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Five Fun Outdoor Events I Recommend in the Dallas Area

Apr 13, 2008
The Dallas area holds 100s of events per year, some better known than others. Below are the top five annual events I recommend attending if you live near Dallas.

1. The Taste of Addison
This foodfest usually occurs in mid May and features more than 50 area restaurants. restaurants of all kinds, mostly from Addison's restaurant row on Beltline, serving up samples of their menus. There is always live music, as well as other activities. I have personally been to this event four times since 2003.

While you do have to pay for each food sample, there are some excellent deals with varieties that would have been hard to afford otherwise. The sushi samples from local sushi houses, and the "meat on a stick" from the two local Brazilian Churrascarias added a lot of value for the price. It usually costs five to ten dollars to get in, but you can often find discounts through national grocery chains, or even free tickets from radio shows.

2. The State Fair of Texas
I've visited in the State Fair probably eight times over my life. This month-long statewide occasion is held on the fair grounds of South Dallas. The most popular day to attend is when University of Texas plays rival Oklahoma University in the Cotton Bowl also located within the fair grounds.

My favorite part, if hadn't guessed, is the food. Corn dogs, alligator, even fried Coca Cola -- the state fair is notorious for trying to innovate frying a new editable treat each year that has never been attempted.

Some attendees can not miss the car show, which exhibits pre-market models of popular makes with the chance to win one. In another area there are live infomercial-like displays with actors and salespeople playing cooks and demonstrating knifes and the latest portable rotisserie oven. Go early in the season, and you'll have a better chance of finding parking.

3. Greekfest
This is held in Richardson, Texas, at a Greek Orthodox Church. I have attemded the last two years and I completely "Greeked out" both times. This is somewhat of a smaller event in geographical area, but 1000s of people cycle throughout the two days.

Gyros, baklava, falafels --any sort of Greek food or drink you can think of a vendor is offering including Greek beer and wine. They also have an area devoted to those selling traditional Greek art, jewelry, clothing, and canned desserts. There are also live performances including live Greek bands, River Dancing troupes, and modern music.

4. The Taste of Dallas
Although a larger city, The Taste of Dallas is actually a smaller event than The Taste of Addison. Held in the West End section of Dallas, this event includes several restaurants from mostly the West End setting up stands on the streets with samples of their food and employees serving.

I have only been to this event once, but I will go back. The highlight was seeing the street artists creating art in real time using spray paint and creative stenciling. Unlike The Taste of Addison, The Taste of Dallas had plenty of Moon Bounces.

5. Greenville Avenue St. Patty's Day Parade
This is an amazing event fun for the whole family. The Greenville Avenue St. Patty's Day Parade always happens on the Saturday prior to actual St. Patty's Day (the 14th of March).

The city blocks off about a three mile stretch of Greenville Avenue and people set up chairs and coolers alongside the street to watch the parade of dog organizations, alumni associations, radio stations, groups representing local bars, and many others.

Almost any group can have a float if you pay the $150 entry fee. It may be the only advertising or promotion some of these groups for the whole year and may be the best advertising money spent since close to 10,000 people see their float.

Along with the family fun, many parade patrons take advantage of the fact that on that day, you are allowed to drink alcohol on the street. Parade watchers bring coolers full of beer, some even set up kegs as early as nine in the morning. This last time was my third encounter with the parade, two of the times I only had to walk out my front door since Greenville is a cross street.
About the Author
Neil Lemons represents Comedy Defensive Driving. For more information on their defensive driving Dallas school visit their website http://www.comedydefensivedriving.com.
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