JUST IN: Annual Downtown Holiday Parade Is Looking For A New Host

UPDATE: The Adolphus Hotel that was one of the original sponsors of the mega-holiday festivities has signed up for the 2017 parade. Don’t you just know that Santa will have plush digs the night before.

The annual parade that marches through downtown Dallas in early December has had some “adjustments.” In recent year’s Children’s Health has hosted the parade. Out of the past five years, it’s had to be canceled twice (2013 and 2016) due to inclement weather. Describing it as “inclement” is like saying the summer is North Texas is warmish.

Children’s Health Holiday Parade (File photo)

It was just announced that Children’s Health would not be the official host of the event. According to Children’s Health spokesperson Scott Summerall, “After hosting the parade for nearly three decades, we have decided to move forward with other new and meaningful ways to bring cheer to families in our community this holiday season. We are considering ways to celebrate and honor the parade’s history in its 30th year, but are still ironing out details of a potential event. We will continue hosting the other treasured holiday events across our system, including the annual Holiday Tree Lighting at our Dallas and Plano campuses, Breakfast with Santa with the Women’s Auxiliary, and our Holiday Patient Party for families in the hospital. These events are beloved by our patients, families and team members, and are an important component of fulfilling our mission to make life better for children.”

But don’t go thinking that the parade is a goner. According to a report on WFAA at noon, THE Dance Director Jeffrey Giles and former Parade Director Cassie Collins “have filed a permit with the City of Dallas to host the parade, and will be reaching out to sponsors soon.”

BTW, over the years the parade has had such corporations as Southwest Airlines, Neiman Marcus and the Adolphus Hotel provide major support.

A Gentle Reminder: Greenville Avenue’s St. Patrick’s Day Run/Walk, Parade And Festival To Take Place This Saturday

2017 Dallas St. Patrick’s Parade and Festival map**

While St. Patrick’s Day is still a week away, the Dallas St. Patrick’s Day Parade And Festival will take place this Saturday along Greenville Avenue benefiting the Greenville Avenue Area Business Association.

2017 St. Paddy’s Day Dash Down Greenville 5K*

But before the parade kicks off at 11 a.m., the 22nd Annual St. Paddy’s Day Dash Down Greenville will start at 8 a.m. Organizers are predicting 5,000 participants will run/walk the 5K down “the St. Patrick’s Day parade route, tree-lined Southwestern Blvd., Skillman and University Blvd.,” benefiting the North Texas Food Bank.

Hopefully, all the runners/walkers will be across the finish line before the parade’s floats hit the avenue.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival (File photo)

Now, some suggestions:

  • Barriers and other preparations for the run and parade will start showing up Friday afternoon. So, it might be wise to run those errands today and early tomorrow. Be forewarned: Some stores like Office Depot along Greenville might be closed Saturday during the parade.
  • Weather guessers are claiming that Saturday morning may be damp-ish, so if you’re gonna be among the 100,000+ spectators, you might want to bring along a slicker or umbrella.
  • Take DART to the Greenville station because parking is going to be painfully limited.
  • If you decide to linger into the afternoon and night enjoying the adult libations, reconsider driving yourself home. No matter how responsible you may think you are, you’ll be much more so by having Uber or another professional service drive you home.
*Graphic courtesy of Dallas St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival 
** Graphic courtesy of St. Paddy's Day Dash Down Greenville 5k

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebrations Extend From Friday To Holiday Monday

Another federal holiday will have banks, government offices and most schools closed Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. But there is so much going on to celebrate the late civil rights leader. Here’s just a smattering of the events for your consideration:

  • FRIDAY, JANUARY 13 — Presented by Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, the MLK Jr. Oratory Competition takes place at the Majestic Theatre from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. It features fourth- and fifth-graders delivering three- to five-minutes original speeches. It’s free, but registration is necessary.
  • SATURDAY, JANUARY 14 — The 35th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award Gala will get underway at the Fairmont Hotel with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. and featuring Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough and special guests Laila Muhammad and Yolonda Williams. The Afterglow Event will follow the gala. Individual tickets are going for $85 for the gala and $20 for Afterglow Event.
  • MONDAY, JANUARY 16 — The 2017 MLK Day Parade begins at 10 a.m. at the intersection of MLK Boulevard and Holmes Street. It’s free for the viewing. Let’s hope the rain dries up in time for the bands to strut their stuff.
  • The 2017 MLK Symposium*

    MONDAY, JANUARY 16 — Presented by BaylorScott&White, the 12th Annual MLK Symposium: MLK’s Legacy: Issues of Social Justice in the 21st Century will feature presentations by journalist Jelani Cobb and #BlackLivesMatter Co-Creator Alicia Garza at the Dallas City Performance Hall from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets must be purchased in advance because they will not be sold at the venue.

* Graphic courtesy of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture

JUST IN: Children’s Health’s Holiday Parade Is Canceled, But A Get-Together Breakfast With Santa Is Still On At The Adolphus

There are just times when words have to be eaten and this is one of them. In an earlier post, the declaration was made that this year’s Children’s Health’s Holiday Parade would not be canceled.

Word just arrived from Children’s Scott Summerall, that indeed the parade is canceled.

No, there will be no frigid roads nor frozen tundra. But WFAA’s Colleen Coyle, who has a cot in the backroom at the studio, is warning that Saturday morning is gonna be ugly. With this in mind, wiser minds realized that the conditions just didn’t allow for safer health-conditions for participants and spectators.

Children’s Health Holiday Parade*

Children’s Health Holiday Parade*

The long story made short — the parade is canceled, not postponed.

The official word is, “Despite today’s beaming sunshine, weather forecasts for DFW include a high probability of heavy rain and cold temperatures on Saturday. Due to these impending weather conditions and the fact that many of the acts cannot perform in the rain, we are canceling the Children’s Health Holiday Parade out of concern for the well-being of the patients and families we serve. We sincerely appreciate all of the incredible patients, volunteers, participants, sponsors and attendees who help bring the parade to life each year, especially Santa. You can still tune in to WFAA channel 8 on Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. to watch last year’s parade!”

Santa*

Santa*

However… and you just knew there would be a “however”… the Auxiliary’s breakfast with Santa is still on from 9:30-11:30 at the Adolphus with “traditional photographs with Santa Claus, face painting, balloon artists, breakfast treats and other fun festivities, we have also added special celebrity appearances and costume character visits.”

For those, who bought tickets to attend the parade and want a refund, no problem. But, gee whiz! Tis the season, so why not just let the unused tickets go to support the efforts at Children’s Health.

So snooze in on Saturday and dream that your contributions are helping youngsters at Children’s. Or attend brunch with Santa and make sure that you provide the old codger with a list of your wishes.

* Photos provided by Children's Health

Bundle Up For Saturday’s 29th Annual Children’s Health Holiday Parade Through Downtown Dallas

 UPDATE: The parade has indeed been canceled, but the sold-out breakfast with Santa is still on!

Just imagine. Toddlers, who attended the first-ever Children’s Health Holiday Parade in 1987, are all grown up and have toddlers of their own. For some it’s become a family tradition despite the changes of routes and the weather conditions.

Children’s Health Holiday Parade*

Children’s Health Holiday Parade*

Speaking of which, this Saturday’s weather forecast is gonna be so very typical of North Texas winter. The day’s high is gonna maybe hit 50 degrees and there’s a very good chance of rain. But, shoot! That’s why retailers invented gloves, sock caps, bumbershoots, slickers and galoshes.

So, dig out all those warm clothes and head downtown early because the area’s biggest, most colorful walking extravaganza starts at 10 a.m. come rain or shine. If you want a reserved bleacher seat, you can get it here!

2016 Children’s Health Holiday Parade route*

2016 Children’s Health Holiday Parade route*

Afterwards, head to your favorite spot for a late morning brunch with hot chocolate, hot toddy, Belgian waffles and all that comfort food you deserve.

The parade has only been canceled once in history back in 2013 when an ice storm hit the area. But rest easy. This ain’t gonna be a repeat of that one. It’s just gonna be damp and chilly.

* Photo and graphic courtesy of Children's Health

2016 Parade Of Playhouses At NorthPark Center Marched Off With A Record-Breaking Amount For Dallas CASA

Dallas nonprofits are on a roll with good news. Now word comes from Dallas CASA about the results from the 2016 Parade of Playhouses at NorthPark. The Kappa Alpha Thetas have spent the last couple of days tallying the results. The total was so astonishing that they triple checked their findings. But the numbers added up to 15,546 raffle tickets being purchased. Adding that amount with sponsorships and text voting, “more than $200,000” went to Dallas CASA and it was a record breaker!

But the smiley faces weren’t just on the Dallas CASA staffers and volunteers. Nope. More good news was being spread all around. Here’s a snapshot of other results from the “parade” from Dallas CASA’s Rosanne Lewis:

Kid Cottage (File photo)

Kid Cottage (File photo)

Say Cheese (File photo)

Say Cheese (File photo)

The Lookout*

The Lookout*

  • “’The Kid Cottage’ by LRO Residential (copper roof) was won by a Preston Hollow family with 3 kids under three. They have two boys and a girl and the boys were hoping for the Crest CASA Garage but mom split the tickets because she wanted the Cottage!
  • “’Say Cheese’ was won by one of our new volunteers. In her email she said, ‘Winning a playhouse was almost as exciting as becoming an advocate.’
  • “’The Lookout’ was won by a family who also have three children, a little 3-year-old boy and infant twins (a boy and a girl), who were born premature and are still in the hospital. On Sunday they won their playhouse, and on Monday they finally brought their babies home.”

And how about the playhouse builders? Which ones were voted the most popular via text ballots? Here’s the answer:

  • African Safari Adventure by Harman
  • Basecamp by Redlee/SCS with Sketchup
  • Crest CASA Garage by Crest Cadillac/Crest Infiniti

 

African Safari Adventure (File photo)

African Safari  (File photo)

Basecamp (File photo)

Basecamp (File photo)

Crest Casa Garage (File photo)

Crest Casa Garage (File photo)

Tomorrow and Thursday the playhouses will be delivered courtesy of Glazers to their new homes. One of them is going to Celina!

The only question remaining is what the heck are the builders going to come up with next year?  Perhaps a playhouse with a storm shelter?

LAST CALL: Dallas CASA’s 2016 Parade Of Playhouses Raffle And Voting Ends Sunday

2016 Parade of Playhouses (File photo)

2016 Parade of Playhouses (File photo)

Those adorable little residences that have been lining NorthPark Center’s hallways have evidently been a big, old hit. In just two weeks folks have purchased more than 10,000 raffle tickets in hope of winning one of the Parade of Playhouses for their own. Thanks to Dallas CASA volunteers including Kappa Alpha Theta types, more than 2,000 hours have been invested in the raffle sales that will benefit Dallas CASA.

Insiders report that sales are ahead of last year and 2015 was a record maker.

And as for the voting, there’s been a bit of debating on which one will win. So far, pollsters claim that the Kid Cottage by LRO Residential, African Safari Adventure by Harman and Crest CASA Garage by Crest Cadillac/Crest Infiniti were in the lead.

Kid Cottage

Kid Cottage (File photo)

African Safari Adventure (File photo)

African Safari Adventure (File photo)

Crest Casa Garage (File photo)

Crest Casa Garage (File photo)

But that could easily change, since voting doesn’t end until Sunday, when the raffle winners will be revealed in NorthPark’s North Court at 4 p.m. BTW, if you’re thinking about doing an online-ticket purchase, get it in before noon on Sunday.

As for the popularity contest, the voting results will be announced via social media and the Dallas CASA website.

Chance tickets are going for $5 each and a bargain-saving $20 for five. Voting is accomplished by texting dallascasa to 41444 with each vote costing $5 and are “not included” in the raffle drawing.

2016 Parade Of Playhouses Brings Out The Competitive Spirit To Raise Funds For Dallas CASA At NorthPark

Jeff Kindig

Jeff Kindig

Jeff Kindig of Harman is bound and determined to continue Harmon’s reign as the Parade of Playhouses top builder. It was just last year when Jeff blew the Dallas CASA parade competition at NorthPark off the grid with Buckaroo Mountain Adventure house. But Friday as the 14 adorable mini-mansions were preparing for the official kick-off, the bearded Jeff found himself facing the idea of staying put in his African Safari Adventure until the “parade’s” finish on Sunday, July 31.

The reason goes back to the night before, when the 14 Parade of Playhouses were delivered to NorthPark lining from Dillards to Macys to North Court. Since the houses were to be prepared for display Friday morning, the mini-houses were literally open houses Thursday night with munchkins checking out the rock walls, slides, ladders and multi-levels.

Retro Roots

Retro Roots

Steampunk

Steampunk

Friday morning was spent cleaning up footprints and replacing doorway netting and other temporary stop measures with Plexiglas. It was the installation of the Plexiglas that found Jeff on the wrong side of the tent. But after a little work, Jeff was outside and the goodies (bunk beds, desk, chair, trunk, Harman stereo audio system and an ATV-Style Jeep, 12-vol 4X4 Electric Car) were safely behind the Plexiglas for viewing.

Looking at the Plexiglas successfully in place, Dallas CASA Executive Director/President Kathleen LaValle with camera in hand admitted that the competition had been fierce. The Crest Casa Garage had an adorable mini-Cadillac parked inside. One builder, whose entry had a metal roof, reported that his people would be out each morning to polish the roof. The “Life on Mars” was the product of the College of Architecture at the University of Oklahoma.

Crest Casa Garage

Crest Casa Garage

Kid Cottage

Kid Cottage

Life on Mars

Life on Mars

XyLophoNEhouse

XyLophoNEhouse

In the meantime, NorthParkers were chuckling about inquiries about NorthPark’s new piece of art. It wasn’t. It was XyLophoNEhouse, a work in development. On Saturday the wooden tunnel would be highlighted by musical tubes all tuned to the note of C…like CASA.

Love and Peace

Love and Peace

Steampunk

Steampunk

2016 Parade of Playhouses

2016 Parade of Playhouses

The adorable homes with amazing detailing and imagination will be on display for voting and raffle until Sunday, July 31. The timing is simply perfect with the heat and humidity getting really old. Strolling through air-conditioned NorthPark to check out the parade is free for the viewing. And if one or two or all of them strike your fancy, buy a raffle ticket! You can either do it at one of the tables set up in NorthPark or do it online. The chances are going for $5 for one or five for $20. The winning tickets will be drawn on Sunday, July 31 at 4 p.m. at NorthPark.

You can also vote for your fav by texting dallascasa to 41444. Each vote costs $5. After all, paper ballots are so yesterday.

The Lookout*

The Lookout*

However, there was one MIA. Starting yesterday, #15 (aka The Lookout) was in place at Dallas CASA.

Why not drive over to Dallas CASA in the Wilson Historic District and check it out? While there check out volunteering for Dallas CASA.

In meantime, you can check out all the NorthPark 14 plus The Lookout at Dallas CASA at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

* Photo provided by Dallas CASA

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery: 2016 Parade Of Playhouses

The 2016 Parade of Playhouses started its displayed march throughout NorthPark officially on Friday with 14 adorable mini-mansions available for viewing, voting and up for grabs. Since they’ll only be available for checking out until Sunday, July 31, time is ticking away for the annual Dallas CASA fundraiser.

Steampunk

Steampunk

Crest Casa Garage

Crest Casa Garage

Be prepared. This year’s crop is gangbusters with slides, rock walls, metal roofs, bunk beds, ladders and all types of extra-special perks. As Dallas CASA Executive Director Kathleen LaValle admitted — the competition was fierce this year.

Life on Mars

Life on Mars

XyLophoNEhouse

XyLophoNEhouse

While the post about the last-minute preparations is being finalized, all 14 playhouses are available for eyeballing at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

A Gentle Reminder: 4th Of July Closures And Limited Services

Old Glories

Old Glories

The 4th of July holiday is Monday. But there are those crafty, creative types who are turning that one-day holiday into a four day weekend. Yup! The scheduling part of their brains figured out if they took Friday off, they could take full advantage of the weekend plus the Monday holiday. Some are already checking out.

However, not everybody could do just that. Here is a rundown of Dallas City offices and services that will be experiencing holiday closures or limited operation.

Closed on Monday, July 4

  • City offices
  • Libraries
  • Park and Recreation administrative office and Recreation Centers
  • Animal Services — The Shelter and Administrative offices will be closed. However, Animal Services staff will be available to respond to emergency call that will be handled thru 311. The Everyday Adoption Center at 16821 Coit Rd. will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Police administrative offices.
  • Dallas Fire Rescue administrative offices.
  • Sanitation administrative offices.

Closed Saturday, July 2, and Monday, July 4

  • Municipal Courts Building

Business as usual

  • Police
  • Dallas Fire Rescue
  • Sanitation

Regarding the U.S. Postal Service and banking institutions, they will be closed on Monday.

On the other hand, retailers, entertainment facilities and many restaurants will be wide open for business. And, of course, there are the neighborhood parades. So, don’t forget the sunscreen and DEET, while celebrating the U.S.’s 240th birthday. No gifts necessary.

Despite Predicted Early Easter Showers, Lee Park Pet Parade Is Scheduled To March On At 2 p.m.

Dallas’ leading fashion event will take place at 2 p.m. on Sunday. And there’ll be some real dogs in the lineup. Yup, it’s the Petropolitan Pooch Parade at Lee Park.

Lee Park and Arlington Hall Conservancy President/CEO Gay Donnell is keeping her eyes on the weather for this 50th anniversary of Easter in Lee Park. According to the latest reports, if “graceful” showers sans hail and the end-of-the-world shenanigans are gonna happen before noon, they’ll take place in the morning which means that the afternoon of activities (Easter Egg Hunt, music and people/pooch watching) will be timed just right from 1 to 4 p.m.

The only caveat is that the temps may be a tad-bit cool, so if that adorable bare-shouldered sundress is demanding an outing better haul out that pale blue or pink pashmina as well.

As for the four-legged critters, all breeds, sexes and ages are welcome to paw their stuff in spring finery, as long as they have a “friendly” attitude. Remember, there is a $10 entry fee and the models should have their humans on a leash…a non-retractable one.

The parade starts at 2 p.m., but you’ll want to get there early to get registered and check out the competition.

37th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade And Festival May Be A Wee Bit Brisk

On this St. Patrick’s Day morning many folks couldn’t tell if it was thunder or the annual leprechaun-Catskill gnomes bowling tournament rumbling them awake. Actually it was both.

Speaking of St. Paddy activities, don’t forget to pull out that green thingamabob that you wear once a year on this day. It will help prevent pinching.

BTW, if you thought you had missed the annual  St. Patrick’s Day Parade And Festival benefiting the Greenville Avenue Area Business Association Scholarship Fund, you didn’t. Organizers made the tough call and decided to hold the day-long activities (i.e. run, parade, concert and lots of beer tasting) on the following Saturday (March 19) instead of before.

Traffic plan for St. Patrick's Day Event*

Traffic plan for St. Patrick’s Day Event*

The good news is that the city fathers and parade leaders have got everything pretty much locked down including when things happen, what streets are blocked and “police assistance.”

Now, for the not-so-great news. No, it’s not horrible, terrible. But it is Mother Nature giving the event one of her chilly shoulders. Friday when preparations get underway and folks start claiming the best places to watch the parade, there’s an 80% chance of rain with temps ranging from 48-71 degrees. Luckily, there aren’t supposed to be any end-of-the-world tornadoes on the docket.

St. Patrick's Parade and Festival (File photo)

St. Patrick’s Parade and Festival (File photo)

St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival (File photo)

St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival (File photo)

Then Saturday the sun is scheduled to make an appearance. Only the temperatures aren’t supposed to reflect the light of day. The weather-guessers are thinking in the chilly-willy, lower 60s. Translation: Skimpy outfits may not see the light of day without a major outbreak of goose pimples. It might be wise to pull out that raccoon coat that was dyed green. Or think about wearing those green thigh-high boots. Or, better yet start thinking which restaurant/bar will be nice and cozy with a pint of ale.

Also, if you have any shopping to do along Greenville, do it by Friday evening.

For more details about the plans and activities scheduled for Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration, follow the jump:

* Graphic courtesy of the City of Dallas [Read more...]

Women’s Auxiliary Of Children’s Medical Center Decked The Halls With Loads Of Wreaths

While the doors of The Trains at NorthPark were opening to the public on Saturday, November 21, the Dallas Chapter of Women’s Auxiliary of Children’s Medical Center folks were like Santa’s elves over at Children’s Medical Center. Actually, the gathering looked more like kids themselves. Plus there were a lot of fellas in the crowd.

Southwest Airlines wreath

Southwest Airlines wreath

Santa in a wreath

Santa in a wreath

They were gathered downstairs in the Butterfly Atrium that was filled with 200 individually decorated wreaths arranged by Co-Chairs Brittany George and Kelly Novel. Each one had been sponsored/produced by “Auxiliary members, families, scout troops and corporate groups” for the patients who were in residence for the holidays.

Kelly Novel, Joanna Clarke, Brittany George

Kelly Novel, Joanna Clarke, Brittany George

Women’s Auxiliary President Joanna Clarke fessed up that some of the hottie wreaths were classics that hibernated in a special spots when not at Children’s.

No sooner had instructions been given, than off like reindeer on Christmas Eve the teams with wreaths in hand were on their way to “deck the halls.”

And they didn’t dawdle. They still had to get things lined up for the  27th Annual Breakfast with Santa preceding the 28th annual Children’s Health Holiday Parade.

BTW, don’t expect to see the Auxiliary team early on New Year’s Eve. According to Joanna, they’ll be serving “a special meal to the families in the critical care units.”

If you’re looking for a group to join that has a great time helping others, consider signing up with the Auxiliary.

 

Wednesday Belongs To A Very Special Group Of People

If you don’t know a veteran, you’ve got 24 hours to find one. They’re remarkable folks, who served the U.S. in some capacity and Wednesday is Veterans Day. It’s the day when the country takes time to appreciate the sacrifices made by those serving in the military.

The weather forecast calls for the possibility of showers for the Dallas Veterans Day Parade, but what’s a little rain when you realize what these folks have done. This year’s parade “will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. In addition to honoring all veterans, this year’s parade will specifically recognize the sacrifices World War II service men and women made to preserve the freedoms and liberties we enjoy today.”

Even if you can’t make the parade, there are still opportunities in which you can show your support like the Daughters of World War II luncheon at the Hilton Anatole. It’s going to a very special occasion, since the number of WWII vets is dwindling.

And there’s also the Stars & Stripes Film Festival that kicks off Thursday at the Angelika and continues through Sunday, November 15. There is even a luncheon Friday at the Dallas County Club with Gen. Tommy Franks benefiting Sons of the Flag. According to S&SFF Co-Chair Pete Foster, Navajo code breaker Samuel Holiday is scheduled to be on hand Saturday, at 3 p.m.

20th Parade Of Playhouses Is Underway At NorthPark With An Elephant, A Kayak And A Fireman’s Pole To Benefit Dallas CASA

It’s official. Summer heat has arrived and settled in. But that’s no reason to hide in a dark room with a bucket of ice cubes. And besides the munchkins have already gotten tired of the swimming pool and have seen all the kid-friendly movies.

But here’s a new must-see that’s in a very air-conditioned environment. It’s the 20th Anniversary Parade of Playhouses benefiting Dallas CASA at NorthPark Center that starts marching officially today through Sunday, July 26.With strollers parading by, the little houses are holding their own against NP’s artwork.

20th Anniversary Parade of Playhouses

20th Anniversary Parade of Playhouses

Yes, the Parade is taking place a month early, but that’s because NP is going to kick off its 50th birthday celebration in August.

If you’re out of town, hustle home because this year’s crop of 16 mini-castles is incredible. One woman was heard to say this morning, “I wish my house was built as well as these.”

And, of course, everyone has a favorite. There’s the Ellie The Elephant house in the La Duni wing, the Funguard Beach House in front of Victoria’s Secret, the Mini Luxury playhouse between Apple and Papyrus, a number of contemporary houses and some darn charming cottages. One even has a fireman’s pole to slide down from the upper level to the downstairs.

Ellie The Elephant house

Ellie The Elephant house

Funguard Bach House

Funguard Beach House

Mini Luxury playhouse hardware

Mini Luxury playhouse hardware

Mini Luxury playhouse hardware

Mini Luxury playhouse hardware

 

But the one that had the chatter going was Harman’s Buckaroo Mountain Adventure house. The two-story playhouse itself is perfectly fabulous with its own stone wall for climbing. But what comes with it is better than Santa could provide. For instance? Well, how about a kayak, a mountain bike, a GoPro Style camcorder, a hammock, a four-person tent with two sleeping bags, a JBL 2 Channel Marine amplifier and JBL MS6520 6½” loudspeakers.

Buckaroo Mountain Adventure house

Buckaroo Mountain Adventure house

Buckaroo Mountain Adventure house

Buckaroo Mountain Adventure house

If you have child in your life, or have an organization that could use one of these playhouses, then buy a raffle ticket. They’re $5 each or five for $20. Winners will be picked at a drawing in NorthPark’s North Court on Sunday, July 26, at 4 p.m.

4th Of July May Be Fun For Two-Legged Critters But It May Send Pets Into Anxiety Overload

There’s nothing like an old-fashion 4th of July. Think lemonade, parades with bands and topping off the evening with sparklers and fireworks.

That POA works for humans, but the critters don’t cotton so well to it. They envision it like warfare. Their safe confines are being blistered with flashes of light in the sky, explosions in the distance and their humans acting sorta crazy as if this was a celebration.

U.S. flags (File photo)

U.S. flags (File photo)

This post only applies to folks with pets — the dog and feline type opposed to the fish and unicorn variety. Here are some tips to help your household stay relatively safe and sound during the weekend’s combustion:

  • Keep your pets indoors.
  • Make sure your pets’ ID’s are up to snuff. Double do it with ID tags and microchipping. Sure, you just know you sweetheart would never, ever leave the house, but just in case…
  • Crate your pooches. They are very protective of the home confines and will be in overdrive, if they think they have to monitor your mansion. A crate they can handle. An estate or condo is another thing.
  • If you’ve got sparklers and other fun glitzy items, don’t show them to your pets. They already love you, so don’t test them.
  • Don’t let them near the grill as you’re prepping the burgers. If you don’t watch out, those adorable paws will be up there and you really don’t want to spend the night at the emergency animal clinic.
  • Get the Finding Rover app. This free app will not only help you locate your pooch, if s/he does decide to pull a Sweatt/Matt escape, but it will support the Dallas Animal Service.
  • Check with your vet on whether to medicate your pet. Some need it; others shouldn’t. Your vet will know what’s best.

    Hot dog

    Hot dog

  • If you’re thinking about taking them to a parade, think again. Not only will they need water, but their paws might suffer from the hot pavement. You really don’t want that kind of hot dog on the holiday.

Dallas CASA’s 20th Annual Parade Of Playhouses Headed To NorthPark Center A Month Early

The 20th annual Dallas CASA Parade of Playhouses will not take place in August at NorthPark Center.

Ah, don’t worry. It’s still gonna happen, only it will be in July this year. The 16 adorable children’s playhouses will be on display starting Friday, July 10, with the raffle drawing on Sunday, July 26, at Pirch for “new big homes with yards for the wee homes.”

2014 Dallas CASA Playhouse (File photo)

2014 Dallas CASA Playhouse (File photo)

2014 Dallas CASA Playhouse (File photo)

2014 Dallas CASA Playhouse (File photo)

2014 Dallas CASA Playhouse (File photo)

2014 Dallas CASA Playhouse (File photo)

2014 Dallas CASA Playhouse (File photo)

2014 Dallas CASA Playhouse (File photo)

Jim and Angela Thompson (File photo)

Jim and Angela Thompson (File photo)

Bob Borson (File photo)

Bob Borson (File photo)

Event Co-Chairs Fran and Mark Berg have arranged to have longtime Dallas CASA supporters Angela and Jim Thompson serve as honorary co-chairs with area builders (Austin Commercial with Tyler Murph and Life of an Architect, Beck with Integrated Interiors Inc., Buford Hawthorne with Bob Borson, Butscher Construction, Classic Urban Homes, Coats Homes with Jerry Coleman, Creekview Custom Homes with parmadesign, CRThurman Homes with PBD Inc., HARMAN, Kinetic Ingenuity, LRO Residential, OMNIPLAN with DNG Construction, parmadesign with Creekview Custom Homes, Perk Homes with Andres Moreno and Life of an Architect, REDLEE/SCS Inc. with Susann Stein and Life of an Architect and SpawGlass with BOCA Powell Architects) providing the playhouses.

And what a group of playhouses are going to be lining up — an urban playhouse with a loft, a frozen castle replica, a movie theater, a ski lodge, a modern playhouse with a climbing wall, a reading room with a window seat, an elephant-shaped playhouse and a beach-themed house, as well as many more.

Kathleen LaValle (File photo)

Kathleen LaValle (File photo)

Thanks to the success of the fundraiser, monies will help to “recruit and train CASA volunteers advocates for children in our community.”

According to Dallas CASA Executive Director/President Kathleen LaValle, “Some children dream of having their very own fantasy playhouses, but abused children dream of having safe and stable homes. We want all children to have loving and permanent homes. Sadly, almost half of abused children in protective care in Dallas County do not have CASA volunteer advocates. We look forward to the day when we have enough volunteers for each child to have an advocate.”

The raffle tickets will be a bargain at $5 per or $20 for five tickets and can be purchased at NorthPark or online.

A Gentle Reminder: Parking Is Going To Be Limited For Saturday’s Dallas St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Dallas St. Patrick Day Parade beverage delivery

Dallas St. Patrick Day Parade beverage delivery

Despite this morning’s gray clouds and drips of rain, the beer trucks and barricades are being prepped for Saturday’s Dallas St. Patrick’s Day Parade along Greenville.

Dallas St. Patrick Day Parade barriers

Dallas St. Patrick Day Parade barriers

But be forewarned. Some of the retailers and strip centers are setting up restrictions for the event that attracts more than 100,000 to the area. The Office Depot at Greenville and Lovers Lane has signs up warning customers that it will be closed for business until 4:00 p.m. Saturday.

Signs are being posted in parking lots that special permits and retail customers are allowed.

Restricted parking

Restricted parking

So, if you do want to be part of the parade, take DART, Uber or have a friend drop you off because the parking is going to be as scarce as a wish-granting leprechaun.

Shop On Greenville Avenue Now Because The Dallas St. Patrick’s Day Is Saturday

If you have any shopping or errands to run in the Greenville Avenue area, better hustle and get them done before Saturday. The annual Dallas St. Patrick’s Day Parade will slam-jam Greenville and may even make crossing the street a challenge.

Greenville Avenue St. Patrick's Day Parade (File photo)

Dallas St. Patrick’s Day Parade (File photo)

While the parade doesn’t start until 11, beer trucks and barricades will start appearing Friday.

On the other hand, if you want an outdoor party with 100,000 of your very bestest friends including Grand Marshal George Riba, then don your greenest green and have a good time but don’t overdo.

CVS parking lot (File photo)

CVS parking lot (File photo)

WFAA’s Recently Retired Sportscaster George Riba To Serve As Greenville Avenue St. Patrick’s Day Parade Grand Marshal

George Riba (File photo)

George Riba (File photo)

For over 40 years George Riba has been a real sweetheart in the Dallas-Fort Worth sports reporting business. He’s covered every aspect of the athlete world and handled each assignment with professionalism.

Some folks don’t recall his having worked at both KTVT and KXAS back in the early 1970’s before joining WFAA in 1977. But he did and each time made friends and a reputation for reporting in an industry that has some real showboaters.

Since the marathon-running sportscaster will be turning 66 in May, he decided to retire this past February. One probable reason was to spend more time with his marathon-running wife, Maggie. The twosome is known for having one of the best marriages in media circles.

Ah, but before he steps out of the spotlight totally, George will be the Grand Marshal at the March 14th Greenville Avenue St. Patrick’s Day Parade. It will start at 11 a.m. and they’re predicting 125,000 to attend.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Greenville Avenue Area Business Association.

BTW, the weather guessers are hinting that Saturday will be very parade-friendly.

Community Partners Of Dallas’ “A Wagon Holds Promise” Rolled Through The Streets To Break The Guinness World Record

While the official arrival wasn’t til 10 on Saturday, January 31, the parking lot adjoining the treasured Meadows Foundation neighborhood was busting with SUV’s carrying red wagons. The force fueling this drive was Community Partners of Dallas and their effort to set a new world record for the biggest red wagon parade — A Wagon Holds Promise. They had decided that it would be the closer for their 25th anniversary year.

But to break the previous record set in 2003 by the St George Lions Club of St. George, Utah, CPD needed to rally 148 wagons. But they were bucking a true challenge. For instance, the time of the year was a problem. The end of January is a notorious heartbreaker for outdoor events.

Still CPD President/CEO Paige McDaniel and her sidekick Development Director Joanna Clarke had a reputation for charming and giggling their way with Ma Nature in the past. But this would be a true test of sisterhood. In the days leading up to the Saturday, it looked bleak. Rain and cold rain at that were on forecast for Saturday.

As the hours ticked away, the forecast turned in the CPD favor. The cold, wet stuff would hold off until afternoon.

Ruthie's Rolling Cafe

Ruthie’s Rolling Cafe

As adults, kids and pooches arrived, they were bundled up for the chill. Nearby Ruthie’s Rolling Café was providing hot chocolate with peppermint.

Wagons after the parade

Wagons after the parade

In an adjacent driveway were rows of rental red wagons ready to be briefly adopted rolling through the record books.

Crystal Gober and Stacie Pearlman

Crystal Gober and Stacie Pearlman

Crystal Gober and Stacie Pearlman donned their Katy Perry look-alike outfits and matching decked out wagons. Were they big CPD supporters? No, but a friend was and they were getting involved.

Melna Bourland and her nephew Jackson Lewis were standing by their covered red wagon complete with two stick horses and a fishing pole dangling a star overhead. Made sense. The wagon’s theme was “Hitch Your Wagon to a Star”! Clever. Whose idea was it? Melna admitted that the theme and creation of the result of her talented mom, Margaret Tyrrell. Melna proudly added, “She was always like that.”

Margaret Tyrrell, Jackson Lewis and Melna Bourland

Margaret Tyrrell, Jackson Lewis and Melna Bourland

What inspired Margaret to create the eye-catching wagon? Without hesitation she said, “That’s what CPD is about!”

Philip Robertson

Philip Robertson

On the sidelines taking in the hundreds of wagons, kids, adults and pooches was the Guinness World Record adjudicator Philip Robertson in his official Guinness attire. Having arrived from his home in New York City that had been swamped by a winter storm, the Brit felt right at home. His wife was a Dallasite…a Highland Park grad.

Haven Hinds and Greg Nieberding

Haven Hinds and Greg Nieberding

Just a moment of two after high noon, the sun peeked out shining on Paige and Philip standing in the bed of a red pick-up truck to kick off the parade. Leading the parade was Greg Nieberding driving a red hot Park Place Mercedes Benz with Haven Hinds waving atop the back seat. She had earned the privilege by raising the most money in CPD’s “Change Is Good” program.

Under a red-and-white balloon arch, the parade commenced with people and dogs at the nearby dog park watching. Some of the wagons were brand, spanking new. Some were vintage with wheels that creaked along. Some had cute kids bundled up.

Despite the chill, the parade continued around the block. One person admitted, “This cold isn’t so bad if it helps the CPD kids.”

In orderly fashion, the parade neatly concluded perfectly near the CPD headquarters. On the left were bounce houses. On the right was the gathering place for the rental wagons that will be added to the 2015 CPD Christmas toy effort.

As DJ Bill Cody played tunes that were definitely not Tony Bennett, kids danced to the music with dance moves that amazed the older folks.

Behind the scenes, Philip was alone officially tabulating the results. He was so detailed, it made one wonder why Guinness didn’t officiate presidential elections.

It was then time to announce the results. As Paige with fingers crossed and the Dallas theme song playing in the background, Philip announced that the day’s count was 288. The record had been broken!

Just then the sun disappeared behind a blanket of clouds and drips of rain started appearing from the skies above. Mother Nature held off as long as she could.

For more photos, check MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Community Partners Of Dallas’ “A Wagon Holds Promise”

Sydney Bonfield and Miles Schales

Sydney Bonfield and Miles Schales

Saturday, January 31, was a chilly morning. Most folks were sleeping in. But hundreds of adults and kids were filling the streets in the Wilson Historic District for the Community Partners of Dallas’ “A Wagon Holds Promise.” The plan was to break the Guinness World Record of 147 set in 2003.

Jane Berry

Jane Berry

In addition to busting the plan, the people, pooches and partying were just too adorable. Check out some photos at the MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Weather Update For Saturday’s A Wagon Holds Promise

The MySweetCharity weather department has been working with their charts, maps and chicken bones to figure out the weather for Saturday morning’s “A Wagon Holds Promise” parade for Community Partners of Dallas.

A Wagon Holds Promise*

A Wagon Holds Promise*

According to their brainstorming, the earlier forecast for rainfall in the morning is GWTW. It appears the wet stuff will hold off until afternoon. Sure, there will be clouds in the sky, but what’s wrong with a cloud or two or three?

Evidently the CPD staff has pull with Ma Nature.

So, if you haven’t signed up to parade, come join the crowd cheering and video taping the hundreds of red wagons rolling through the Guinness World Record and have a Ruthie’s Rolling Cafe feast afterwards. Then you can go shopping for Super Bowl fixin’s or catch a movie. Remember, the Oscars are less than a month away and there’s that nominated movie you’ve been promising to see.

Deadline Looms For Come-Rain-Or-Shine “A Wagon Holds Promise” Parade To Break The Guinness World Record

While the northeast is plowing through this week’s blizzard, North Texas has been enjoying spring-like weather. So, what the heck happened to winter? It just took a couple of days off. But a smidgen of it is returning this weekend complete with a dose of rain.

That’s good news and something to think about. The good news is that it will alleviate the drought in these parts a bit, so program your sprinklers to relax for the next few days.

A Wagon Holds Promise*

A Wagon Holds Promise*

The “something to think about” is Community Partners of Dallas’ “A Wagon Holds Promise” parade on Saturday. Sure, it may be damp, but the weather-guessers think it will be light in the morning when the parade takes place. And what’s rain compared to raising funds to help Dallas County’s abused and neglected children.

So far, more than 450 folks have signed up to participate, including 250 adults and kiddos to pull the little red wagons. Because of the overwhelming response, the CPD-ers, who like to go over the top every time, have extended the sign-up deadline until 5 p.m. today. Tickets are free, but absolutely required. So don’t dawdle, because they need a headcount.

Red wagons wait their turn to parade

Red wagons wait their turn to parade

BTW, if you “rent” a wagon for $50, it’s a twofer bonus. Not only does the money go to CPD, but the wagon is put into the CPD Christmas toy drive.

Even if you have your own wagon, you still have to register to be part of the world-record-breaking event.

The celeb du jour will be the Guinness World Record representative, who will be doing a wagon count to verify that a world record has been set.

As for the rain, it’ll be a perfect opportunity to dress yourself and the kids in yellow slickers, cute galoshes and amazing umbrellas.

Registration starts at 10 a.m. and the parade commences at 11 a.m. come rain or shine. And afterwards, there will food to celebrate thanks to Ruthie’s Rolling Cafe. Yum!

* Graphic and photo provided by Community Partners of Dallas