1) Bedford Blues & Music Festival
When: August 30 – September 1 (various times)
Where: Bedford, across from City Hall
Okay, I know this is coming up, like this weekend, but I had to put it in here. BBQ and blues is a match made in heaven. This three-day BBQ cook-off and music festival draws close to 20,000 brisket-loving fans. Judged by the finger-lickin’ Kansas City Barbeque Society, a nonprofit dedicated to all things tasty, and the general public, pit masters from across the country will compete to win up to $2,000, a seriously awesome trophy and a Grand Champion Banner. They also serve up a serious portion of blues with performances by Josh Weathers, Jimmie Vaughan, Buddy Guy and more.
2) Animal House Toga Party
When: September 5 (7 p.m.)
Where: Alamo Drafthouse Richardson
How can you not be excited about Alamo Drafthouse coming to Dallas? Really, I have been waiting for Dallas to catch the Drafthouse fever for years. The new location in Richardson is full of movie-loving fun, themed parties and quote-alongs. It’ll be a “full on party experience”, equipped with a toga fashion show, Shout dance party and free paddles! Grab an old sheet and fashion it into a makeshift toga and invite your rowdiest friends to join in on the fun.
3) Paste’s Untapped Fest
When: September 7 (3-10 p.m.)
Where: Gilley’s on South Side and surrounding areas
Check out tons of local brews from Lakewood, Community, Deep Ellum Brewing Co., Peticolas, Denton’s Armadillo Ale Works and more at this all-day drink-a-thon. The line-up is pretty killer too, with acts like Delta Spirit, Freelance Whales, Cults, Blackalicious, Leagues, Dead Flowers, Dark Rooms and Larry g(EE). It’s the perfect opportunity to find your new favorite beer, while discovering a few bands in the process. They’ll be offering a hefty dose of national brews too, like Chimay, Brooklyn Brewery and Oskar Blues.
4) Addison’s 26th Annual Oktoberfest
When: September 19 – 22 (various times)
Where: Addison Circle Park
Every year I can’t resist grabbing a group of friends and immersing myself in the Bavarian tradition of drinking excessive amounts of beer, stuffing myself with German sausages and sauerkraut, and dancing like an idiot in Oktoberfest’s Draught Haus. Enjoy a dachshund parade and sign up for what they like to call “German Idol”, which is seriously a yodeling competition where 25 bold souls will brave the stage and battle for prizes. Bavarian cheesecake anyone?
When: September 21 (11 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
Where: Deep Ellum Outdoor Market on Main Street
Get ready to slip into your Beefsquatch outfit for this one (Bob’s Burgers fans, anyone?) The crew that puts on the Deep Ellum Market and the North Texas Taco Festival is inviting burgerloving fans to stuff as many mini-sliders in their mouths as possible. I don’t know about you, but anything that brings Maple & Motor, Whiskey Cake and 20 other burger joints together sounds like a winner. Sink your teeth into a hefty dose of burgers, ice cream and live music as you enjoy a brew at their “beer garden” in Deep Ellum.
6) Breakaway Music Festival
When: September 21 (11 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.)
Where: FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco
Have you ever been to a music festival in a soccer stadium? Me neither. With one in Columbus, Ohio and one here in Dallas (well, Frisco), this new fest brings together a mix of indie, EDM, pop, hiphop and other styles and aims to highlight the thriving local music scene. Who you can expect to see: Wu-Tang Clan, Matt & Kim, Empire of the Sun, Big Gigantic, Explosions in the Sky, Ra Ra Riot, Booty Fade, Oil Boom and more.
7) The Amazing Memorable Thing by Chris Rabb
When: Artist Reception September 21 from 6-9 p.m. (on view August 3 – September 22)
Where: Life in Deep Ellum Mokah Gallery
Created over the last two years, Christopher Rabb’s recent exhibition will be on view at Life in Deep Ellum’s Mokah Gallery until late September. Graffiti-esque and expressive, his work uses layers of multimedia and visually appealing colors to draw the eye in. His muse: the never ending inflow of information from various sources, from news to the internet, roadside billboards to TV and even everyday conversations. Bring a date and come check out the free and open-to-the-public exhibition in the heart of Deep Ellum.
8) Chinese Lantern Festival
When: September 27 – January 5 (various times)
Where: State Fair of Texas
Tap into your inner child and see a different side of the State Fair, on crack. This trippy neon hued light-filled exhibit looks awesome. This year’s theme “Light a New Dream” boasts a dragonshaped boat you can ride on and an enormous porcelain castle that’s over 50 feet tall made out of 68,000 pieces of porcelain dishes (tied by hand!) I have to see this. There will also be acrobat shows, arts and crafts, 17 new scenes this year to ogle at and greasy Chinese food for all.