We don't know a whole lot about Scottish traditions around here. We know they wear skirts, which are called kilts but look very much like man dresses regardless of the name. We also know they play the bagpipes. Other than that, everything we've learned came from movies. We never saw the Highlander, so that leaves Braveheart. He was Scottish, right? The whole point is we could all stand to learn a little bit more about our Scottish friends. To that end, we submit that attending the Texas Scottish Festival and Highland Games might be a fine idea. The festival will include singing, fiddling and bagpiping along with authentic food, and the games will feature everything from a kilted golf tournament to whiskey tasting to something called a "bonniest knee contest." We don't know what that is, but we can find out at the festival. The event takes place June 4 through June 6 at the University of Texas in Arlington. It runs from 5 p.m. to midnight Friday, 9 a.m. to midnight Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m Sunday. Tickets are $10 for Friday and Sunday and $15 on Saturday. A weekend pass is $25. Children's tickets are $5. Visit www.texasscottishfestival.com. --John Gonzalez
Karma's a bitch. The neighbor's cute dog that occasionally wanders into your yard and helps fertilize your grass, that's a pet. So for all the animal haters out there--the kids who torment cats, those who speed up when a squirrel scurries across the street, the heartless bastards who don't shed a tear when they see a dead dog on the side of the road--here's your chance to salvage your karmic destiny before you end up splattered on the side of the road yourself. Thanks to Operation Kindness you can repent for your sins against our four-legged friends at the 10th annual Dog Day Afternoon at Bob Woodruff (Wood-ruff, get it?) Park. The celebration is geared toward dog owners, with numerous events including a one-mile dog walk, contests and demonstrations by the Dallas Dog & Disc Club and the Search One Rescue Team. It will warm the heart of the cruelest Cruella De Vil and maybe even lead former animal haters to the ultimate penance: adopting a dog of their very own. It takes place Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Bob Woodruff Park, 2601 San Gabriel, Plano. Tickets are $12 to $25 in advance or $15 to $30 at the event. Call 972-418-7297, ext. 229, or register at www.operationkindness.org. --Jay Webb
On June 5, in flagrant disregard of clean-air environmentalists everywhere, a 10,000-vehicle-strong caravan of souped-up, decorously painted automobiles will wheel its way through the streets of Arlington, kicking off the 10th annual Hot Rod Magazine Power Tour. Not only will the tour include the opportunity to win a very shiny car and see the best the automotive world has to offer, but also a special Cruise Night, offering concert- and food-related entertainment for those less enamored with streaming hordes of gleaming metal. Visit www.hotrod.com. --Mary Monigold
Have a Heart
As charity golf tournaments go, they're all pretty much the same. Celebrities, golf, add water, mix: instant golf tournament. But the American Heart Association's golf tourney offers a little something extra. This one is called the Swing Fore Heart Golf Classic. Ah, humor. The tourney will be held June 8 at the Tribute Golf Club in The Colony. For more information about sponsorship opportunites and entry fees, call Nita Sapenter Cates at 214-712-1312. --John Gonzalez
Five families open their garden gates
Houston's Highland Park is called River Oaks. Fort Worth has a River Oaks, but it's the polar opposite of Houston's--a sleepy town on the near-northwest border where 5,000 people haven't seen better days and aren't likely to. Fort Worth's Highland Park is Westover Hills, but the old-money families with names such as Stripling, Beggs and Moncrief live in Rivercrest. According to Historic Fort Worth Inc., Rivercrest is filled with manses designed by notable architects and developed in 1911 on 640 acres above the west fork of the Trinity River. Many Rivercrest homes were built in Period Revival and Prairie School styles created at the local drafting tables of architects Sanguinet & Staats and John F. Staub, as well as by Chicago architects David Adler and Henry C. Dangler. Five Rivercrest families are opening their garden gates to the public on Saturday and Sunday for a tour benefiting and organized by Historic Fort Worth. It's called the Hidden Gardens Tour because the tour locations are a well-kept secret available only to ticket holders. "We are respecting the privacy of these families who are generously opening their private gardens to benefit Historic Fort Worth," says representative Jerre Tracy. "We hope the mystique of the event will intrigue people enough to want to attend." From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. each day, ticket holders will be guided through Rivercrest to wander the grounds and gardens of a Monticello Cottage Garden, a 1936 Tudor historic home's secret garden, a "Tex-Zen" Asian-inspired garden, a rose terrace overlooking the river and a classic English garden in another Tudor home. Get advance-only tickets ($15) at www.historicfortworth.org or call 817-336-2344. --Annabelle Massey Helber
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