Wednesday, September 21
The name Elizabeth Strout should be as well-known as her best-selling title characters Amy and Isabelle or Olive Kitteridge … or Lucy Barton. And speaking of Lucy, Strout has brought her back. On the page, and to Dallas. The Dallas Museum of Art (1717 N. Harwood St.) welcomes Strout for an Arts & Letters Live event at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21. The author will speak with Texas Book Festival’s Lois Kim on her protagonist’s journey through the earliest days of the pandemic in her new novel Lucy By The Sea. The event is offered in person and virtually, so tickets range in price. Due to COVID, there will not be a signing, but books purchased through the event will be pre-signed by the author. Purchase your preferred option and find out more online.
Thursday, September 22H-E-B | Central Market Plano Balloon Festival with Plano Symphony at Oak Point Park
The balloons are ready for lift-off! Plano and Collin County balloons have been full of hot air for 41 years now, and 5 p.m. Thursday marks the opening of this year’s four-day Plano Balloon Festival at Oak Point Park (2801 E. Spring Creek Parkway). At 6 p.m. the balloons start being inflated in the field, then at 7 p.m. the Plano Symphony Orchestra regales families with exciting music from films such as Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean. The evening culminates just after sunset with a not-to-be-missed balloon glow. Can’t make Thursday? Hit up the scene Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children, available online, or at the event — where admission and everything else is cashless.
It’s not hard to get excited about an author’s debut novel when it comes from someone who has been published in the likes of McSweeney's, Kenyon Review, The Pushcart Prize Anthology and others. Texas’ own LaToya Watkins celebrates her novel Perish with Interabang Books (5600 W. Lovers Lane) at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22. The book tells the story of a Black family as we learn about Helen Jean and her Turner clan across decades with all the generational trauma, internal debates of forgiveness, personal challenges and secrets that come to light when grief is on the table. Watkins sits in conversation with Lori Feathers. The event is free; books are available for purchase on the website.
Friday, September 23
The 25th production of Cirque du Soleil celebrates the fascinating lives of insects and the egg that signifies the origin of their lives and so many others. OVO (if you guessed that's Portuguese for "egg," you'd be right) offers a blend of language and an international cast that dazzles while building a captivating ecosystem of music, acrobatics, lively theatrics and spellbinding story. Get into the life cycle as the show hatches in Dickies Arena (1911 Montgomery St., Fort Worth) Thursday through Sunday. Showtimes vary and tickets start at $58. Learn more on the Dickies Arena website.
Saturday, September 24Art Market at The Boardwalk at Granite Park
The Boardwalk at Granite Park is hosting its annual Art Market on Saturday, Sept. 24, and Plano’s little restaurant oasis, Granite Park, is expanding its horizons to provide even more cultural opportunity. From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., The Boardwalk (5880 State Highway 121), along with FGIII Fine Art Productions and Jackson the Brand, presents the Art Market. The family-friendly event features 30 artists, makers and creatives to shop and watch at work. Shop local … and eat while you’re there. More info on Facebook.
We have a theory. We didn’t get into the dough-making scene during the pandemic, but we see the carb appeal. Thanks to our cats, however, we can see how the action could be super relaxing — especially when it ends with something as delicious as Neopolitan pizza. Partenope Ristorante (1903 Main St.) doesn’t mind what your reason is, and Dino Santonicola and all the folks at the coveted downtown spot are offering an hour-long dive into the world of dough at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24. It’s $75 per person and very limited, so if you don’t get a reservation, don’t worry. There are other classes coming Oct. 1 and 8. Book on Resy.
Sunday, September 25
He’s the man, the myth, the legend. He’s Dirk. And he’s Dallas' giant beacon of greatness. The best thing about Dirk is that he continues to be awesome even after he retired from being awesome. The Dirk Nowitzki Pro Celebrity Tennis Classic 11 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, at SMU Tennis Complex (5555 N. Central Expressway) is a perfect example. The fifth annual pro-am competition welcomes the other big D, plus Andy Roddick, Boris Kodjoe, Mardy Fish, some local named Luka (KIDDING: We love you!) and others for an entertaining day benefiting children’s education and wellness via the Dirk Nowitzki Foundation. Tickets are $41 (naturally) via SMU.
Have you met Miss LifeWalk? You’re about to. At least you will if you go to the official closing ceremony for the Summer of LifeWalk benefiting Prism Health North Texas and the crowning of the queen. You'll learn who the top fundraisers are, and then the pageant will feature incredible drag performances with passionate testimonials on why Miss LifeWalk contenders are committed to ending HIV. Tickets are $20-$30, available online. The 17th Miss LifeWalk Pageant hosts include Heather Thomas, Miss LifeWalk 2012, and Bea Dazzle, Miss Lifewalk 2018. Judges with the hard task of deciding the 2022 Miss LifeWalk winner are Linze Serell, Layla Larue, Lotta Pink, Eric Saldana, and Part-Time Justin, host of The Kidd Kraddick Show.
Monday, September 26Pumpkin Nights at Howell Farms
Release the bats! It’s not even October yet, but Halloween lovers can get an early fix on a gourd time. (Sorry, had to.) Pumpkin Nights at Howell Farms has begun! Get out to 4016 Division St. in Arlington for some not-too-ghoulish illuminated scenes sure to light up your social selfie game. The farm is open 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesdays through Mondays. Tickets are $18-$26 for adults, available online.