16 Awesome Things To Do In Dallas On Labor Day Weekend, August 30 to September 3

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Can you feel it? That long weekend is coming to pluck you out of your cubicle hell and usher you into a three-day run of good times. Los Straightjackets are going to help too; they're playing the after-party for Trees' classic car and hot rod show. There's also a lock-in for aerial dancers, a natural hair foot parade and festival with Grand Marshall Erykah Badu, an Anime Festival and loads of other great things happening around the city. Be a pal and share this list with your friends, then make a party plan. Click the event titles for more information and I'll see you out there. (I'll be the one laying on the hot rod.)

Thursday 8.30 Four Nights, Four Decades -- Video is a young and quickly evolving artistic medium that's got its foothold in the last 50 years. The Power Station wants to teach you all about it in a new lecture series. They're bringing in local artists/professors each Thursday (beginning tonight) for a month to educate on video art through specific decades. Tonight's is all about the experimental, hard and fast 1970s, and it's free. Also, there's free craft beer.

Sharon Needles -- She's bawdy. She's gorgeous. She's dead. Needles snatched the crown last season on RuPaul's Dragrace, and she did it on her own terms. Wickedly funny and wonderfully dark, Needles is a discarded black fingernail in the mimosa of traditional drag and tonight, she'll pop out of a coffin at It'll Do.

Party In The Park -- It's the final pop-up happy hour in the program's month-long run, which has taken us to several parks and green spaces around Dallas. This evening's bash happens at Belo Garden, 1014 Main Street. It goes from 5 to 9 p.m. Chelsea Hood and Friends -- Each Thursday night in August, local funnylady Chelsea Hood hijacked the 9:30 p.m. time slot at Dallas Comedy House. She fills the showcase with a tiny street gang of her favorite local comedians, and tonight is your last chance to bro down with 'em. Friday 8.31 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Plays Frozen Planet -- George Fenton is responsible for more of your happiness than you might know: He's scored the soundtracks for Planet Earth and Blue Planet -- you love those! He's also the man behind the soundtrack for Frozen Planet, the latest addition to the Planet family. Tonight, the DSO will play music from the BBC docu-series while high resolution images (Penguins! Polar bears!) from the show are projected on screens behind them. Also, Fenton will conduct.

AnimeFest -- If you're into cosplay and aggressively accosting animators with "How did you?" questions, this is where you'll want to be this weekend. The fest runs through Monday, so you'll have plenty of time to visit with celebrity guests, shop the collectables booths and own some fools at the arcade. Saturday 9.1

Bacon Tour -- Can't get enough ribbon meat? Dallasbychocolate.com is doing an entire tour of the stuff. You'll go all over the city to sample bacon bloody marys, bacon ice cream, bacon donuts, chocolate bacon, bacon cupcakes and it's all paired with beer (regular, or bacon). Wear your stretchy pants and leave your food shame at home.

Invasion Car Show at Trees -- Yes. It's a gathering of lust-worthy wheels from pre-1964, and they're all done-up to the nines. No newfangled customs at this party, uh-uh. This bash is reserved for the classics, the sexy beasts that make you wish we still took Sunday drives and raced for women's honor on Dead Man's Curve. Check it out. Also, those fabulous surf rockers, Los Straightjackets, are playing the after-party.

Every Zombie Stumblin -- How will you survive a zombie uprising? By blending in. This event is part zombie walk, part flash mob and a whole lotta drinking. The exact places your undead gang will visit are secret, so register to find out more.

Natural Hair Parade and Festival, with celebrity Grand Marshall Erykah Badu -- Isis Brantley is a local treasure. She's using her big name in the natural hair movement to throw a huge, inspired festival on Saturday. There will be on-site braiding, celebrity guests hundreds of heads of beautiful hair proudly marching through South Dallas. Don't miss this.

First Saturdays at the Nasher -- Ernesto Neto's beautiful installation is at the end of its run, so pop by the Nasher on Saturday and spend a little time with it. There's a lot to do while you're there, with workshops and lectures filling out the Nasher's public day planner. Also, the whole thing is free. Perfect.

Free Outdoor Screening of Strictly Ballroom -- We love free outdoor movies, but we love them even more when they're B.Y.O.B., and that's what you'll get at this sunset offering. It's the perfect date for cheapskates. Sunday 9.2 Dallas Handmade Art's Market Opening Weekend -- This is a fun, new way to shop, folks: it's indoors (no sweating), there's free booze and everything is made with love. Meet the artists who created all of the goodies and pick up interesting gifts that you'll never find at the mall. It's a new every Saturday and Sunday affair, so go this weekend and be the first to call dibs on all of that great stuff.

Moxie Mischief's Aerial Dance Lock-In -- If you've ever been curious how they do it, those high-flying guys and gals who scamper effortlessly up and down strips of fabric, Sunday is your night to learn. Mischief is taking over Dallas Rocks Gym from 8 p.m. until 7 a.m. and teaching workshops for all levels of would-be circus stars. There will be performances too, so if your arms give out entirely just rest and take in the spectacle.

DFW Comics Charity Softball Tournament -- Because comics are known for their athletic prowess, you'll see a whole bunch of them battle it out on the softball field. It's free (but I'm sure you can donate to the Salvation Army and YMCA while there), and there's a 7th inning set by comedians Paul Varghese, Keith Manning, Chris Lehman, and more.

Monday 9.3 Airhogs vs. Sox -- You love baseball, but also like to support the little guy -- us too. That's why we love the Grand Prairie Airhogs. Those Independent Minor League players have got chutzpa, and margaritas! Join them on Monday, tickets start at $12.

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