April is a great time to enjoy a festival in DFW. Music, food, wine, chocolate, flowers and more -- why not?
What: Six blocks of Main Street in Deep Ellum transform into a super-sized street party with four outdoor stages and non-stop performances by 75 national, regional, and local original bands during this three-day festival. With more than 120 top-notch juried decorative and visual artists, muralist, the renowned Deep Ellum Pet Parade, and abundant food and drink, the Deep Ellum Arts Festival attracts a diverse audience and includes affluent art and music enthusiasts.
When: April 5-7, 2013. Friday, April 1 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, April 2 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, April 3 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: Deep Ellum Entertainment District on Main Street between Good Latimer and Hall Street.
Cost: Admission is free.
What: Also known as Scarborough Fair, it's a Renaissance-themed festival based on the year 1533, during the reign of England’s King Henry VIII. The festival began in 1981 and runs 8 consecutive weekends including Memorial Day each spring.
When: April 6 - May 27, 2013. Weekends and Memorial Day Monday. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: 2511 FM66 Waxahachie, TX 75167
Entertainment: 21 stages, 200 performances daily; 3 jousting performances daily, much more.
Food: Similar in some ways to the State Fair of Texas: Ginormous turkey legs and food on a stick. Eight pubs and taverns serving adult beverages.
Admission: There are many different ticket packages available. Children 4 and under are free.
April 5-6: Chocolate Festival in Grapevine
What: Annual Chocolate Festival in Grapevine - featuring chocolate, wine tasting, hors d'oeuvres, live jazz, art exhibits and sales from local artisans.
When: April 5-6, 2013.
Where: Downtown Grapevine
What: Dallas Blooms, a festival of over 500,000 spring-blooming bulbs and botanical beauty in a 66-acre garden.
When: March 2 through April 7, 2013
Where: 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, TX 75218. 214-515-6500
If you miss the Easter bunny photographer, then BYOB: bring your own (stuffed) bunny along with your camera. The tulips, daffodils and azaleas are in full bloom and nature makes a colorful backdrop. The beautiful flowers make it easy for any photographer to look like a pro.
Admission: $12 adults; $10 seniors; $8 (ages 3-12) plus parking.
What: The Dallas International Film Festival
When: April 4-14, 2013.
Where: Event takes place at various venues and theaters.
Admission: General admission tickets are $10 per screening; passes are $100 to $750. The main box office is at Hotel Palomar, 5300 E. Mockingbird Lane, Suite 150, Dallas. 214-720-0555.
What: Spring Fling 2013 activities include a Food Truck Cookoff, live music with the Dennis Cavalier Band, face painting and more. Free and $3 to park.
When: April 13-14, 2013
Where: Trader's Village, 2602 Mayfield Road in Grand Prairie
What: April 19-21, 2012.
Where: Dallas Market Hall.
Headliners: Check out Rick Derringer, New Bohemians (Where's Edie?), Derek St. Holmes from Ted Nugent, Andy Timmons, Point Blank, Quinten Hope, David Hineman, Maylee Thomas, Jimmy Wallace and the Stratoblasters, Lance Lopez and more.
Editor's Note: Dallas is home base to many of the best guitarists. Period. Andy Timmons travels the globe performing his own brand of guitar magic as well as serving as musical director for greats like Olivia Newton John. I loved him in the band Danger Danger -- but what he does on his all-instrumental album Andy Timmons Band Plays Sgt. Pepper is nothing short of musical genius. Who needs vocals when you can produce the tone and quality that Timmons bleeds from that guitar? You must have Strawberry Fields Forever and Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds in your iPod.
Quinten Hope is another DFW guitarist that you'll want to catch if you haven't already. His original material has a bluesy vibe and I can't wait for another CD to come out. I heard him play Pride and Joy by Stevie Ray Vaughan and the hair on the back of my neck stood up. And I'm pretty sure his original tune Roll the Dice will cause me to get a speeding ticket. It's catchy; it's rockin. It makes me want to drive fast with the windows open.
David Hineman is one more guitar player you absolutely have to see. I haven't seen him play with Metal Shop (yet) but that's on my To Do List. I've seen him sit in with Quinten Hope and he just has some mad guitar skills. He unloaded on Stranglehold one night -- in a word: awesome. Dude. Seriously.
What: The Annual Ennis Bluebonnet Trails Festival from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. While in town you can visit the Ennis Railroad and Cultural Heritage Museum, located at 105 NE Main, Ennis, TX. 972-875-1901. Bluebonnet season usually starts 1st week of April in Ennis, but can start earlier due to weather conditions, etc.
When: The Festival is April 20-21, 2013. The 62nd Annual Bluebonnet Trail is April 1-30, 2013.
Directions from Dallas: South on I- 45, Exit 253 or 251-B.
Directions from Fort Worth, Midlothian, Waxahachie: East on US Highway 287, Exit Ennis Business 287.