Things To Do

Best Things To Do in Dallas This Weekend

Margs. Sarah Schumacher


Let's see, it's step, step, hop, turn, hop. Or is that hop, step, hop, turn? It's so tough to remember polka steps without a head full of beer. Never worry, though — there'll be plenty of dancers willing to show you the ropes at the National Polka Festival this weekend in Ennis, and if you're stuck with two left feet, you can always fall back on munching kolaches and listening to lively music from more than a dozen live bands, including everyone's polka fave, Brave Combo, and country music from Parker McCollum. Food, games and a parade through downtown fill a holiday weekend dedicated to celebrating Czech culture. The festival starts with an opening dance at 6 p.m. Friday along with a the King and Queen Dance Contest. A parade happens 10 a.m. Saturday, and more music and dance follow on Sunday in three air-conditioned downtown halls (KC, KJT and Sokol Halls). Tickets to the concerts are $9-$14 in advance. Find them and more information at Patrick Williams

Don’t think of all that time you spent on table soccer at summer camp, in your uncle’s game room or in the back corner of your favorite sports bar as a waste. Think of it as practice for what could be the crowning achievement of your life: this weekend’s International Foosball Promotions Texas State Championships. Players of all levels ranging from really good to incredibly good can compete for trophies, jackets and prize money in rookie, amateur, expert, pro and master singles and doubles competitions at the Westin Dallas Fort Worth Airport, 4545 W. John Carpenter Freeway in Irving. Entries range from $10 to $120 per player with three-, four- and five-event package deals available. The room opens at 6 p.m. Friday with beginner singles, draw your partner and mixed doubles. Matches kick off from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday and 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday. Registration and more information are available onsite or at, and all fees are collected onsite. Jesse Hughey

Can't make it to France for this summer Tour de France? Never worry, McKinney is closer, cheaper, English-speaking and offers a style of bike racing that's likely to be a lot more thrilling for spectators. The Bike the Bricks Criterium has riders hammering it out on a short course along city streets, pedaling hell for leather and hitting speeds in excess of 40 mph just inches from spectators lining the course. They ride fast, packed close together in the chase for a share of $25,000 in prize money, putting riders' skills and power to the test. The square in downtown McKinney is where the racing happens from 2:30-11 p.m. Friday, and downtown restaurants, food trucks and concessionaires will be serving food and drink. The races are free to watch, so grab a cooler and a lawn chair. Visit for a course map and more information. Patrick Williams

Are you tired of being that person in the office who has nothing to say when someone asks, “Oh my God, did you see Game of Thrones last night? Wasn’t that insane?” It’s hard being the one person left in society who hasn’t seen a single episode or even a scene from Game of Thrones. Who has time to get caught up on all that lore, character history and wanton violence? This weekend, you’ll have a chance. The Hyatt Regency Dallas, 300 Reunion Blvd., hosts the Con of Thrones 2018, a fan-organized convention dedicated to George R.R. Martin’s violent fantasy world, from Friday until Sunday. The three-day gathering of “Fire and Ice” fans will feature panels, shows and guest appearances centered on Martin’s book series and the insanely popular HBO epic. Guests will include some of the show’s more familiar stars, such as Joe Dempsie, Hannah Murray and Sibel Kekilli. The con will also offer late-night parties and musical performances inspired by TV’s favorite fantasy bloodfest. Passes are $199 for the weekend or $87 for one day and can be purchased at Danny Gallagher

While William Roberts II, aka Rick Ross, has been assailed by medical issues over the past handful of months, they haven’t seemed to slow him down one bit. The former corrections officer’s 10th studio album, Port of Miami 2: Born to Kill, is scheduled to drop this year, and his entrée into the world of male beauty products was well received, if only for the hilarity of ingredients such as Champagne and caviar extract. Ross’ debut, Port of Miami, topped the charts in 2006 as Ross’ bossy baritone became a staple of the naughty aughties’ strip clubs and low-riders. None of his albums has failed to debut in the top six of the Billboard 200 chart, so like it or not, he’s a rap icon with plenty of gas left in the tank. At 42 and with a successful Wingstop franchise to fall back on, Ross continues to entertain and innovate. 8 p.m. Friday, May 25, Music Hall at Fair Park, 909 First Ave., 214-565-1116, $60. Nicholas Bostick

Two of the most popular bands of the '70s, Steely Dan and The Doobie Brothers, co-headline this year as part of The Summer of Living Dangerously tour. The tour follows the death late last year of co-founding Steely Dan member Walter Becker. The two bands have shared members in the past, including Michael McDonald, and each blended jazz fusion with classic rock. 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 25, Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory, 300 W. Las Colinas Blvd., $35-$199.50. Diamond Victoria


Do Buddhists consider gluttony to be a cardinal sin? The Thai Culture and Food Festival arrives this weekend at the Buddhist Temple of Dallas, 8484 Stults Road, and we hope the believers don't take too dim a view of American appetites because any event offering a Thai food bazaar serving a range of dishes for $1-$7 a pop is bound to inspire overeating. The fest also offers temple tours, Muay Thai boxing demonstrations, Thai dance and music, and a pop-up shop selling imported goods and creations by Thai designers. Admission is free, and the festival runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Visit for more details. Patrick Williams

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth takes our love of cat videos to a new level with the NY Cat Film Festival, a medley of short films honoring the feline. Explore the lives of companion cats, feral cats, a cat psychic, a cat groomer, a cat hair knitter and even a man who thinks he is a cat at 11 a.m. or 2 p.m. Saturday at the museum, 3200 Darnell St. Maybe you'll gather some insights into your little monster's behavior; at the very least, you'll feel empowered to flood your Instagram with more cat pics. Tickets are $10 for the public, $8 for museum members and $7 for participants in the museum's Reel People program. Ten percent of proceeds will go to animal welfare organizations. For more information, visit Emily Goldstein

Lewisville's rodeo grounds are the site for a traditional Mexican rodeo — and try to read those words without getting that Wall of Voodoo song "Mexican Radio" stuck on a loop in your head. The Fiesta Charra won't be serving barbecued iguana, but it will offer scenes of masterful horsemanship, traditional Mexican dance and music, rodeo clowns, a Frida Kahlo contest and a concert by Little Joe y La Familia. Gates open at noon Saturday, and rodeo events take place throughout the afternoon before the 5 p.m. concert. Admission to the rodeo at 101 Parkway Drive is free, but parking is $5. Find more information at Patrick Williams

Since Edgefest went away when the Edge went off the air a couple of years ago, the Eagle's annual summer event has picked up the slack. This year, it's A Perfect Circle headlining a bill with seven other bands, including Stone Temple Pilots, Theory of a Deadman and Candlebox. APC has a new record called Eat the Elephant to promote and play new songs from. It’s a worthy headliner and a good bridge for people who love Maynard James Keenan's voice but can't quite get into his other projects, namely Tool. Stone Temple Pilots are embarking on a strong return with new vocalist Jeff Gutt. He has the stage presence and pipes to replace the voices of Scott Weiland and Chester Benington. The rest of the lineup you can take or leave, but since this is BFD, expect the lengthy show to be a good day out with friends and drinks. With A Perfect Circle, Stone Temple Pilots, Theory of a Deadman, Candlebox and more, 2:30 p.m. Saturday, May 26, Dos Equis Pavilion, 3839 Fitzhugh Ave.,, $27-$170. Eric Grubbs

Denton's darling Daniel Markham has dabbled in folk, rock 'n' roll, country and even metal during the past six years. He's received several Dallas Observer Music Award nominations during this time, including last year's best rock act. Markham's preparing the release of his latest album, Hyperspeed, out Friday, including the singles "Silver" and "Velvet Elvis." 9 p.m. Saturday, May 26, Andy's Bar, 122 N. Locust St.,, $5. Diamond Victoria


One man's trash is another man's amazing trailer park find. At least that's what Lola's Rock 'n' Roll Rummage Sale is hoping. Head down to the trailer park the last Sunday of every month to dig through collectibles, original art, vintage stuff, vinyl and handmade goods. Top it off with food truck feasting and live music . It happens from noon to 7 p.m. Sunday at Lola's Trailer Park, 2735 W. Fifth St. in Fort Worth. For more information, email [email protected] Paige Skinner

The Soluna music and arts festival presents a family friendly event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at picturesque Klyde Warren Park, 2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway. Activities are planned for both body and mind, with yoga, community art projects and a live performance by Dallas Symphony cellist Kari Kettering on the schedule. With the promise of sun, greenery and a view of the Arts District’s glittering cityscape, Passport to the Park is just the thing to kickstart your summer in earnest. Find more information at Jonathan Patrick

We've only reached temperatures in the 90s, and it's already hell. You can feel the sweat dripping down your back just from the walk from your car to your office building. It's only going to get hotter, and the only thing that can cool you off and make you forget about this hell state is a margarita in hand. Scratch that. Make that several margaritas in hand. The eighth annual Margarita Meltdown is here, and it's your chance to sample and judge the best margaritas in Dallas. Go and get an alcoholic brain freeze. You deserve it. It's from noon to 8 p.m. Sunday at Dallas Farmers Market, 920 S. Harwood St. Tickets start at $15. For more information, visit Paige Skinner

The Chicago emcee best known as Chief Keef is renowned for his blasé deadpan and salacious controversy. At only 16, the rapper burst onto the hip-hop scene with a series of mixtapes and a 2012 major label debut, Finally Rich. With icy pop rap fueled by drugged-down atmospheres and a gnarly flow, the album was as infectious as it was ominous. You got the sense there was an unspoken violence bubbling just beneath the surface. The last few years, filled with mixtapes that feel like afterthoughts, have been comparatively unremarkable for Keef. But the last 12 months have been transformational. A string of high-caliber releases both official and unofficial has revealed a wiser, funnier and more evolved talent. He still swerves between beats like he’s half asleep behind the wheel, effortlessly navigating bars other rappers might stumble through. His skills remain so innate and undeniable that you can’t help but wonder why contemporary mumble rap has yet to catch up. No question, Chief Keef is renewed and ready to remake the game all over again. 7 p.m. Sunday, May 27, South Side Music Hall, 1135 S. Lamar St., $25. Jonathan Patrick

Justin Timberlake brings his Man of the Woods tour to Dallas for a two-night stand at the cavernous American Airlines Center at a time when his career is at a bit of a crossroads. As a global superstar for close to two decades, he's always enjoyed excellent album and ticket sales, prime-time performance slots at awards shows and sporting events, and plum roles in ace Hollywood films. He's an adept crooner and a versatile dancer, and he possesses enough "aw shucks" sincerity to woo even the unlikeliest of fans, such as the 88-year old grandmother he brought out onstage last week at a show in Florida. However, the past year has been filled with some backlash. There were his Twitter controversies over the use of cultural appropriation and his tepid response to the Super Bowl incident with Janet Jackson that again became relevant this winter as Timberlake took the field as the halftime performer. And then there is the music on his latest album, a hodgepodge amalgamation of hip-hop, bro-country and folk-inspired tunes that has been celebrated in some circles but largely panned in others. Regardless, Timberlake remains a genuine pop star capable of filling arenas and giving fans their money's worth. Now at the midway point of this tour, his stage presence should be pretty refined, making Sunday and Monday's back-to-back shows essential to those dedicated fans and intriguing enough for the casual folks to tune in for the duration. 7:30 p.m. Sunday, May 27, American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., 214-222-3687 or, $49 and up. Jeff Strowe
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Paige Skinner has written for the Dallas Observer since 2014.
Contact: Paige Skinner