Friday, August 31, 2012

Totally Texas -- Fall festivals in the air

No matter what the calendar says, every Texan knows the Labor Day weekend is the real end of summer. So for all of you who’ve searched for the State Fair, the Heard Museum’s robot dinosaurs and more, here are highlights of North Texas’ fall festivals.

Aug. 30-Sept. 2 -- Canton’s First Monday Trades Days isn’t just in the fall, but now there are only four more trades days till Christmas! Repeats the weekend before first Monday of each month. Free admission, parking fees vary. See

Sept. 7-9 -- Grand Prairie’s Traders Village hosts the 50th annual National Championship Indian Pow Wow. Dance contests Friday evening through Sunday afternoon, with arts and crafts, Native food, and music. A $3 parking fee per car. See

Sept. 13-16 -- GrapeFest in historic downtown Grapevine, a wine festival, but with family activities that make it kid-friendly. Free admission on Thursday and Friday until 5 p.m. and for kids under age six. See .

Sept. 20-23 -- Addison’s Oktoberfest at Addison Circle Park. German food, polka music, dachshund racing, yodeling, carnival and more. Free admission Friday. See

Sept. 22-Nov. 20 -- Autumn at the Arboretum, Dallas. Hay bale maze, storybook-themed pumpkin village, and special events. (But the Chihuly glass exhibits are only on display through Nov. 5). See

Sept. 28-30 -- Greek Food Festival, at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Dallas. Food, entertainment, vendors and children’s activities. Admission free for kids age 12 and younger. See

Sept. 28-Oct. 21 -- The State Fair of Texas, at Dallas Fair Park. The big one: parades, music, rides, football, a huge new car show, and more. And Big Tex, of course. For more information, including prices and discounts, see

Sept. 30 -- 45th anniversary celebration at McKinney’s Heard Natural Science Museum includes raptor presentations, butterfly garden tour, and yes -- a preview of the animatronic dinosaur exhibit, which officially opens Oct. 1. See

Oct. 6-7 -- Cottonwood Art Festival, Richardson. Art, music, children’s activities. See

Oct. 18-20 -- Tyler’s Texas Rose Festival, this year with an “Indochine” theme in honor of the year of the dragon. See

Oct. 20-21 -- Edom Festival of the Arts, in Edom, in the East Texas piney woods. New artists and returning favorites. Admission’s free, minor parking fees may apply. See

Oct. 27-28 -- Fall Festival in the Fort Worth Botanic Garden’s Japanese Garden. Traditional dance, music, martial arts, papermaking and tea ceremonies. Admission free for kids under age four. See

Nov. 10 -- Heritage Syrup Festival, in Henderson. Old-fashioned preparation of ribbon cane syrup using mule-drawn equipment. Folk music and folk-life exhibits, petting zoo, and more. For everybody who’s tried unsuccessfully to find ribbon cane syrup in Dallas, this is your chance to stock up. See


  1. Wow that sounds incredible. How many are you planning on attending, Melissa? I'd go to the Oktober Fest.

  2. You know, I should. Texas had a huge influx of German colonists in the 19th century, still with a huge cultural influence. Actually, though, the Greek fest is my fave.