Having had temperatures in the 80s in February — February! — it's nearly impossible to believe that spring isn't officially until March 20. But the spring festival season always starts a bit early, and with this weather, that's a good thing.
Here are fun spring festival options worth marking on your calendar.
Scarborough Renaissance Festival
Prepare for eight weekends of festivities on grounds styled to look like a 16th-century English village. There'll be plenty of costumed revelers and nonstop performances each day across 24 stages, artisan demos, giant turkey legs and more. April 8-May 29 on the fest's grounds in Waxahachie. srfestival.com.
Dallas International Guitar Festival
The 40th annual event includes acts like Andy Timmons, Eric Gales, Derek St. Holmes, Mark Lettieri, George Lynch and Wes Jeans, as well as hundreds of exhibitors. May 5-7 at Dallas Market Hall. guitarshow.com.
Texas Frightmare Weekend
The cast of the hit Netflix series Stranger Things will headline this year's event, and other familiar faces will be on hand for this horror-themed convention. Expect seriously creepy screenings, panels, autograph sessions, makeup demos and more. May 5-7 at the Hyatt Regency DFW at DFW International Airport. texasfrightmareweekend.com.
Texas Scottish Festival and Highland Games
Break out the kilt for a weekend featuring plenty of Scottish music; bagpipe bands; Highland dance and athletic competitions; an all-Scottish-breed dog show; tents representing clans and families; and Scottish foods (haggis!) and ales. May 5-7 at Maverick Stadium on the University of Texas at Arlington campus. texasscottishfestival.com.
Bugs and Brews
Dallas Cinco de Mayo
Cottonwood Art Festival
Browse works by about 240 artists during the spring installment of this fest, which is held twice a year. You can also checkout the ArtStop Children's Area and plenty of local music. May 6-7 at Cottonwood Park, Richardson. cottonwoodartfestival.com.
Frontier Fort Days
Texas frontier life is the inspiration for this celebration in Fort Worth's Stockyards National Historic District. Expect to see military history re-enactors taking part in parades; infantry, artillery and cavalry demos; and discussions of what frontier life was like. May 12-13. stockyardsstation.com.
Enjoy food from some of Addison's best restaurants while taking in live music in the park at Taste Addison. The festival includes pay-per-bite samples from local restaurants (most will be in the $3-$5 range), stages full of live music, cooking demonstrations and a children's activity area. May 19-21 at Addison Circle Park, Addison. tasteaddisontexas.com.
Main Street Fest
Texas and regional craft beers are the focus of this Grapevine festival that's subtitled "A Craft Brew Experience." Learn how to taste beers or put your existing skills to use at tasting events, keg tappings and more. The festival will also have live music, a midway and carnival area and, of course, wine, for which Grapevine is known. May 19-21 along North Main Street in downtown Grapevine. grapevinetexasusa.com.
Taste of Irving
More than 20 restaurants will sell samples of their dishes for $5 or less at this family festival at Cimarron Park. Vendors will include chain restaurants and ethnic spots. There will also be cooking demos by local chefs, live music (the Obscure Dignitaries, Bollywood Productions and Havana NRG), a Fun Zone for kids and shopping in the craft marketplace. May 20 in Irving. irvingevents.org.
Dragon Boat, Kite and Lantern Festival
Check out dragon-boat races, kite flying, a lantern display and children's activities at the 10th anniversary of this event. May 21 at Lake Carolyn in the Las Colinas Urban Center in Irving. dfwdragonboatfestival.com.
Art on the Greene
Dallas Margarita Meltdown
Taste more than 40 margaritas competing to be named the best in town. Bartenders from Savor, Pie 3.14 Everyday Eatery, Asador, Whiskey Cake and Iron Cactus have been awarded the prize in previous years. This year, ticketholders can sample local restaurants' entries, then vote for their favorites. The outdoor fest also includes music by DJ Regs and vendor booths. May 28 in Dallas' West End. dallasmargaritameltdown.com.
Compiled by Sara Frederick Burgos, Aaron Colen, Nanette Light, Shannon Sutlief and Ann Pinson