Friday, November 21, 2014

Totally Texas -- Light up the night in downtown Dallas

Dallas City Lights

Main Street, Dallas


The first thing you’ve need to know is that this year’s Dallas City Lights festival will be Sunday. I know, I know, it’s always on a Saturday. But this year it’s on Sunday, November 23. I’ve worried about that every time I caught weather reports predicting heavy rains Saturday. We need rain. But rain on Santa’s official arrival downtown? No way!

For Sunday the Weather Channel predicts clear skies, the better to enjoy the annual festival’s fireworks and neon finery surrounding the visit of the big guy in the red suit to the city Christmas tree at Main Street Garden (Main Street at South Harwood).

Entertainment at the blocks-long street fair starts at 3 p.m. with Ballet Folklorica. New acts keep on coming until Santa’s appearance at 6 p.m., along with the cast of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical.

There’ll be a chance to get photos with Santa at 7 p.m., with music at the plaza before and after, until 8 p.m.

But you don’t need to camp out at the garden. Typically, booths for face painting, kids’ crafts, and early Christmas shopping line Main Street from the Belo Garden at Main and North Griffin, past Pegasus Plaza, to Main Street Garden. In addition to downtown restaurants that stay open late, there’s food from outdoor vendors. The event is free, except for what you’ll need for food and shopping.

No stroll in downtown Dallas as the holiday season nears is complete without checking out the always amazing window displays at Neiman-Marcus, 1618 Main Street. For children ages 4-10, Neiman’s offers the additional draw of the transparent plastic tubes wandering in and out of the displays. Kids will need to shuck their shoes to enter the tunnels, and must be checked in by an adult.

And since all of this makes for a very exciting evening for youngsters, remember to keep a close eye on them. Last year a spunky four-year-old near me got so entranced he wandered away. Several tearful minutes elapsed before he was found, safe, and perhaps wondering what all the fuss was about.

One other caution: DART rail service will be unavailable between the Pearl Street/Arts District Station and Union Station this weekend (as well as next). You won’t be able to take the cute pink D-Link buses which only run Monday through Saturday, but DART shuttle buses will be available. See for route and schedule details.

Although Main Street is closed to vehicle traffic during City Lights, numerous parking garages are available downtown. For a complete schedule of events and parking information, see

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