Things To Do Around DFW: Plano Balloon Festival, Fright Fest, NASCAR Playoffs and much more

Hot Air Balloon
Photo credit Fairfax Media / Contributor Getty Images

There are plenty of wonderful things to do Around Town this weekend. See our list below!

3 Doors Down

It’s the 20 year anniversary of 3 Doors Down’s album, Away From The Sun.

Where: Pavilion At Toyota Music Factory, Irving

When: September 22 at 8:00 p.m.

Cost: $25 and up

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The Addams Family

"The Addams Family" is a darkly comedic musical that portrays an eccentric American family deeply drawn to the macabre. In their peculiar, topsy-turvy universe, sorrow equates to joy, pain is a source of delight, and their dreams are filled with death and suffering. This uniquely crafted tale celebrates the quirkiness found in every family. "The Addams Family" received numerous accolades during its Broadway tenure and earned two Tony Award nominations.

Where: The Firehouse Theatre, 2535 Valley View Ln, Farmers Branch

When: September 21-24 and September 28 - October 1

Cost: $28 and up

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AirOtic Soirée: A Circus-Style Burlesque Show

AirOtic Soirée is a one-of-a-kind immersive cirque experience in Dallas that combines high-level circus artistry with the excitement of risqué cabaret! Treat yourself to a drink from the bar or enjoy bottle service available for purchase on site.

Where: Viva's Lounge, 1350 Manufacturing St #120, Dallas
When: Friday and Saturday nights through October 28. Show starts at 8 p.m.

Cost: $80 and up

More info

Autumn at the Arboretum

The 18th annual Autumn at the Arboretum his here with 100,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash, hailing from THE pumpkin capital of Texas, Floydada, and 150,000 beautiful fall blooming plants throughout the garden. This year’s theme ‘It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown’ features the return of the Peanuts Gang, along with themed pumpkin houses that make up the acclaimed Pumpkin Village, and of course, a maze for younger visitors.

Also the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden Cool Thursdays Concert Series continues through October 26.

Where: Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, Dallas

When: September 16 – November 5

Cost: $12 - $20

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Beyonce’s RENAISSANCE WORLD TOUR makes a stop in Arlington on Thursday night.

Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington

When: Thursday, September 20 at 8:00 p.m.

Cost: Your first born child

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Billy Bob’s:  SOUTHALL (Fri)

Where: Billy Bob’s Fort Worth
When: Friday and Saturday

Cost: $20 - $30

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Christian Nodal

Christian Nodal is at Dickies arena for his Foraji2 Tour.
Where: Dickies Arena
When: Sunday, September 24 at 8:00 p.m.

Cost: $61 and up

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DMA: "Between Wonder and Seduction"

Assembling nearly all his known surviving works, Abraham Ángel: Between Wonder and Seduction introduces U.S. audiences to this legendary artist with the first major survey of his work in over 35 years. During his brief three-year career, Ángel developed a unique artistic style that successfully captured the rapidly changing society and culture of Mexico in the early 20th century. Despite his work sometimes being overshadowed by his tragic death, Ángel’s compelling paintings cemented his status as a pivotal figure in the history of modern Mexican art. See the vibrant and captivating works of Abraham Ángel with the premiere of this ambitious retrospective.

Where: Fort Worth Botanic Garden, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd, Fort Worth

When: September 10, 2023 - January 28, 2024

Cost: Free

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DSO: Great American Songbook Selections

The evening opens with classic Gershwin, followed by selections from the Great American Songbook. These important and influential American popular songs and jazz standards began in the early 20th century and continue to be written to this day. Closing the program are pieces by Jule Styne, William L. Dawson, the great arranger of spirituals, and the foot tapping Drums by James P. Johnson. Don’t miss a night of beloved classics featuring songs from Oklahoma, Porgy and Bess and more of Gershwin’s most memorable works.

Where: Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas

When: September 22 and 23 at 7:30 p.m., September 24 at 3 p.m.

Cost: $42 and up


Dallas Heart Walk / Tarrant County Heart Walk

The Dallas Heart Walk is a family-friendly event aimed at promoting physical activity and heart-healthy living while raising funds for cardiovascular research and educational programs to combat heart disease and stroke, the leading causes of death in the United States. With activities like the PAWlympics for furry friends and a kid-friendly Happy Little Hearts zone, it offers an enjoyable way for the community to come together and support this important cause.

Where: DALLAS - Reunion Tower, 300 Reunion Blvd E, Dallas
TARRANT - Will Rogers Memorial Center, Fort Worth

When: Saturday, September 23 at 8:00 a.m.

Cost: Free

More info on Dallas Walk More info on Tarrant County Walk

Daughtry at Arlington Music Hall

Daughtry comes through Arlington for his Bare Bones Tour. He’ll be joined by Ayron Jones.

Where: Arlington Music Hall, 224 N Center St, Arlington

When: Saturday, September 23 at 8:00 p.m.

Cost: $35 and up

More info:

Do Good Fest

Do Good Fest is a free outdoor concert to benefit Parkland Health’s Pediatric Behavioral Health Program. Mark Chesnutt headlines Saturday night’s concert. Openers include Jack Ingram and Kaitlin Butts, along with award-winning Arlington-based Mariachi Tejano De Sam Houston and other special guests. Schedule: 5:00 PM - Gates open, 5:15 PM - Mariachi Tejano de Sam Houston, 6:00 PM - Kaitlin Butts, 7:30 PM - Jack Ingram, 9:00 PM - Mark Chesnutt.

Where: Levitt Pavilion, Arlington

When: Saturday, September 23 at 5:00 p.m.

Cost: Free

More info:


Enjoy a new outdoor sculpture exhibition by Santa Fe artists Jennifer and Kevin Box. The show presents a fresh look at paper folding in the 21st Century with large-scale origami-inspired metal sculptures. Emerging butterflies, big birds, grazing deer, and blooming flowers all celebrate the process of plant pollination. The colorful, whimsical, and kinetic sculptures were created in collaboration with modern masters of paper folding: Robert J. Lang, Michael G. LaFosse and Beth Johnson. Their intricate folds have been transformed into monumental metal sculptures by Kevin Box and his studio team to inspire, educate and entertain audiences in the outdoor setting of public gardens.

Where: Fort Worth Botanic Garden, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd, Fort Worth

When: August 19 - February 14

Cost: $6 - $12

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FWBG: Celebramos: A Celebration of Latin American Culture & Heritage

The Fort Worth Botanic Garden invites guests to ¡Celebramos! A Celebration of Latin American Culture & Heritage, from September 8 through October 15, including performances and exhibitions, dining and shopping opportunities, and more.

Guests will enjoy a presentation of Latin American culture through art, native plants, and garden design throughout the entire campus. The celebration during Hispanic Heritage Month will feature numerous events, art exhibits, and unique new experiences for guests visiting the campus.

On September 8 it’s After Hours in the Garden: ¡Celebramos! Kickoff Event with an elegant evening featuring a live music performance by Pepe Valdez, hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. You can also preview the installation of “Casa Azul” – themed around the beautiful residence of Frida Kahlo, in the Leonard Courtyard. And on September 9 it’s Fall Gallery Night celebrating local artist Fernando Rojas Cervantes.

Where: Fort Worth Botanic Garden, Fort Worth

When: September 23-24, 29-30; October 4, 7-8, 13-15

Cost: Free with garden admission

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Fort Worth Dance Festival

On Thursday night enjoy various local middle school, high school and dance studios. Friday’s performance is a collection of colleges, pre-professional and professional companies across the Metroplex. Saturday’s Gala Performance features: Texas Ballet Theater, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Bruce Wood Dance, Ballet Frontier of Texas, and Bandan Koro West African Drum and Dance Ensemble.

Where: I.M. Terrell Academy, Fort Worth

When: September 21-23

Cost: $10 for Thursday, $20 for Friday, $25 for Saturday

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Fort Worth Oktoberfest

Fort Worth Oktoberfest is a 3-day authentic German fest with all your favorites in German bier, food, live music, shopping, carnival rides und more! On Friday evening they’ll have Oktoberfest Olympics for a Cause. And on Saturday, there’s a Dachshund Dash, Bier Barrel Rolling Races, Beir Wench Stein Carrying Contests.

Where: Trinity Park, Fort Worth

When: September 21 – 23

Cost: $10 - $20

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Garland Guzzler 0.5K Race & Oktoberfest

Nope, this isn’t a 5K. It’s a 0.5K. For the sixth consecutive year Garland is hosting this event from 6 to 10 p.m. on Saturday night. Support the "athletes" as they tackle this “demanding” race. But most importantly, stay for the post-race Oktoberfest celebrations featuring food, beverages from Intrinsic Smokehouse & Brewery, live music by The Dogensteins, and a host of other attractions. Embrace the spirit of the event by dressing up in costume!

Where: Granville Arts Center, 300 N 5th St, Garland

When: Saturday, September 23 from 6:00 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Cost: $40 to run. Festival is free.

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Get Up and Go Kayaking in Grapevine

There's a new way to beat the heat in North Texas...and you can do it in clear kayaks.
You can take a guided eco-tour on Grapevine Lake during the day - or enjoy a sunset kayak glow tour with LED lights. Get Up and Go Kayaking tours start at $55.

Where: Grapevine Lake

When: Daily

Cost: $55 and up

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The Great American Trailer Park Musical

There’s a new tenant at Armadillo Acres—and she’s wreaking havoc all over Florida’s most exclusive trailer park. When Pippi, the stripper on the run, comes between the Dr. Phil–loving, agoraphobic Jeannie and her tollbooth collector husband—the storms begin to brew. Join Lyric Stage at their first-ever production in their brand-new Studio Space in the Design District! The grill will be lit and cooking up delicious burgers and dogs and the booze will be flowing! The production is rated R and contains Strong adult language and sexual content.

Where: Lyric Stage, 1170 Quaker St, Dallas

When: Thursday - Saturdays from September 8 - October 14. 8 p.m. start

Cost: $50

More Info

Harwood Park Grand Opening Festival

Come and celebrate the grand opening of Harwood Park. This brand-new, sprawling 4-acre park is nestled in the heart of Downtown Dallas and offers a host of amenities including a playful Mammoth-themed playground, a vibrant pickleball court, two spacious dog parks, captivating interactive fountains, and a dynamic stage for various events.

Where: Harwood Park, 408 S Harwood St, Dallas

When: Sunday, September 24 from 12 - 4pm

Cost: Free


Irving Margarita Festival

The Irving Margarita Festival invites Margarita enthusiasts to join a lively event featuring over 10 3.5oz Margarita samples served over ice, where attendees can vote for the best Margarita in Irving. The festival includes festivities like a live DJ, 10 Margarita booths, street tacos, frozen drinks, a beer garden, food trucks, and an adult playground. Participants can purchase tickets for sampling, each including a Margarita Sampling Card, a Voting Chip, and a chance to win an All-Inclusive Trip to Mexico through a raffle. The festival is strictly for ages 21 and above, rain or shine, with food and drinks available for purchase on-site. The winner of the best Margarita is determined by the most voting chips collected, and the Mexico trip giveaway winner is announced at 6:15PM.

Where: Plaza at Toyota Music Factory, Irving

When: Saturday, September 23 from 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Cost: $20 and up

More Info

J&F House of Terror

J&F House of Terror has two haunted houses for the 2023 season. this year! There’s one indoor and one outdoor haunted house. Every season is something different. J&F is recommended for those 14 and older. Patrons under 14 can come with a parent or guardian. You must purchase tickets online.

Where: Firewheel Town Center Mall, 215 Coneflower Drive, Garland

When: Most nights through October 31

Cost: $17 and up

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Latinidad Festival

The 2nd Annual Latinidad Festival at Annette Strauss Square is a free and family-friendly event dedicated to celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. Experience the vibrant cultural tapestry of Latinidad through live performances by talented artists and groups like Bombazo DFW, Carlos Averhoff, Representa Foundation, Fusión Latina, Sunset High School Folklorico Company, and our special headliner and Tejano star, Mónica Saldívar. Explore the vendor market curated by Hecho con Amor, where you'll find unique treasures, savor authentic Latin cuisine from various food vendors, and engage in kids' crafts, artist exhibits, and much more.

Where: Annette Strauss Square, 2389 Flora St., Dalla

When: Saturday, September 23 from 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Cost: Free

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Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale

The captivating Cinderella tale from Zimbabwe returns to open DCT's 40th season. The story revolves around an African villager named Mufaro, blessed with two daughters renowned for their beauty but marked by distinct differences. Manyara, with her fiery temper and self-centered nature (hidden from Mufaro), stands in contrast to Nyasha, who shines with kindness and consideration for both people and animals. When Mufaro hears that the King seeks the most worthy and beautiful woman to be his wife, he decides to send both his daughters. This heartwarming tale celebrates goodness, generosity, and love, bringing them to life through traditional dance, rhythmic drumming, and the enchanting melodies of African song. Inspired by the 1988 Caldecott Honor Award-winning book.

Where: Dallas Children's Theater, 5938 Skillman St, Dallas

When: Saturdays and Sundays from September 24 - October 14

Cost: $5


McKinney Oktoberfest 

Put on your lederhosen and McKinney for a full weekend of German-themed fun in Historic Downtown McKinney. Enjoy the tradition of authentic German food, domestic and imported beer, live music, games, and much more. Admission is free. Check out entertainment at the Bavarian Experience Stage, the carnival, the Gemüetlichkeit (Goodwill) Games, the Stein-holding Competition, the Ponies & Pals Petting Zoo and incredible music and dance. The parade kicks off the event on Friday at 6 p.m.

Where: Historic Downtown McKinney

When: Friday, September 22 - Sunday, September 24

Cost: Free admission

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Meow Wolf: The Real Unreal

Is it real? Is it a dream? Is it Meow Wolf’s fourth permanent exhibition? Yes. Get to know the unknown in this brand new, mind-bending, interactive art experience located at Grapevine Mills. Explore the transformative power of creative energy at Meow Wolf’s The Real Unreal. When an ordinary family encounters the extraordinary, an inspiring tale of chosen family, community, and the power of imagination unfolds within a mesmerizing, interactive artscape. Featuring a massive collaboration between Texas and Santa Fe based artists, Meow Wolf Grapevine expands into a new era of art and storytelling.

Where: Meow Wolf Grapevine, 3000 Grapevine Mills Pkwy Suite 253, Grapevine

When: July 14-December 31

Cost: $40 and up

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NASCAR Playoffs at TMS

What’s better than NASCAR racing? Playoff NASCAR racing at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. Sunday’s AUTOTRADER ECHOPARK AUTOMOTIVE 400 is the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs race. NASCAR Cup Series drivers put it all on the line in their quest to secure an iconic win in the Lone Star State. The Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 is a chance for the remaining Playoffs drivers to make their mark and punch their ticket one step closer to the promised land ... a Cup Series championship.

On Saturday night, The NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs kicks off with the Andy's Frozen Custard 300!

Where: Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth

When: Thursday, September 21 - Sunday, September 24

Cost: $10 and up

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The Nazarene – The Way, The Truth, and The Life

The most important story of mankind, told through interactive visual installations.

The state-of-the-art technology with breathtaking 3D set designs, lighting and panoramic sound will immerse you in the magnitude of the word of God, bringing to life scenes from the New Testament. You can look over the shoulder of Jesus, stand in the place of the apostles and walk the path of faith side by side with the Savior.

Where: LOOK Dine-in Cinemas Dallas

When: August 25-October 15

Cost: $34.50

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Plano Balloon Festival

The incredible Plano Balloon Festival is back for a 42nd year. In addition to the headliners (the hot air balloons), there’s entertainment on the Main Stage, special kids activities, sky divers, an enormous variety of food to tempt your taste buds, merchandise and handmade products. The balloons will be in the park Thursday at 7:00pm, Friday at 7:00pm, Saturday at 7:00am and 7:00pm, and Sunday at 7:00am (weather permitting). Take tethered balloon rides, do the Ninja Nation Obstacle Course,

Where: Oak Point Park / Red Tail Pavilion, 2801 E. Spring Creek Parkway, Plano

When: Thursday, September 21 - Sunday, September 24. Thursday: 5:00PM - 9:30PM, Friday: 4:00PM - 10:00PM, Saturday: 6:00AM - 10:00PM, Sunday: 6:00AM - 11:00AM

Cost: Free - $10

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Pumpkin Nights at Howell Family Farms

Explore fantastical lands, built using over 5,000 hand-carved real (and synthetic) pumpkins. There’s magic around every corner, including a 40-foot long dragon, a ghostly pirate ship, and an undersea wonderland. It’s a family-friendly event that also includes the Pumpkin Village, the main festival area, with food and beverages, photo-ops, The Spirit of Pumpkins fire show and more.

Where: Howell Farms, 4016 W. Division, Arlington

When: Now - October 30, 6 p.m. - 11 p.m. nightly

Cost: $28 for adults (13+), $20 for kids (4-12), Free for 3 and under

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Shakespeare in the Park: King Lear

Depicting a once-great ruler's descent into madness, King Lear is one of the most powerful tragedies ever staged. King Lear has ruled for many years. As age overtakes him, he divides his kingdom amongst his children. Misjudging their loyalty, he soon finds himself stripped of all the trappings of state, wealth and power that had defined him. Lear is faced with the harsh reality that the daughter he has banished is the only one that can save him and his kingdom from destruction.

Where: Samuell-Grand Amphitheater, Dallas

When: Thursdays-Sundays from September 14 - October 15

Cost: $15-$20

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Six Flags Over Texas: Fright Fest

Dare to enter the Halloween event of the season, featuring family-friendly attractions during the day...and thrills once the sun goes down. Haunted attractions, scare zones, and live shows all return this year.

Where: 2201 East Road to Six Flags, Arlington

When: Select nights now through October 31

Cost: $60 and up

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Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour Collection

The Arlington Museum of Art presents an exclusive exhibition of 12-time Grammy award-winner Taylor Swift which explores the evolution of her artistic expression. Curated by the Arlington Museum of Art from Swift’s own private collection, Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour Collection, presented by HELP Center, is an exploration of Swift as an evolving, boundary-pushing artist. The exhibition will feature original costumes, photographs, videos, and more representing several of her creative periods, or “eras.”

Highlights of the exhibition are eight costumes worn by Swift from her record-breaking albums Midnights, folklore, Red (Taylor’s Version) and Fearless (Taylor’s Version).

Where: Arlington Museum of Art, 201 West Main Street, Arlington

When: June 3 - September 24

Cost: $20 for adults, $15 for seniors, $15 for youth, $5 for kids

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Texas Pinners Conference and Expo

Texas Pinners is back with its annual conference and expo, a must-visit event for DIY enthusiasts. Dive into home décor, crafts, cooking, beauty, fashion, and more with over 110 interactive classes hosted by industry pros. Explore a bustling trade show floor featuring 250+ vendors offering a diverse range of creative products and resources, from home décor trends to culinary delights, accessories, beauty essentials, and more. Don't miss this Pinterest-inspired extravaganza!

Where: Will Rogers Memorial Center, Fort Worth

When: Sept 22-23

Cost: $12 and up

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Trade Days at Southfork Ranch

Trade Days at Southfork Ranch gives you the chance to shop from local vendors selling jewelry, furniture, candles, food, and so much more.

Where: Southfork Ranch, 3700 Hogge Dr, Parker

When: Sept 22-24 (Also Oct 27-29, Nov 24-26)

Cost: FREE; Parking is FREE on Friday, $5 on Saturday and Sunday

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The Rocky Horror Show

In this cult classic, the story unfolds as sweethearts Brad and Janet find themselves stranded with a flat tire during a storm. Seeking shelter, they stumble upon the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, where their innocence is soon shattered. Inside, they encounter a cast of eccentric characters, including a rebellious biker and a peculiar butler. Amidst elaborate dances and rock songs, Frank-N-Furter unveils his latest creation: a strapping man named "Rocky." This deliberately kitschy rock 'n' roll sci-fi gothic musical offers a unique experience, complete with spirited audience interactions, flying toilet paper, and an assortment of participation props. (This production includes adult themes with sexual situations and adult language)

Where: Kalita Humphreys Theater, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd, Dallas

When: Sept 23 - October 29

Cost: $30 and up

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Unleashed LGBTQ

Unleashed LGBTQ is a groundbreaking conference and entertainment festival that connects brands, artists, and LGBTQ+ professionals. The event features prominent LGBTQ+ figures like Antoni Porowski, Dyllón Burnside, Indya Moore, Billy Eichner, and former Rep. Brian Sims in panels, keynotes, workshops, and performances. This three-day interactive event celebrates LGBTQ+ excellence through engaging conversations, entertainment, and educational workshops, as well as screenings of new LGBTQ+ content from various media sources.

Where: Gilley's Dallas, Dallas

When: Friday, September 22 - Sunday, September 24

Cost: $149 - $399

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Very Eric Carle: A Very Hungry, Quiet, Lonely, Clumsy, Busy Exhibit

The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History presents "Very Eric Carle," an imaginative exhibit inspired by the beloved author and illustrator's "very" books, including The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Dive into a world of creativity, friendship, and imagination, where art and nature blend in a vibrant display of colors and shapes. Discover messages of hope, love, and persistence, finding your own touch of magic.

Where: Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, Fort Worth

When: September 23 to January 7

Cost: $12-$16

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Vocal Majority

Vocal Majority is a diverse group of over 100 men who volunteer from various backgrounds, each bringing their unique musical talents and experiences to the ensemble. They are renowned for their a cappella performances and have produced over two dozen recordings showcasing their wide-ranging musical repertoire. Their music spans across genres, including sacred and inspirational, patriotic, classic barbershop, jazz, Broadway, pop, and Christmas tunes.

Where: Coppell Arts Center, 505 Travis St, Coppell

When: Saturday, September 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $40

More Info:

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Fairfax Media / Contributor Getty Images