Your Guide to Fall in Dallas

Those 9 p.m. sunsets are creeping closer and closer to a reasonable hour. The heat stays but something about the sticky September afternoons reminds us of summer's conclusion. Whatever magic it brings is dwindling. The school zones have lit up, those of us with summer vacations have bid them adieu and those of us without them must stop pretending we were ever on one.

And there is that tendency to will the fall back and hold on to the summer. One last swim, we keep calling it, though we all know it will be hot enough to jump in a pool till at least October. And the stubborn wardrobe changes, my personal seasonal dance to those autumnal gods, means wearing boots and blazers far too soon. Changing my drink order from gin to bourbon, in an effort to signal to the universe that I am ready for the coming fall.

See also: The Overserved's Last Night At the State Fair of Texas

And as we find ourselves halfway through September, it all feels so very September-y. As much as we complain of the business of the holidays or festival seasons, it is this early fall season when Dallas calendars fill up, when events launch and when you can decide to go full blast in nearly every Dallas circus ring, should you choose. We don't want you to forget a thing this fall at The Overserved, and in the interest of helping you do it all in style we offer some tips on keeping your September calendar together. As with any new school year, you may need some supplies, a costume or two that invoke a lot of confidence and the flexibility to plan out every minute of the month -- and ditch your plans when an adventure comes your way.

Your Fall in Highbrow

The gala season kicks off in September, and in Dallas you will be starting with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra's opening night on Saturday, which gives you a reason to dust off that tux or full-length gown. You'll be there for the music, of course. This year the socialite season kicks off with no less a diva than soprano Renee Fleming, joining rock star conductor Jaap van Zweden, but the party won't end there. Stay for the afterparty to witness Dallas-level decadence as the yuppies, the music snobs and the one percenters mix it up. It's no Art Ball in terms of immoderation but the Champagne-only bar just east of DJ Lucy Wrubel gives every gala in town a run for its bubbly. It. Is. Everywhere.

What you will need: well-heeled shoes comfortable enough to dance in, the memory that the lobby bars at the Meyerson still serve hard liquor during the afterparty portion of the night and whatever well-fitting shallow sparkly thing makes you stand the tallest amongst the beautiful people. Drink some water.

Your Fall in State Pride

On the other end of the spectrum, that beloved common Texan denominator, the State Fair of Texas, rolls out the fried carpet on September 27. The fair is in and of itself an event (creepy dolls and butter sculptures aren't going to stare at themselves, y'all), but you'll want to check the football and concert calendars so that you can decide when to go to and fro. The Red River Shootout leaves the grounds pretty empty during the actual game if you can get around the parking. There is no finer show in Dallas than the Battle of the Bands at the Grambling and Prairie View game, this year preceded by a concert from Destiny's Child alum and down-low kisses fan Kelly Rowland on October 5. This does not include the myriad parties and events that surround both of those games in all parts of our city. On Red River Shootout Day, you can just look for your team's flag outside any bar up and down McKinney Avenue, but to fete with the many who will make the trip without tickets to the game, might I suggest two places for the best parties: tailgates and hotel lobbies.

This is assuming, of course, you are craving this particular flavor of circus ring. Otherwise, just stay home or head somewhere there are no televisions. What you will need: an Uber app or cab fare. Seriously, parking is a nightmare on both of these game days at Fair Park, but a drop-off on the outer edge of the main parking lot near Gexa Energy Pavilion means you can take your pick of elaborate tailgate parties. Just make sure you bring something to share. And your leftover fair coupons in that messenger bag from last year. They still work you guys, THEY CARRY OVER. Get me a corny dog, please. Fletcher's only. Mustard. And just a reminder: Blondie are playing with X on September 28. BLONDIE!

Your Fall in Music Festivals

And the fests, they are a-coming. With Untapped, Mad Decent and Día de los Toadies behind us, we continue to amp up with Index Fest in October. Spune has perhaps becomes the official amuse bouche for pre-festival show-going for those of us who will make the trek south for Austin City Limits or Fun Fun Fun Fest. And with style, both Untapped and Index Fest feel significant enough on their own for Dallas patrons seeking out bands popular on the festival circuit, and no one even has to plant a flag in the middle of a field to keep track of one another. Festival fatigue may be inevitable, but there is only one way to see Run the Jewels this fall: We're festing.

What you will need: a sacrifice to the Deus ex Festival, whatever is personally meaningful for you. A proper surrender means you can relax about always knowing the whereabouts of the 25 people with whom you insisted on attending a very popular and open to the public music festival. Look, your phone isn't going to work, you aren't going to want to see all the same bands, you aren't going to be able to find that tree you keep saying is a meeting point in the dark. So just go listen to music, be confident that Deus ex Festival will guide you all back together and there will still be plenty of time for pizza. It just always happens that way. It has to.

The slow place of the summer is concluding day by day, but the fall bring its own comforts. And sure, all of your time might be over-scheduled and for what? To rub shoulders with the interesting, to witness a rivalry, to dance, to sing? Well, yeah. It's September.

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