Free festival will feature ARTFEST, two outdoor film nights plus 60s-themed dance pre-parties, cooking demos and tastings, art classes for adults, kids fun, reduced admission to museums at select times, “dancing water” shows and much more

DALLAS (April 24, 2012) – Returning Memorial Day weekend May 25 - 27, CityArts Festival presented by Big City Crushed Concrete will offer a spectacular spread of activities and entertainment for families and art aficionados alike to enjoy against the backdrop of historic Fair Park, a national landmark featuring the world’s largest collection of 1930s art deco exhibit buildings, art and sculpture. Free and open to the public, CityArts Festival will feature ARTFEST, which returns to its traditional outdoor setting with art by nearly 150 renowned juried artists. Other holiday-weekend highlights will include two outdoor films Friday and Saturday night with60s-themed dance parties; an indoor culinary showcase featuring demos and tastings by some of Dallas’ most famed chefs and mixologists; unique children’s activities and family-fun shows; art classes for adults and teens with take-home crafts; Art Cars by “cartists” from Texas and beyond; reduced admission to Fair Park’s museums at select times; entertainment on multiple stages; shopping at CityArts Marketplace; “dancing water” shows at the Esplanade Fountain; and more.

“As a Dallas-based company with offices near Fair Park, we have a long-standing fondness for our neighboring historic landmark,” said Trey Brown, vice president of Big City Crushed Concrete. “We’re thrilled to be back sponsoring CityArts Festival for a second year. It’s a huge and diverse event that’s fun and affordable, and it brings the community together over a special holiday weekend.”

ARTFEST, the popular juried art show coordinated by The 500, Inc., will once again be held outdoors at CityArts Festival to showcase fine art and original pieces by nearly 150 renowned Texas and national artists. For more than 40 years, ARTFEST has supported and helped raise money for cultural arts organizations in the Dallas area.Visitors will have a chance to view, meet the artists, and purchase artworks including ceramics, glass, graphics, jewelry, leather/textiles, metal, mixed media, paintings, photography, sculpture and wood.

Two outdoor film nights plus 60s-themed dance pre-parties

Back by popular demand, the Dallas Film Society will host two free outdoor screenings including American Graffiti at 9 p.m. Friday and Grease at 9 p.m. Saturday on the grassy area next to the WRR 101.1 building. Both nights, guests are invited to put on their poodle skirts, roll up their jeans and rewind time for 60s-themed dance pre-movie parties from 7 - 9 p.m. hosted by 98.7 KLUV. Plus, kids can enjoy crafts from 7 - 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Produced by Francis Coppola and directed by George Lucas, American Graffiti tells the story of four teenagers on their last summer night before they leave for college. The 1973 award-winning flick rediscovers drag racing, Inspiration Point and drive-ins in a nostalgic look at the 1960s with some of the era’s most memorable rock 'n' roll hits.

Starring John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John and Stockard Channing, Grease is the summer lovin’ story of good girl Sandy Olsson and greaser Danny Zukko at the rowdy Rydell High. Complete with catchy sing-a-longs, T-Bird black jackets and Pink Ladies prissiness, the 1978 musical continues to be a favorite among audiences of all ages. 

Guests may bring blankets and low-to-the-ground chairs for the outdoor screenings. Concessions (including beer and wine) will be available for purchase. Enter at Gate 6 (Robert B. Cullum and Martin Luther King boulevards).

Cooking demos with star chefs, plus craft beer, wine and liquor tastings, mixology sessions and more at Culinary Showcase 

Throughout the weekend, festival goers ages 21 and up can congregate at the Culinary Showcase inside the Texas Museum of Automotive History. Foodies and wine enthusiasts can enjoy cooking demos, samplings, wine pairings and mixology sessions with some of North Texas’ most celebrated chefs including Chef Richard Chamberlain, Chef Hugh Stewart and Sommelier Jeff Bradley of Chamberlain’s Fish Market Grill and Chamberlain's Steak and Chophouse; Regional Executive Chef David F. Holben of Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House; Executive Chef David McMillan of Screen Door; Chef/Owner Janice Provost of Parigi; Chef Rich Rogers of Scardello; Executive Chef Jim Severson of Sevy’s Grill; Chef TJ Lengnick and Mixologist Sean Connor of Whiskey Cake; and more to be announced soon. In addition, guests can sample an assortment ofcraft beer, liquor and wine by Constellation Wines including world-renowned musician Dave Matthews and award-winning winemaker Steve Reeder’s The Dreaming Tree collection of high-quality wines.

Kids crafts and ongoing activities aplenty at Prudential Children’s Area

The Prudential Children’s Area will be chock-full of arts and crafts, interactive activities and family-fun entertainment. With the help of Dallas nonprofit Big Thought and Dallas artist Jennifer Kindert, kids can make a wallet or small purse from leather generously donated by Fossil. Other unique activities will include butterfly crafts with the Dallas Holocaust Museum, jellyfish crafts and origami dolphins and whales with Sea Shepard Conservation Society, plus Dallas Summer Musicals, the Crow Collection of Asian Art and other prominent organizations will be on site with a variety of hands-on fun to keep young ones content and creative. In addition, the CityArts Craft Area within the Prudential Children’s Area will feature different crafts every two hours such as unique pony-beaded American flag key chains, paper bag box kites, jewelry making, and painting from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. and 3:30 - 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. NOTE: The Prudential Children’s Area will be open Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Art classes for adults and teens at the outdoor Magnolia Art Lounge

Adults and teens can enjoy 60-minute art classes led by local artists from the Creative Arts Center of Dallasand Artcycletx at the outdoor Magnolia Art Lounge. Take-home creations will include everything fromdecoupage to painting to recycled projects and other unique crafts such as collages with Katherine Baronet from the Creative Arts Center of Dallas; Mexican folk art with Sal Barron; book art with Sheila Cunningham; encaustic painting with Brent Dyer from the Creative Arts Center of Dallas; nature sketching with Cynthia Padilla; monotypes/pin press with Junanne Peck; and altered objects with VET. 

Please note: Art classes are $5 per person, and space is limited. Participants should be at least 13 years of age. Classes will run at 7 and 8 p.m. Friday; every hour from 12:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Saturday; and every hour from 1 - 5 p.m. Sunday. 

Art Cars, shopping, food and “dancing water” to delight all ages

An exciting spectacle and crowd pleaser, Art Cars will make their way back to CityArts Festival. “Cartists” from Texas and beyond will wheel in for the weekend to showcase their mobile masterpieces. From cow hair to eyeballs and bottle caps to an oh-so patriotic “Americar,” the quirky cars are sure to stop visitors in their tracks.

CityArts Marketplace will feature unique gifts, clothing, collectibles and other eclectic items suitable for bargain shoppers and high-end buyers. Plus, food trucks, vendors and various restaurants will be on site selling bites and beverages, including Fletcher’s Corny Dogs, Nammi Truck (Vietnamese cuisine), Tx Delizioso (pizza/Italian food truck with a Texas flare), Enticed Shaved Ice, and dozens more.

Hourly “dancing water” shows choreographed to music at the Esplanade Fountain will dazzle bystanders. Four songs will be featured including Yellow Rose of Texas, Aaron Copland’s Hoedown of the popular Rodeo suite, Somewhere Over the Rainbow and Stars and Stripes. Dancing water shows will run at the top of the hour from 6 - 9 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday.

Reduced admission to Fair Park’s six museums at select times 

Fair Park’s six museums will offer reduced admission (at select times) including the African American Museum, Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park, Dallas Historical Society/Hall of State, Museum of Nature & Science, Texas Discovery Gardens, and Texas Museum of Automotive History. For the museum schedule, see end of release or check for the latest updates.

Local bands, up-and-coming rock stars, Texas Cool Dancers and more to excite audiences throughout the weekend

A mix of musical, dance and performing arts acts will be featured throughout the weekend on three stages including the Main Stage sponsored by MetroPCS. Friday’s line-up will include Dallas band 5 Second Ruleand Nashville singer/songwriter Derik Hultquist, among others. Saturday’s schedule will feature sounds of inspiring young rockers from local music schools including Zounds Sounds and School of Rock, plus up-and-coming “master artists” from Septian Entertainment Group such as Ryan Akin will perform throughout the day. The Texas Cool Dancers will perform their country and western line dance choreographed by Glee’s own Zach Woodlee. Other Saturday entertainers will include various folklorico dance groups, plus Galen Jeter’s Dallas County Rock Band will take the stage that evening. 

Sunday’s lineup includes local favorites such as the Stefani Little Band, Daniel de Córdoba Bailes Españoles, GenX Playhouse Puppet Show, and Reverend Leon & The Repenters. Check for the latest entertainment schedules.

Free and open to the public, CityArts Festival will run from 6 - 10 p.m. Friday (May 25); 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Saturday (May 26); and 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Sunday (May 27). Outdoor activities will take place along the Leonhardt Lagoon, Cotton Bowl Plaza, Promenade, and First and Grand avenues at Fair Park (1300 Robert B. Cullum Blvd, Dallas 75210). Parking will be available at gates 2, 5 and 6. The City of Dallas charges $10 to park within the gates of Fair Park, or visitors can ride DART’s Green Line Rail to the Fair Park or MLK stations. 

For details, call 214-421-9600 or go to For real-time updates, like CityArts Festival on Facebook and follow @CityArtsDallas on Twitter.

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