Rockets' red glare returns downtown
Searching for an ideal fireworks display on Independence Day weekend isn't so simple anymore. As the decades roll by, the amount of crap exploding in the Dallas-Fort Worth sky keeps on growing. In order to sift through the selection, try using a checklist to find the right fireworks show for you. Does the display include seating? Will any live music accompany the blasts? And, most important, will the fireworks display be presented in three dimensions? If that's the extent of your list, Dallas Booms! will be right up your Black Cat alley. Technically, all fireworks displays come in three dimensions--that is the nature of reality, after all--but on Sunday at Dallas City Hall Plaza, 1500 Marilla Drive, the organizers of Dallas Booms! will hand out 3-D glasses for the free event, which means the Target-sponsored fireworks show will look like something out of Captain Eo. Before the 2,700 shells of fireworks start popping, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra will perform a set on the plaza at 8:30 p.m. Unfortunately, the classical concert won't include any special effects, although the tuba might look cool when viewed through 3-D glasses. Call 214-670-4456. --Sam Machkovech
It's hard to publicize a movie screening without revealing the title of the movie. But that's what the Dallas Public Library has to do when spreading the word about the next installment of its Classic Comedies for Summer series. This Saturday's event is the second of three movie showings for the summer and, though the library's Fine Arts Division can't have the movie's title published for copyright reasons, somebody will definitely let you know what the movie is about--in great detail. "Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine star in this 1960s Oscar-winning comedy of business manners directed by Billy Wilder. Bud Baxter is a struggling clerk in a huge New York insurance company." And so on. The Apar, er, unnamed movie is showing Saturday at 2 p.m. in the fourth-floor performance space. The series wraps up August 6. The final movie is described as follows: "[Title character] is an unconventional individualist socialite from the Roaring '20s. When her brother dies..." Both movie showings are free and open to the public. Food and drink are not allowed in the library, so don't expect any movie refreshments. The J. Erik Jonsson Central Library is located at 1515 Young St. Contact the Fine Arts Division at 214-670-1643. --Kelsey Guy
Flesh and Blood
Give blood and get a free doughnut. And ice cream. And a T-shirt. And a discount of 25 percent off lunch or dinner at Hyatt restaurants. Man, if deals like this existed in our poorer, hungrier days, well, they wouldn't be our poorer, hungrier days. The Hyatt Regency Dallas, 300 Reunion Blvd., hosts its seventh annual Hyatt Drive for Life blood drive Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Marsalis Hall. In addition to the doughnuts and ice cream, expect to park at the Hyatt for free and, if you're so inclined, tour the Reunion Tower's observation deck for same. Call 214-651-1234. --Paul Kix
It sounds like a Fourth of July celebration from an old sitcom: an all-join-in parade, a stick pony rodeo, watermelon seed-spitting contest--so wholesome, so American. Happy Days, right? Or Leave It to Beaver? Nope. You can catch the family-friendliness live during Old City Park's Old-Fashioned Fourth and Backyard BBQ from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday at 1717 Gano St. Wave flags, make ice cream and learn about blacksmithing. Tickets are $3 to $6 for admission alone or $9.50 to $16.50 with barbecue buffet. Call 214-413-3670. --Shannon Sutlief
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza could have been the Texas equivalent of Roswell, New Mexico's International UFO Museum. Both the July 4, 1947, UFO/weather balloon crash and the November 22, 1963, assassination of President Kennedy became lightning rods for the hopes and fears of the American people during their respective eras. Both events have their devoted legions of sweaty-palmed conspiracy theorists. But a visit to Roswell is the intellectual equivalent of a visit to Carhenge or the World's Largest Ball of Twine, while a stroll through the Sixth Floor Museum is more like wandering the boulder-strewn woods at Gettysburg. The sense of tragedy is almost overwhelming, even to those born well after those three shots echoed through downtown Dallas. The museum doesn't duck the conspiracy issue, but it provides the cultural and emotional context that Roswell's alien-head keychains do not. An integral part of that context is the role of the news media, the focus of the Sixth Floor Museum's new exhibit, Covering Chaos. The footage of American icon Walter Cronkite dabbing his eyes as he announces the president's death is as emotionally powerful as film of the shooting itself. The museum will continue to disappoint those in search of JFK golf balls or salsa, but for the rest of us, it is a source of justifiable civic pride. Covering Chaos opens July 1 at the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, 411 Elm St., and will remain on display through January 31, 2006. Admission is $10. Call 214-747-6660 for information. --Rick Kennedy
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