Now that we've all had our fill of leftover turkey and football, it's time to party, and there ain't no party like an Observer party and that's not just because we have booze and no curfew. You know it's the party season, so before you have to attend that mandatory family holiday gathering, come celebrate art, music and all things that make Dallas cool at the annual Artopia bash this Saturday.
This year's Artopia includes live art from Lunch Buddies, a t-shirt design contest between Fur Face Boy and Sleepy Dan and fashion from Salvage House, Vintage Mobile, the talented students at Wade College and more. There are also works from the best local artists including Sour Grapes, Kyle Confehr and Billy Zinser, so if you plan to blow your paycheck this weekend, at least do it on limited edition art curated by Brian Gibb of The Public Trust.
While you're perusing the extensive collection of art, make sure to high-five Katie Toohil, Frank Lopez and the ladies behind La Reunion -- founders Sarah Jane Semrad and Catherine Cuellar and Executive Director Catherine Horsey -- because they'll be receiving their MasterMind awards and $2,000 grants to continue their artistic endeavors. After you've sampled food from Sfuzzi, Wild Salsa and Patty Cakes, enjoy music from Burning Hotels and the finalists from the Lights All Night DJ contest.
Since we want everyone to have a good time, tickets, $20, include two wine, beer or cocktail samples. And unlike your family holiday party, there's a cash bar and no crazy uncle, unless you bring him in which case that's your problem. Artopia gets started at 8 p.m. Saturday at Dallas Contemporary, but make sure you get your tickets on our all-you-need-to-know event website now because the price at the door is $30.
Tree Lighting Festival Friday, December 2, at AT&T Performing Arts Center When we turned on the Christmas tree lights this week, the only reaction was a yawn from the cat, but there'll be music, carriages and crowds when AT&T PAC flips the switch on its giant tree in Sammons Park. Cathedral Boys and Girl's Choir, Dallas String Quartet and Jaime Reyes Jazz Trio are among the performers singing holiday tunes, and Santa will be taking requests from kids and posing for pictures by the 30-foot tree. Purchase cookies, cocoa and eggnog outside the center and stroll through downtown in a carriage. It won't make you forget all the times you've cursed downtown during rush hour, but it will make you get in the holiday spirit. The Tree Lighting Festival starts at 5 p.m., with the official tree lighting ceremony commencing at 7 p.m. Admission is free. Visit attpac.org.
16th Annual Blue Yule Holiday Party and Fundraiser Saturday, December 3, at McKinney Avenue Contemporary There are some handmade crafts that you love because they have sentimental value, like the macaroni ornaments the kids made in kindergarten, and then there are those handmade items you value because of their beauty. If you're looking for more of the latter, get ready to bid at the Blue Yule Holiday Party and Fundraiser. Local artists and patrons of the MAC have created small pieces of art that are perfect for your tree, and their ornaments are being auctioned off from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday. While you shop, nibble on food and grab a glass of the blue mystery punch. You know it's a good mystery punch if it turns your tongue blue. The folks at Kitchen Dog and the MAC will also be handing out awards for the most divine, most outrageous and most festive ornaments, and Jamal Mohamed and The Meadows World Music Ensemble will perform for the crowd. Admission is $20 for adults, $10 for students and teachers and $15 for MAC members. Visit the-mac.org for more information.
Holiday Party with Seryn, Telegraph Canyon, Jacob Metcalf and Hal Samples Saturday, December 3, at Bethany Lutheran Church Our friend Hal Samples has photographed famous people, but he's willing to take your family's holiday portrait for only $50 this weekend. Heck, he'll even photograph your dog if that's what you want on your next Christmas card. Samples is offering photo sessions at a holiday party at Bethany Lutheran Church from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Each session lasts roughly 10 minutes, and families will receive a photo of each child plus a family portrait. Beginning at 7 p.m., Seryn, Jacob Metcalf and Telegraph Canyon perform, and when the bands finish they'll partake in a little caroling together. Bring an unwrapped toy to get into the concert, and those toys will go to the kids who are served by the good folks at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church's food pantry. Visit bethany.net or the event's Facebook page.
Twilight Convention Saturday, December 3, and Sunday, December 4, at The Westin Park Central Hotel We hope there aren't any violent clashes between Team Edward and Team Jacob when the Twilight Convention starts tomorrow, but we won't be surprised if a few moms trample their teenage daughters to get autographs from Twilight stars including Charlie Bewley, Tinsel Corey and Tyson Houseman. The book-turned-movie franchise has a cult following worthy of the two-day convention, and there are plenty of Twilight-themed activities to hold fans over until the next film comes out. Twi-hards will be decked out in vampire garb to compete in the costume competition at the Volturi Vampire Ball on Saturday night, and on Sunday morning, fans and stars of the film series will dine together at a celebrity brunch. There are also trivia contests, a Twilight-inspired centerpiece contest and an auction of Twi-gear. The convention runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Registration varies based on event, with general admission starting at $20. Visit twilightconvention.com.
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MetroPCS Dallas White Rock Marathon Sunday, December 4, at Fair Park It's time for the mother of all Dallas marathons, the one that runners look forward to all year. We had a friend who decided on a whim to run the White Rock Marathon a few years ago. With no training, he completed the course that starts at Fair Park, moves through the uptown area and stretches through White Rock. He also spent the next week in the hospital recovering from internal and external injuries. This is a serious course for serious runners, so we'll just cheer them on when the race begins at 8 a.m. Sunday. Online registration is closed, but you can register before the race or at Health & Fitness Expo in the Automobile Building at Fair Park today and Saturday. Registration for the marathon is $150, $110 for the half marathon and $250 for the five-person relay. Visit runtherock.com.