February's showers may bring March flowers, as opposed to the proverbial pairing meant to happen in April and May. Now that the rush of rainfall that hit late last month seems to be drying up, we can turn our thoughts to the new season, and you know what that means: It's spring festival time! Whether you want to discover nature, celebrate your community with an old-fashioned town square party, or recognize your Irish (or Latino or Asian or Hindu) culture, there is a spring festival in D-FW for you. For a more complete list of happenings, go to GuideLive.com/things-to-do.
This week's highlights
FREE | THIN LINE FEST If you love the idea of Austin's South by Southwest festival but aren't keen on crowds, consider Denton's Thin Line Fest, which began as a multiday film-focused event and grew to include concerts and photography exhibits. It's notably smaller than SXSW, but like the Texas capital city's signature multimedia festival, Thin Line is a citywide affair, taking over several venues near Denton's downtown square for its different components. This year's performers include Dallas metal trio Mothership, female mariachi band Flor de Toloache, hip-hop group Shredders, and Elk River Sessions, a group of Denton-based musicians who holed up in a cabin in the Ozark Mountains last year to write and record an original album. A film about Elk River Sessions is one of dozens of feature films and shorts showing over five days.
Through April 22 at several venues around the courthouse square, 110 W. Hickory St., Denton. Free admission. Festival packages with perks are $19-$99.
FREE | BIG MAMOU CAJUN FESTIVAL Spread out over two weekends, the Big Mamou Cajun Festival at Traders Village returns this year to transport you straight to N'awlins. The festival is free to attend (and parking is only $4), with live zydeco, swamp pop and Cajun music and hundreds of pounds of spicy boiled crawfish available ($10 per pound, served with potatoes and corn), as well as other authentic Cajun food like étouffée and gumbo.
April 21-22 at noon at Traders Village, 2602 Mayfield Road, Grand Prairie.
FREE |MAIN ST. FORT WORTH ARTS FESTIVAL Get your steps in while shopping for treasures and trinkets. This award-winning festival will span 27 city blocks from the Tarrant County Courthouse through Sundance Square to the Fort Worth Convention Center. The meter will be running while you're browsing 223 artists working in 15 media, including painting, jewelry, fiber, glass, leather, wood and ceramics. There'll also be booths from more than two dozen local artists, multiple food courts, craft beer and wine pavilions and two entertainment stages featuring performances by Brave Combo, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and others. Children can do arts and crafts in the Main St. Creates area, which will also include balloon artists and face painters.
April 20-21 from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., April 22 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. along Main Street in downtown Fort Worth. Free admission.
SCARBOROUGH RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL Join in the mirth and merriment of the days of King Henry VIII at this festival that runs for eight weekends, with colorful characters such as knights, villagers, fire jugglers, jousters, sword fighters and turtle racers there for you to meet. You can also eat a giant turkey leg, buy a longbow or some jewelry at the shops, watch a village artisan at work or stop in the Elkhorn Tavern or Dirty Duck Pub. April 7-May 28 at Scarborough Renaissance Festival Grounds, Waxahachie. srfestival.com.
FREE | EARTHX This Earth Day festival in Fair Park is more than lectures and documentaries about recycling and conservation. It will let families experience the animal and plant life worth celebrating and fighting for. Learn about scuba in the Go Dive Now pool, climb a tree with a rope and harness, encounter butterflies or watch them flutter across the screen in a film about migration, explore the planet and its oceans in virtual and mixed reality experiences, and meet animals in the petting zoo and Dallas Zoo exhibit or during goat yoga. The three-day fest will also include tiny houses, solar cars, a film festival, food vendors and music from Black Joe Lewis, Band of Heathens, Medicine Man Revival, Cody Jasper and more.
April 20-22 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Fair Park, 1300 Robert B. Cullum Blvd., Dallas. Register in advance online to receive free admission; $5 at the gate.
FREE | ENNIS BLUEBONNET TRAILS FESTIVAL Photo ops abound along 40 miles of beautiful wildflowers on a route that is officially open April 1-30. The three-day festival celebrates the state flower of Texas and includes arts and crafts, food, a street dance, live music, a wine stroll, kids' activities, and plenty of bluebonnet-themed souvenirs.
April 20-22 in downtown Ennis. Free. bluebonnettrail.org.
FREE | GRAND PRAIRIE MAIN STREET FEST This festival has a reputation for good — and free — live music, and this year's lineup will include country (Josh Turner, Wade Bowen and Micky and the Motorcars), Texas Tejano (La Mafia, Tejas Brothers and Monica Saldivar), soul (Kirk Thurmond and the Millennials) and more. The three-day fest will also have carnival rides, a kids' area with family-friendly activities, a food court, beer gardens, arts and crafts and other vendors, a farmers market and performances by ZuZu African Acrobats. On April 20, get an all-you-can-ride carnival pass for $15 per person. On April 21-22, pay per ride.
April 20 from 5 p.m. to midnight, April 21 from 10 a.m. to midnight, April 22 from noon to 8 p.m. in the 200 block of West Main Street, Grand Prairie. Free admission and parking.
FREE | ASIAN AMERICAN CULTURE FESTIVAL Immerse yourself in Asian culture with authentic cuisine, cultural performances and activities like origami and Chinese yo-yo. A kid zone will include games and photo ops for the younger set. The Jiu Long Lion Dance Troupe will kick off the event at 11:15 a.m.
April 21 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Dallas Chinese Community Center, 400 N. Greenville Ave., Richardson. Free.
FREE | BUGFEST Kids of all ages are invited to experience the beauty and science of bugs during this celebration featuring live insects, arachnids and reptiles. In addition to watching a butterfly release and competing in educational games to win prizes, children can enter the Exotic Pet Show or the Bug Costume Contest.
April 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Backyard Wildlife Resource Center, 406 W. Belt Line Road, Cedar Hill. Free.
FREE | NORTH TEXAS TEEN BOOK FESTIVAL More than 75 authors of teen and tween literature will participate in panel discussions, publisher events and book signings. Dav Pilkey (Captain Underpants series), Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments series), Leigh Bardugo (the Grishaverse series) and Jenny Han (The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy) are among the authors in attendance. Wristbands are required for select book-signing lines and publisher events.
April 21 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Irving Convention Center, 500 W. Las Colinas Blvd., Irving. Free; parking is $8.
FREE | SPRING INTO NASH Experience wholesome fun on the farm at the 17th annual Spring Into Nash. Through hands-on activities, kids and adults can learn what life was like when the city's earliest settlers made their home in Grapevine. You'll see farm animals, heritage toys and educational displays while exploring the historic farmstead, the oldest of its kind in Tarrant County. Eventgoers can look forward to kitchen gardening, cotton planting, jump-rope making, field cultivating and tractor-drawn wagon rides, along with demos in wood carving, blacksmithing and wood-burning stove cooking.
April 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Nash Farm, 626 Ball St., Grapevine. Free; some activities carry a cost.
ALSO IN APRIL
FREE | ART IN THE SQUARE The open-air juried art show features works from more than 150 artists; live entertainment on two stages; food and drink vendors; and fun activities for children, tweens and teens. Admission is free. but tickets are required to purchase food and drinks and for some activities. April 27-29 at Southlake Town Square. artinthesquare.com.
FREE | ARBOR DAZE Go crazy over trees at this annual festival that includes a free tree giveaway and forestry village alongside plenty of family fun with a kids' zone, inflatables, food vendors more. Community groups and tribute bands provide live entertainment throughout the day. April 28 at Euless Family Life Center, Euless. arbordaze.org.
FREE | LATINO STREET FEST Celebrate Latino culture at this family-friendly street fair that features live music, artists, food vendors, games and more. Contests will be held for singing and dancing, children's poetry, avocado recipes and youth mariachi bands. April 29 in the Dallas Arts District. avance-dallas.org/latino-street-fest.html.
MAYFEST This family-friendly fest brings four days (and nights) of fun to the bank of the Trinity River. Enjoy live music, performing arts, festival foods, carnival rides, free kids' activities, an art and gift market and plenty of people-watching. May 3-6 at Trinity Park, Fort Worth. mayfest.org.
FREE | DALLAS CINCO DE MAYO Commemorate the Battle of Puebla with this parade, festival and car show. May 7 on Jefferson Boulevard in Dallas. oakcliffarts.org.
FREE | PLANO ASIAFEST The 15th anniversary event promises to be a day of Asian dance, music and food that includes lion dances, a fashion show, martial arts demonstrations, a tea ceremony and vendor booths. May 5 at Haggard Park, Plano. asianamericanheritage.org/asiafest.asp.
FREE | COTTONWOOD ART FESTIVAL Browse museum-quality works by more than 240 artists during the spring installment of this juried show, which is held twice a year. You can also check out the ArtStop Children's Area and plenty of local music and food. May 5-6 at Cottonwood Park, Richardson. cottonwoodartfestival.com.
TEXAS SCOTTISH FESTIVAL AND HIGHLAND GAMES Break out the kilt for a weekend featuring plenty of Scottish music, Highland dance and athletic competitions, a Scottish-breed dog show, tents representing clans and families and Scottish foods and quaffs (including a scotch tasting and seminar) -- all in a new location. May 11-13 at Wise County Fairgrounds in Decatur. texasscots.com.
FREE | DFW DRAGON BOAT, KITE AND LANTERN FESTIVAL Check out dragon-boat races, kite-flying, a lantern display, children's activities and more. May 20 at Lake Carolyn, Irving. dfwdragonboatfestival.com.
Shannon Sutlief, Tiney Ricciardi and Kiley Faulkner contributed to this story.