Garland, man. Not getting a lot of love.
The town famously inspired the sleepy, silly town of Arlen, the fictional setting of Mike Judge's King of the Hill. (In part, at least.) Then, there was that devastating burn in the opening scenes of Zombieland. But, a new slight takes things a little too far. According to a cutting-edge study by WalletHub, the town ranks among the "Worst Places to Celebrate New Year's Eve."
It lands at No. 98 of 100 cities on the study's Best Places list, with Arlington at 95 and Fort Worth at 93; a press release goes so far as to call out the bottom ten, with poor "North Las Vegas, Nevada" in the 100th spot, as the nation's "worst."
On the flip side, number 1 probably is not what you're expecting. Orlando takes the highest honor, with the rest of the top five going to San Francisco, Atlanta, Denver and ... Buffalo? Not exactly the New York city you were expecting? More on that later. Back to Texas.
Austin and Dallas fit into the top half, at least, in places 40 and 44. But, what's the deal with those "worst places" cities? We can kind of see the argument for Arlington's lower spot; it's the home of Jerry World, Rangers ballpark and Six Flags. Maybe expectations could be a little higher for New Year's Eve fun, specifically. As for Fort Worth, we were sorely disappointed to learn that Sundance Square doesn't have plans to resume its free public party, according to a rep. It's a bummer, especially in light of Big D NYE's recurring cancellation. But, Garland? Why pick on Garland?
Maybe they should just change the city limit sign: Welcome to Garland, the Punching Bag of Texas...
Wait, is there even a "welcome to" sign? No matter. We're not here to slam Dallas' eastern neighbor. The whole thing just seems remarkably unfair.
Like, why would anyone think it fits on a top 100 list, nationally? According to a press release, that's because the study involves the nation's top 100 most populous cities, and Garland makes that list, barely. As of 2015, around 235,000 residents call it home. So there's that.
But, putting it on the same list as the Times Square ball drop is like pitting Marfa's storied six-man football squad against Galena Park North Shore.
Those boys have heart, but they're not superheroes.
Things make more sense when you delve into WalletHub's methodology. New York's famed party -- which an estimated 175 million will watch on television from the comfort of their warm beds or couches -- lands at just 38 out of the 100 city list, and here's why. Analysts compared "three key dimensions" -- 1) entertainment and food, 2) costs and 3) safety and accessibility -- and then created 20 weighted metrics to tabulate a 100 point score. Things like "legality of fireworks" and "traffic congestion" are taken under consideration, as are "number of restaurants per capita" and "lowest price of a three-star hotel on New Year's Eve."
Oh, well then.
Also of note, the "number of New Year's Eve festivals, performances and galas per capita" is double weighted and, as we mentioned, North Texas is a bit shorter than usual when it comes to large-scale urban extravaganzas this year. We were pretty riled up there in D-FW's defense for a minute. Awkward.
Welp. Then, North Texas is -- rightly or wrongly -- not considered among the nation's most happening New Year's Eve destinations.
But, we still think they're selling D-FW short when it comes to fun New Year's eve parties.
Check out our New Year's events listings, updated daily through Jan. 1.