18 Awesome Things to Do this Memorial Day Weekend in Dallas, May 23 to 27

Arrested Development

Season 4

starts Sunday


Prepare for extreme leisure, Dallas. The next four days are filled with drag queens, water balloon battles, brewery celebrations, rotten tomato chucking and top secret art shows.

Send out the group text and make a plan. And click on the event titles for more information. I'll see you out there. (I'll be the one doing a chicken dance.)

Thursday 5.23

Noche de Rumba -- The LULAC Young Adult Rainbow Council brings back the time-capsuled fundraising bachelor/bachelorette auction concept Thursday night, and as an update they've added Dallas' fiercest drag queen emcee, Jenna Skyy. Paying for companionship has never been so charitable.

Pasties for Progress -- Proof that there's a fundraiser for everything, this benefit burlesque performance goes to help some ladies jazz up their studio décor.

Enron (Theatre Three) -- This Jeffrey Schmidt-directed production pulls back the curtain on the energy company's misdeeds and uses dinosaur puppets as visual buffers. It's your last weekend to catch it.

Friday 5.24 Dustin Diamond -- He was Screech. He made a sex tape. Now, he does dirty stand-up comedy. Fans of Saved by the Bell, rejoice. Ms. Gay USofA -- Drag Race addicts listen up: Each year on Memorial Day weekend Dallas hosts a national drag pageant and this year's should be rowdier than ever because that crown is HUGE, ya' hear? It goes down at the Palladium Ballroom. Better werk.

Priscilla Queen of the Desert with Afterparty -- Need more drag? All right. On Friday night, party with the cast of Priscilla, DSM's current production. Your ticket stub gets you access, free parking and a cocktail.

Behind the Screen Art Show -- Just another unlikely fun-generator occurring at Texas Theatre. They've already put in an art gallery, covered the walls in murals by Clay Stinnett, and placed a performance artist behind the bar. Why not do an art show backstage? Oh, why the hell not. On Friday you'll see work by Darb$, Juan Carlos Salguero and Andrew Prieto-Sandoval and get live music by SuperSonic Lips and The Abnormal -- all for five bucks. You were probably going to wind up there anyway, now you have A Special Purpose.

Joker's Wild Comedy at House of Blues -- This installment of Joker's Wild, a monthly event that promotes area comics in a free show, has an afterparty thanks to a birthday by its creator, comic/host Chris Kazmarski. When prodded for party details, Kazmarski tells the Observer to expect: "a DJ, a monkey, special guests, cake and beer pong." Man, I hope that monkey plays beer pong.

Saturday 5.25 National Polka Festival -- Oh Ennis, you're so quaint. It's back, and ready to make you bob around like a weeble wobble for three days straight. Pretend to understand what's happening and eat schnitzeled fare from Friday through Sunday. Carmina Burana -- The staccato pagan warrior cries of Carmina Burana have been used in everything from shaving cream ads to your favorite cartoons, but on Saturday night they'll close out the Dallas Symphony Orchestra's latest season. (Warning: severe possibility of minds being blown.)

Sunday 5.26 Arrested Development Day! -- Finally. Season 4 drops in one massive Netflix care package on Sunday. We've built a drinking game for you AND collected all Arrested character chicken dances as GIFS. Get pumped.

The Tomato Battle -- I've never understood the Tomato Battle. Pelting friends with over-ripened fruit should be attainable for less than $50, and yet, each year it's wildly popular. If you want to trade a lot of cash for rotten produce, go to Fair Park on Sunday.

Neon Summer -- At Fair Park party detonation spot Ash Studios, a big bash is forming. A joint effort between arts crusaders Green Bandana and sonic detonators Deep Dallas Music, Neon Summer promises leisure through Treaty Oaks cocktails, art installations, loads of live music, 200 water balloons, sprinklers and three grills. Tickets are $10 if you get 'em in advance.

Carry the Load -- This 20-hour marathon honors veterans and active duty service members, law enforcement officers, firefighters and their families. It's a fundraiser, a feat of endurance and a community builder. Dig?

Hotel Texas Opens at the DMA -- Few knew about this tiny exhibition of masterworks that filled the walls of the Kennedy's suite prior to the assassination until just a couple of years ago. Well-connected community members wanted to make the couple's stay a little lovelier, so pieces by Picasso, van Gogh, Eakins, Feininger, Kline and others were collected and installed in just a few, quick days. An exhibition catalog was even created around the tiny hotel show. Now the DMA and Amon Carter have united to recreate it. They've located all but three of the original pieces and staged them in galleries, mimicking how they hung in the suite rooms during the Kennedy's stay. It's extremely interesting and spurred an offshoot exhibition called DallasSITES, which showcases artful ephemera from the area's modern movement, with a timeline beginning at the Kennedy affair. Both open on Sunday.

Brew-B-Q -- [Stomach growling noises go here.] Live music, art, complimentary beer by Deep Ellum Brewery and barbecue by Pecan Lodge? Yes, please.

Monday 5.27 Dallas Symphony's Memorial Concert and Fireworks Display at Flagpole Hill -- Kicking off the summer's community concert series, which brings symphony performances into local parks, is this annual production. It's a crowd favorite, so bring a picnic, a blanket and arrive early for the 8 p.m. performance.

All-You-Can-Play at Adventure Landing -- Regress with unlimited Laser Tag, Mini Golf and 10 arcade tokens for $10.99 at Adventure Landing. Get excited, cheapskates.

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