Forget Miller Time, it's Oktoberfest
Early September in Texas is such a tease. Fall clothes are arriving in stores, people are planning their holidays and the days are getting shorter--but it's still 95 degrees, and even a bathing suit feels uncomfortable. Quintessential fall festivals such as Oktoberfest seem oddly out of place. Should there be more sweat than beer when the mayor taps the first keg? Well, never mind that. Who needs nippy weather and fall foliage to hoist a stein and sing "Ein Prosit"? Almost 200 years after the first Oktoberfest, 50,000 revelers will polka, chicken dance and oompah through the weekend at Addison's 18th annual Oktoberfest. Lederhosen and dirndls are optional when eating German sausages of all varieties, potato pancakes and traditional Bavarian platters. It's also a good chance to practice Deutsch while ordering brotzeit, kässler ribchen and zwetz-chenkuchen (that's ploughman's lunch, smoked pork chops and plum tart). And what would Oktoberfest be without the beer? Paulaner has created an official brew and, in the biergarten, they're serving about 20 others, including Löwenbräu and Spaten. They've also got a dozen wines ranging from the driest Franken varietals to the sweetest Rieslings. Entertainment includes accordion contests, Alpine Dancers and music from nuclear polka group Brave Combo as well as an all-German car show. So put on some clogs and say "prost" to the best of the wurst. Oktoberfest is 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday, 5 p.m. to midnight Friday, 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at Addison Circle Park, 4970 Addison Circle Drive. Park at the northwest corner of the Dallas Parkway and Arapaho Road. Tickets are $5 for those over 4. Call 1-800-ADDISON or visit www.addisontexas.net. --Leah Shafer
In first grade, I loved my doll, Sunshine; my Lhasa Apso, Muffin, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas--only I was instructed to call it The Best Little Chicken Ranch in Texas. Why I was allowed to see it or how much of it I understood, I don't know. But I liked the singing and dancing, and I loved Dolly Parton, who looked like a real-life Barbie but talked kinda funny. I'm pretty sure if I'd been a boy, I'd have grown up to be a Dolly Parton-impersonating drag queen. If you did, or if you just love this kitschy Southern-fried sex comedy, check it out during Q Cinema's Big Gay Movie series. It screens at 9 p.m. Thursday at Hot Shots, 651 Jennings Ave., Fort Worth. Admission is free. Call 817-462-3368. --Shannon Sutlief
A vintage car show that includes cars made until 1979? We still see those in parking lots. And on concrete blocks in yards. But to be fair, we realize that organizers of the Bishop Arts District's Third Annual Block Party and Classic Car Show aren't talking about rusted Ford Pintos. More likely, the vintage cars they're hoping to see are the "greased lighting" variety of the '50s and '60s. In addition to the wheels, there are plenty of deals at the party. Neighborhood galleries, restaurants and boutiques will feature special sales and events, including the unveiling of three murals by local art students. The Bishop Arts District Third Annual Block Party is from 1:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday in the Bishop Arts District, south of downtown in North Oak Cliff on Bishop Avenue at Davis Street. Admission is free. Call 214-942-0690 or visit www.bishopartsdistrict.com. --S. Anne Durham
Free to Be
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If you're gay, you already know about the pride parade on Sunday, and it's a safe bet that you have plans to be there--if you aren't already in it. Dallas straight folk? That's another story. Come on, get out of that closet and have some fun. For those who want to celebrate diversity, tolerance and even brotherly love, the 22nd annual Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade (that's the official name) is the place to be. Hand it to this community to brave the extended summer heat in leather chaps and towering pumps and look fabulous doing it. The parade is a huge, rainbow-bright spectacle that marches along Cedar Springs to a rally finale at Lee Park. Local celebrities and politicians (including the mayor) do their part, and winners from the recent Voice of Pride competition are slated to perform (think Gay American Idol). Get there early for primo seating; translation: in the shade. The kickoff starts at 2 p.m. on Cedar Springs Road and the rally begins at 5 p.m. Visit www.dallastavernguild.org. --Richard Lopez
Keep Texas Weird
In our hometown, an odd celebration called the Polk County Pine Cone Festival required us to dress up like Laura Ingalls once a year and ride on a float filled with hay--because, somehow, that's how you pay homage to the pine cone. So it comes as no surprise to us that a group of writers was able to find enough stories to publish a book called Weird Texas. The Lone Star State is the capital of quirk, and this tall tale tell-all offers up reports of a goat man, ghost lights and a little feller you might know as Bigfoot. And that's just for starters. Attend a book signing for Weird Texas on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Barnes & Noble in Arlington, 3909 S. Cooper St.Call817-557-1171. --Rhonda Reinhart