Aged to perfection
In the pantheon of ancient gods and goddesses, few lived a remotely fun life. They were forever grappling with hardships such as being seduced by another species and giving birth to an egg or pissing off the guy in charge and being cast into the underworld. Cupid got to make other people happy, but still had to wear that stupid outfit and become mascot of the most overhyped holiday on earth. Then there's Dionysus, a guy who definitely knew how to make merry and play hard. While those around him were fretting and brooding, he was throwing the ancient-world version of college keggers with lewd women, bawdy men and enough wine to float a party barge. The Grapevine GrapeFest is quite a bit more wholesome (and definitely sans nudity), but it has nonetheless been a source of boisterous activities for 19 years. GrapeFest is the largest wine festival in the Southwest with four days of oenophilian pleasures in downtown Grapevine, offering events such as juried wine tastings and samples at local vineyards. The culinary pavilion will host a continuous stream of cooking demonstrations and food and wine education; celebrity guests include The Mansion at Turtle Creek chef Dean Fearing, Paula Lambert of Dallas' Mozzarella Company and the Singing Chef, Andy Lo Russo, who will make multiple appearances. At the GrapeStomp, teams of two take turns crushing 20 pounds of grapes to compete for the Purple Foot Award. Other events, including the Vintner's Auction and People's Choice Wine Tasting Classic, give revelers a taste of Texas' finest. The GrapeFest won't likely suffer the fate of Dionysus' parties--outlawed by the senate--but will offer people the chance to cut loose and express their enthusiasm for the drink of the gods. GrapeFest is Thursday through Sunday. Adult gate admission is $6; seniors and children 6-12 are admitted for $3. Call 817-410-3185 or visit grapevinetexasusa.com/grapefest. --Leah Shafer
Peace Via Picture Books
In a time when war pulls our loved ones far from home and natural disasters flood our backyard, it's important to reflect on how our current actions affect future generations. Jeremy Gilley advocates compassionate change on a grand scale. Through Gilley's determined efforts in 2001, September 21 was set aside as the United Nations International Day of Peace. This year, Gilley brings this day of world peace to Dallas a week early. He also brings his new book, Peace One Day, which features illustrations by Pulitzer Prize-winning Dallas artist Karen Blessen and explores the cause of war and ways to promote peace, and a film of the same name, which documents his humanitarian work across the globe and his experience meeting world leaders such as the Dalai Lama and Kofi Annan. The screening and book signing is from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday at the Lakewood Theater, 1825 Abrams Parkway. Admission is free. Call 214-821-7469 or visit www.lakewoodtheater.com. --Danna Berger
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Art and culture challenged? There's hope for you yet. The Dallas Theater Center makes it extremely hard not to take advantage of the city's burgeoning art scene. They have no dress code, and they offer pay-what-you-can performances and a hearty line-up of nationally acclaimed productions to boot. Join the DTC from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday for Neighborhood Nights, the center's annual community celebration and season kickoff. The event offers free admission and will feature live music, a preview of the season and backstage tours. Did I mention the free food and drinks? The Kalita Humphreys Theater is located at 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd. Call 214-522-8499 or visit www.dallastheatercenter.org. --Stephanie Morris
We're not sure when the word "chick" became an acceptable way to refer to a woman. There was a time when any self-respecting female would at least feign offense at the terminology, but not anymore. Now we have chick flicks, chick lit, Chik-fil-A, and no one even bats a false eyelash. Well, the gals of WomenInFilm.Dallas are embracing the chickiness their foremothers fought for with Chick Flicks 4, a showcase of 11 short films by, for or starring local chicks. Check out the selections at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Angelika Film Center, 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane. Tickets are $8 to $10. Go to www.wifdallas.org or call the theater at 214-841-4700. --Rhonda Reinhart