A walk on the wildlife side


There used to be this furry creature in my backyard sometimes. It would dig through my trash, scratch at my window screens and once I even caught it cowering in a dark corner of my garage. After the fourth or fifth incident, I finally got a restraining order against it, moved to a different neighborhood and vowed never to date another Trekkie. Those of you with non-humanoid prowlers might prefer the Backyard Wildlife Festival instead of the legal system in order to better understand (or avoid) the animal friends living in our gardens and yards. Hosted this Friday through Sunday by the Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park, 3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., the festival will feature live exhibitions from the DFW Wildlife Coalition and Critter 911. Animal footprint detective games will be available for kids, and grown-ups can learn how to humanely deal with pesky stow-away squirrels and raccoons (and, maybe, Trekkies) that get stuck in attics and chimneys. Tickets are $1.50 for kids and $3 for adults. Call 214-428-7476. --Andrea Grimes

Kickstart Your Heart


Picking a fight with a girl isn't a good idea. Why, it's downright rude to karate chop a helpless dame, and in the case of Diane Reeve, you better just leave her alone, lest she unleash her fifth-degree black-belt wrath. But Reeve, owner of the Vision Martial Arts Center, 909 W. Spring Creek Parkway, Plano, has better things to worry about, such as the Charity Kick-A-Thon she's throwing on Saturday to celebrate VMAC's 10th anniversary. Starting at 11 a.m., studio students will attempt 1,000 kicks each, and the pledges they've collected support Collin County Children's Advocacy Center. Afterward, the extremely sore students can recover with everyone else at a celebratory picnic at Hoblitzelle Park, 7500 Red River Drive, at 2 p.m. Call 972-527-8141. --Sam Machkovech


Blue suede shoes are not generally recommended for jogging, but in the case of the Fifth Annual Elvis Run you might want to make an exception. With the anniversary of The King's passing just around the corner, what better way to celebrate his legacy than running a 5K in an Elvis costume? Benefiting United Cerebral Palsy of Metropolitan Dallas, the event features a 5K Elvis Run, the Rock and Roll One-Mile Walk, a classic car show and a performance by an Elvis impersonator. All participants are encouraged to don their best Elvis garb or '50s attire. I would recommend the Young Elvis look, as the late-period polyester suits tend to chafe. The aerodynamic properties of the pompadour are sure to take several minutes off your time, too. Registration begins Saturday at 6:30 a.m. at the Hard Rock Café, 2601 McKinney Ave., or register online at If running is not your bag, you can still check out the car show and live performances from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Call 214-351-2500. --Noah W. Bailey

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