severe weather on Thursday, December 22, in Dallas, Enchant has made the difficult decision to not open on Thursday evening this week. We are offering date changes for 12/22 ticket holders to attend another night through January 1 and refunds for those who will not be able to reschedule at www.enchantchristmas.com. We regret any inconvenience and disappointment to our guests, especially the little ones. Santa and his elves are waiting to meet them - and we hope you will be able to visit Enchant this holiday season."

A decision on the Friday, December 23 event would be announced soon, they say.

According to WFAA, an arctic front will bring dangerously cold temperatures to Dallas on Thursday. A wind chill watch has been issued for all day Thursday through Friday morning.

"Simply, it will be very cold and potentially dangerous if precautions are not taken," WFAA meteorologists say. "Exposed skin can get frostbite very quickly with the cold on Thursday into Friday."

Enchant, which covers 10 acres at Fair Park, is touted as the world's largest holiday-themed lights event. It features an immersive walk-thru light maze created from over 4 million sparkling lights, a 100-foot-tall Christmas tree, an ice-skating trail, live entertainment, Santa visits, and a village marketplace with crafts, gifts, festive culinary treats, and holiday cocktails.

Enchant runs nightly, starting at 5:30 pm, through January 1.

For more spectacular Christmas lights dazzling Dallas-Fort Worth, go here.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins declares state of disaster following floods

Weather News

Following a deluge of rain that hit Dallas on August 21-22, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins declared a State of Disaster in Dallas County and is requesting state and federal assistance.

Dallas suffered extreme flooding following thunderstorms that dropped up to 15 inches of rain in some parts of the area in a span of 24 hours. The extreme rainfall made national news, and there are videos of shocking footage showing a flooded I-30, 635, and an overflowing Trinity River.

The east side of Dallas received the most rainfall, from 13 to 15 inches; the overall Dallas-Fort Worth area received 6 to 10 inches. CNN called it "a summer's worth of rain in a day."

The area was experiencing tropical moisture with multiple rounds of heavy rain, and with a summer-long drought, the ground was dry and did not absorb the water as readily.

Jenkins also said that Dallas County suffered a fatality: A 60-year-old woman was killed when her vehicle was swept away by flood waters.

The storm also caused Dallas' sewer system to overflow. According to a release from the Dallas Water Utilities (DWU) Department, heavy rainfall caused sewer overflows at several locations throughout the city, with overflows in four major drainage basins.

DWU assistant director Zachary Peoples said that none of the overflows affected the water supply. DWU crews are performing cleanup at each overflow location.

Although there is no danger to the water supply, DWU reminds the public to avoid contact with waste material, soil, or water in any of the affected areas.

Residents with private wells are advised to distill or boil water for personal uses such as drinking, cooking, bathing, and tooth brushing.

Photo courtesy of DART

Dallas is so hot right now that DART light rail is forced to go slower

Train News

If you're in a rush to get somewhere, then DART Rail is not your best choice for the next day or two.

According to a release, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) is implementing speed restrictions on its light rail service between 2- 9 pm, through Wednesday, July 20.

Light rail vehicles will operate at no more than 30 miles per hour during this time. DART light rail passengers should expect delays of 10-15 minutes due to these speed restrictions.

The slowdown is due to the record high temperatures across North Texas, which are expected to last for the next several days according to the National Weather Service.

When many miles of rail are subjected to intense heat, the rail becomes hot, which can cause them to increase in length, and can develop bowing known as a "sun kink" or "heat kink."

"Right now, we're registering temperatures between 145 and 150 degrees on the rail," a DART spokesperson says. "This can lead to warping of the rails and the catenary lines to sag."

When temperatures reach 100 degrees or higher, it's not uncommon for transportation agencies to reduce train speeds to no faster than 35 mph.

According to CNN, the U.S. is experiencing a dangerous heat wave that is expected to affect a large portion of the country, with more than 100 million people under excessive heat warnings or heat advisories as of July 19. One-third of the US population is under heat advisories and excessive heat warnings July 19-20, with more than 80 percent of the population (around 265 million Americans) seeing a high above 90 degrees over the next seven days.

The above-average heat is expected to continue into at least Sunday, with every day reaching the triple-digit mark.

DART will continue to monitor the weather conditions across the North Texas area for the safety of our passengers and employees, and to determine if future speed restrictions will be necessary.

Riders can stay informed about service changes by registering for DART Alerts at www.dart.org, or by contacting DART Customer Information at (214) 979-1111.


Dallas Water Utilities needs residents and businesses to conserve water

Weather News

First electricity, now water: The Dallas Water Utilities department is asking residents and businesses to conserve water, to reduce pressure on the system before it turns problematic.

According to a release, the consumption of water in the city has almost doubled, and this is leading to leaks, water main breaks, and other plumbing crises.

Between the heat wave and lack of rain, Dallas' water demand has increased dramatically: While the average consumption is 380 million gallons a day, it has spiked to more than 600 million gallons a day during the last week.

The increased water usage puts additional pressure on water pipelines and can lead to more water main breaks and leaks.

This past weekend, DWU repaired 17 main breaks, compared to the normal of 0 to 6 for this time of year.

 DWU currently has 18 crews responding 24-hours a day to water main breaks and leaks. When a repair is underway, there may be intermittent service interruptions that will impact customers.

Customers are notified of service interruptions through individual notices left on the doors of residential and business customers (notices are not delivered after dark or before 8 a.m.).  

Dallas Water Utilities is asking residents and businesses to conserve water and help reduce water demands by doing the following:

  • Adhere to the Twice Weekly Watering Schedule, detailed here.
  • Don't water your yard between 10 am and 6 pm from April 1 to October 31.
  • Sign up for free watering advice at waterisawesome.com/weekly-watering-advice/
  • Sign up for a free irrigation audit at savedallaswater.comfree-irrigation-audits/
  • Be sure your automatic sprinkler system does not water sidewalks, driveways, or the street.
  • Be sure that all the sprinkler heads are in good working order and that your system has no leaks.
  • Any water that is flowing from private or public property that is not normally viewed, should be reported to the City utilizing 311.
  • Report emergency water main leaks by calling 311.

Crews will be dispatched for initial assessment, and repairs if needed will be prioritized and scheduled as soon as practicable

DWU invests $150-$170 million annually to replace and rehabilitate water and wastewater mains.  These efforts have resulted in lower main breaks per 100 miles from approximately 40 in 2007 to 20 in 2021.

Their request to conserve on water follows two requests by ERCOT this week to conserve electricity, in order to avoid blackouts. We're melting.

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High school stars shine at Broadway Dallas' teen musical theater awards

Broadway Babies

Musical theater's rising stars had their night in the spotlight on June 3, when Broadway Dallas hosted its 12th annual High School Musical Theatre Awards.

Broadway veteran Major Attaway hosted the event at the Music Hall at Fair Park, which is modeled after the Tony Awards and features student performances, award presentations — including $60,000 in scholarships — and acceptance speeches from the winners.

The 2023 Outstanding Musical Award went to Guyer High School’s production of Anastasia, and the awards for Outstanding Lead Performer were presented to Fabiola Caraballo Quijada (Hairspray, Tyler Legacy High School) and Corbin Ross (Anastasia, Guyer High School).

Previous winners of the HSMTA have found success as professional performers, including Haley Dortch, who is currently starring as Fantine in the national tour of Les Miserables.

A list of all 2023 winners, participating high schools, and their productions can be found at https://broadwaydallas.org/education-community/hsmta/.

“As we always say, the Broadway Dallas High School Musical Theatre Awards is our favorite night of the year and this year’s ceremony was nothing short of spectacular,” says Ken Novice, president and CEO of Broadway Dallas. “We are so proud of these hardworking students and teachers, and it’s our honor to be able to celebrate them on the Music Hall stage. Congratulations to all the 2023 nominees and winners!”

A total of 74 productions from 72 participating high schools were evaluated by a diverse group of highly qualified judges from the North Texas theater community.

Awards were presented in 14 categories and scholarships were awarded to outstanding graduating seniors who were nominated by their teachers and selected by the Broadway Dallas scholarship panel. To date, the Broadway Dallas HSMTA College Scholarship program has awarded more than $500,000 in cash scholarships to deserving students.

In addition, award-winning producer, writer, and founding artistic director for the Bishop Arts Theatre Center, Teresa Coleman Wash, was presented with the 2023 Fullinwider Award in honor of her accomplishments within the North Texas theater community and beyond.

Wash is a National Arts Strategies fellow, having studied at Harvard Business School and is the recipient of several accolades, including the Theater Communications Group’s prestigious Peter Zeisler Memorial Award for Artistic Integrity and Ingenuity in 2019, the Irma P. Hall Theatrical Excellence Medal in 2020, and most recently the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce’s Quest for Success Award.

The Fullinwider Award is named for Leah and Jerry Fullinwider, the founding donors of the Broadway Dallas High School Musical Theater Awards. The award was created to honor the Fullinwiders for their initial gift of $100,000, which helped fund and produce the HSMTA program in 2012.

Matilda at Melissa High School

Photo courtesy of Broadway Dallas

Melissa High School's production of Matilda was nominated for Outstanding Musical.

New location of buzzy healthy restaurant Flower Child blooms in Plano

Healthy Eating News

A popular restaurant concept from a hospitality mastermind is opening in Plano. Flower Child, the fast-casual healthy-centric restaurant that's part of Arizona-based Fox Restaurant Concepts, is opening a location at the Preston Park Colonnade Shopping Center. According to a release, it'll open in late 2023.

Flower Child’s menu offers customizable bowls, wraps, salads, different mix-and-match veggies, grains, fruits, and healthy proteins. It’s clean eating with convenience.

Known for its upbeat environment, Flower Child has locations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Nevada, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Washington D.C.

The concept currently has four locations in Dallas and another in Fort Worth, making this the sixth location in North Texas. See, you add the 4 + 1 and get 5, and so this is #6.

Flower Child is known for its menu that caters to multiple dietary preferences including and especially vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free.

The menu will feature fan-favorite dishes such as:

Mother Earth Bowl with ancient grains, sweet potato, portobello mushroom, avocado, cucumber, broccoli pesto, charred onion, leafy greens, red pepper miso vinaigrette, and hemp seed;

Gluten-Free Mac & Cheese, which they describe as infamously creamy with aged white cheddar and parmesan

Chicken Enchiladas with guajillo chile, smoked gouda, poblano cream, organic black bean, roasted corn, and avocado

Flying Avocado Wrap with smoked turkey, gouda, romaine, tomato, and avocado hummus

Brussels Sprouts & Organic Kale Salad with red grape, organic apple, pink grapefruit, white cheddar, smoked almond, and apple cider vinaigrette.

Fox Restaurant Concepts was founded by Sam Fox, who opened his first restaurant in Tucson in 1998, and has since created dozens of brands, including Culinary Dropout, North Italia, Zinburger, Blanco Cocina + Cantina, Doughbird, and The Henry.

These are the 6 best food and drink events in Dallas this week

This week in gluttony

Barbecue, tiki drinks, seafood, and white wine are all on the menu this week as restaurants embrace the summer season. There’s also opportunity to get the kids out of the house for a fancy afternoon tea, and a Saturday book signing event will come with barbecue from a famous pitmaster. Save room for new Tex-Mex dishes launching at a Snider Plaza restaurant for its first birthday celebration.

Tuesday, June 6

Sonoma Summer Wine Dinner at Carrabba’s Italian Grill
The Italian restaurant chain with locations in Dallas, Plano, and Hurst will welcome diners from all over DFW for a four-course summer wine dinner. Guests will get wines from well-known labels like La Crema, Mark West, Josh, and Kendall Jackson paired with crab and artichoke salad, linguine with crushed tomatoes and grilled chicken, Tuscan-grilled sirloin, and butter cake with berries. The dinner is $55 and begins at 6:30 pm.

Wednesday, June 7

The Douglas 1st Anniversary Party
The Snider Plaza bar and grill will celebrate its first birthday with a party, including the launch of Tex-Mex dishes. There’ll be live music by Ray Johnston, drink specials, and new menu items like smoked guacamole, queso, tacos al carbon with Wagyu skirt steak, and churros served with Mexican chocolate. The festivities kick off at 4 pm.

Thursday, June 8

Children’s Tea at the Dallas Arboretum
Bring the littles to an afternoon tea service geared just for them. The Arboretum’s Restaurant DeGolyer Tea Room will offer a multi-course, kid-friendly tea menu, including assorted sandwiches and sweet treats. The price is $42 for children 2-12, and $59 for adults. Reservations include parking and garden admission. The tea service will be offered on Thursday and Saturday at 2 pm.

Saturday, June 10

Aaron Franklin Barbecue and Book Signing at Loro Addison
The Asian smokehouse will host Loro co-founder and barbecue guru Aaron Franklin for a barbecue and book signing. Franklin will sell and sign copies of his latest book, Franklin Smoke, on the restaurant’s patio. He and his team will also prepare pulled pork and chopped brisket for purchase. The first 50 guests who buy a sandwich will get a free signed copy of the book. The event will run from 2-5 pm.

Dallas Tiki Week
A week of events offers a taste of the tropics without leaving North Texas. The annual celebration of tiki drinks and tropical vibes kicks off Saturday with a sip-and-shop at Savannah Hoffman Designs in Carrolton. Events through June 18 range from cocktail classes and tasting parties to a full-blown luau. Find the full schedule of events here.

Monday, June 12

Seafood & White Wine Dinner at Urban Crust
Kick off summer at this Plano dining destination with a light and lovely seafood dinner paired with four crisp white wines. Dinner is $59.90, plus tax and gratuity, and begins at 6:30 pm.