Ahh, March: When warmer temperatures become welcomingly more frequent and the Dallas and Fort Worth festival scene starts to kick into high gear. Here are a few fests this month that may just have you roaring like a lion once you've attended them.
If the Dallas Arboretum is a stunning swirl of color and fragrance on a normal day, imagine what it’s like during Dallas Blooms. The major floral festival, celebrating its 30th anniversary through April 6, blankets the 66 acres with more than 500,000 tulips (pictured above), daffodils, Dutch iris and hyacinths, pansies, violas and poppies. Toward the end of April, the garden’s 3,000 azaleas will also blossom in a mass flowering. This year’s theme—“Birds in Paradise”—is reflected in the beloved peacock topiaries found in the Jonsson Color Garden, as well as with the Bird House Exhibit, life-size playhouses designed by local architects. Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road, 214.515.6615. www.dallasarboretum.org
The inaugural Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival runs March 27-30. Signature events include a Grand Tasting on Friday, featuring 100-plus area restaurants, wineries and distilleries, along with a few guest chefs; Burgers, Brews & Blues on Saturday, with pours from 26 craft breweries, sliders from 13 restaurants and blues tunes from live bands; and Sip+Savor on Saturday and Sunday, with a smorgasbord of bites from FW restaurants and an array of fine wines, spirits and beer. Festival-goers must be 21 or older. For tickets, a schedule and information about other festival events, visit www.fortworthfoodandwinefestival.com.
Just Bead It
There’s no need to book a last-minute trip to New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras when we’ve got something every bit as festive and quirky, just on a slightly smaller, less-topless scale. Over two days, Mardi Gras Oak Cliff celebrates the ramp-up to Fat Tuesday with events for the entire family. It all starts on March 1 with Dash for the Beads, a 5K run/walk with a bonus costume contest. The run itself tackles multiple hills, making it more complicated than one might imagine. But rewards wait later that night at the OCarnivale Masquerade Ball at the Kessler Theater, complete with Zydeco music and Big Easy-style cocktails. The celebration culminates March 2 with a float-filled parade down Davis Street, ending in the Bishop Arts District. Laissez les bon temps rouler, indeed. www.mardigrasoakcliff.com