Food & Drink

9 Festivals to Celebrate the Last Days of Summer

The summer fun doesn't have to end when the school year begins! Soak up the season's fleeting days with these festivals.

Angela Roe
Posted on Aug 14, 2019

By the time August rolls around and the kids head back to school, it's natural to start looking ahead to all that fall in Dallas has to offer: (somewhat) cooler temps, the State Fair of Texas, Cowboys games and pumpkins at the Arboretum, to name a few. But before the long summer days go until next year, let summer stretch a little further with the city's diverse festival offerings. Check out these upcoming events focused on savory/sweet treats, music, technology and more.

1. Anime Festival (Aug. 16-19): Head to the Dallas Arts District to celebrate this anime/manga convention with 12,000 of your closest friends. With a pirate theme, AnimeFest won't disappoint in the way of costumes. Catch panels, booths, games, and other anime-related events over the four-day festival.
2. Bridging the Gap: Tech Fest (Aug. 24): Visit the Ronald Kirk Bridge for this out-of-the-box event for those pursuing careers in tech. The one-day festival seeks to help connect Dallas-based IT professionals with companies looking for talent. Spotlighting innovations and careers across disciplines like coding, artificial intelligence, healthcare, and fashion, Bridging the Gap is a career fair designed for Dallas' best techies to find their dream jobs. Bonus: it's free!
3. The Black Academy of Arts and Letters 3rd Annual Riverfront Jazz Festival (Aug. 30-Sept. 1): A weekend of culture, delicious food, and stunning jazz and R&B performances, the festival boasts names like Erykah Badu, The Nasty Brass Band, Avery Sunshine and members of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. The festival takes place at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center's Theatre Complex over Labor Day weekend. Don't miss the Promising Young Artists Stage featuring local talent or the hotel after-party sets.
4. Dallas Reggae Festival (Aug. 31-Sept. 1): Check out the city's first annual reggae and world music festival over the last official weekend of summer with bands including Watusi and D'ras and the Sharac. Not only is it family-friendly, but this event gives back locally! The festival will be held at the Longhorn Ballroom outdoor park and they are donating 15% of all ticket sales to the North Texas Food Bank.
5. Dallas Chocolate Festival (Sept. 6-8): Yes, you read that right. It's a festival dedicated to glorious chocolate, and it's packed with workshops, vendors from all over the world, and of course, samples of everything from chocolate bars to truffles. Tickets for the event at the Fashion Industry Gallery are on sale now, and it's a special year to attend since the festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
6. Dallas Observer BrewFest (Sept. 7): Choose your poison at the Observer's 9th annual Saturday-night beer festival. Happening at the Dallas Farmer's Market, the festival will offer 500+ local, international, and craft beers, you'll have the chance to sample beer, chow down on local grub, and listen to live music. For $35 a ticket, it's a no-brainer and a guaranteed fun time.
7. Dallas Nourished Festival (Sept. 7-8): For our gluten-free, nut-free, paleo, keto and plant-based friends, Dallas Market Hall will host the Nourished Festival. You'll have the opportunity to sample and buy all kinds of products fit for specialized diets, pick up coupons for allergen-friendly brands and restaurants and attend informational classes. Food allergy authors/bloggers will also be onsite to meet guests.
8. Greek Food Festival of Dallas (Sept. 20-22): The Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in North Dallas is hosting an event you can bring the whole family to, but the food is sure to be the main event! Count on authentic gyros, Greek salads, and refreshing tzatziki alongside Greek pastries, music and dancing.
9. Smoked Dallas (Sept. 21): There's so much amazing BBQ all over the state, but what if you could try some of Texas's very best all in Downtown Dallas? Enter Smoked Dallas, a music and BBQ festival bringing bites from 20 of the most beloved BBQ joints to Main Street Garden. Sample smoked meats from our city's own Lockhart Smokehouse and many others at this downhome event, also offering family-friendly games, armadillo races and live country music. For dessert? Oak Cliff's Emporium Pies. Let's just say it's gonna be good eatin'.