Ultimate Guide to Your Labor Day Weekend

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Do This!
Video game sounds have predictably had a huge influence on contemporary music, but what about classical music? The Dallas Symphony Orchestra is out to prove that there's plenty of opportunity for crossover there, too, with their performance of music from Final Fantasy at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center (2301 Flora St.) at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $39 to $109 at mydso.com.

A zine is a self-published magazine with a small circulation, always under 1,000 but often under 100, that is typically made by photocopying pages, folding them in half and stapling. Dallas had its first zine festival last year, and now the Dallas Zine Party is back. Buy local zines from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday at CentralTrak gallery (800 Exposition Ave.), where there will be over 30 exhibitors, tunes spun by DJs, hot dogs and beer. Admission is free. Visit Facebook for more.

You already love the kolaches from West, Texas. So why not check out the rest of what the city has to offer this weekend during the annual WestFest? The three-day celebration of Czech culture takes place at the West Fair and Rodeo grounds on South Main Street and will include live music, a parade, a kolache-eating contest, a carnival and midway, a polka Catholic mass and a 5K. Admission is $8 to $15. For more info, visit westfest.com.

Eat This!
If you haven’t acquainted yourself with Dallas' many Ethiopian restaurants already, head to Taste of Ethiopia from noon to 1 a.m. Saturday and Sunday at Plano Centre (2000 E. Spring Creek Parkway), where you can sample spicy meat and veggie stews served with a spongey sourdough bread called injera, and take part in a traditional coffee ceremony. Tickets are $25. To purchase and find more info, visit ethiopiancommunitydfw.com.

Yes, Dallas' first Shake Shake is finally open at 2500 N. Pearl St. in Uptown's Crescent Court. And if you're willing to brave the insane lines this weekend, you'll be rewarded with New York's favorite burger and shake, plus some local twists on both. Pecan Lodge contributed its jalapeño cheese sausage to the Link Burger and the Shack Attack concrete is made with frozen chocolate custard, fudge sauce, chocolate truffle cookie and Dude, Sweet Chocolate cocoa nib crack bar.

The brisket tacos at Mia's Tex-Mex (4322 Lemmon Ave.) get a lot of hype, but Nick Rallo says you're a fool if you order those instead of the #5 combo, where Mia's really shines. The platter has a sour cream chicken enchilada, another cheese-filled one covered in chili, plus a crunchy beef taco. He calls it well-seasoned and "utterly addictive." 

Drink This!
Miller Coors' purchase of Granbury's Revolver Brewing has got us thinking about the wealth of excellent craft breweries we have in North Texas. Fort Worth is home to many of them, and if you follow our guide, you can visit six and only spend about an hour in the car to do it. Start at Wild Acre Brewing Co. (1734 E. El Paso St., No. 190).

Mudhen at the Farmers Market (900 S. Harwood St.) is all about health, but who said booze can't be part of a healthy diet? Their Canadian Clementine mixes house-infused orange whiskey, heavy cream, house-made grenadine and vermouth, and best of all, for every drink sold the restaurant and bar will donate $1 to the North Texas Food Bank. Get the recipe here.

At 6 p.m. Saturday,  Deep Ellum Brewing Co. (2823 St Louis St.) will gather together 50 of Dallas' most passionate amateur beer-makers for the Labor of Love Homebrew Festival. For $30 you'll get unlimited samples, a can of Deep Ellum beer and a show by the Casey Daniels Band. But your tickets at prekindle.com.

Hear This!
The Buck Pets, big players in the local punk/alt-rock scene of the '80s and early '90s, play a throwback show with Slobberbone and The American Fuse at 8 p.m. Saturday at The Kessler Theater (1230 W. Davis St.). Tickets are $18 to $28 at thekessler.org

For a poppy, electronic evening, head to Three Links (2704 Elm St.) Sunday, where at 9 p.m. there will be a lineup beginning with Zelfel, continuing with homegrown experimental act iill and ending with Ghostbones from Hot Springs, Arkansas, who have post-punk vibes. Tickets are $5 at the door. 

Keep the party going through Sunday and into Monday — it is a holiday, after all — at The Wild Detectives (314 W. 8th St.) with an evening of music curated by Dallas Distortion Music. Moody songstress moth face will kick things off at 7 p.m., then it's time for another atmospheric act, Arizona-based R.ariel, whose songs are synth- and guitar-driven, complemented by delicate vocals. The suggested donation is $5.

See This!
Superheroes are a dime a dozen, but so far as we know, The Toxic Avenger is the first to star one whose signature look comes from having been mutilated by toxic waste. See the musical about a man on a mission to save his New Jersey town from crime and pollution when the Uptown Players put it on at the Kalita Humphreys Theater (3636 Turtle Creek Blvd.) at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10 to $50 at uptownplayers.org.

If you want to see a grumpy guy make jokes in a dragon suit, you'll want to head to Addison Improv (4980 Belt Line Road) this weekend for America's Got Talent finalist Piff the Magic Dragon's magic and comedy show. Joining him will be his assistant, chihuahua/dragon Mr. Piffles. Tickets are $25 to $35 to the shows at 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday; 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday; and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Buy them at ImprovAddison.com.

If it was all you did with your free time, you'd still have a hard time keeping up with all of the dance troupes in Dallas. For maximum efficiency, get a feel for all the biggest players at Dallas DanceFest, which begins at the Dallas City Performance Hall (2520 Flora St.) at 8 p.m. Friday and continues at the same time Saturday. Tickets are $22 to $38 at dallasdancefest.org.

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