By Michele Stevens Bernard, TSB Lifestyle Editor
When all the things I love most converge to create a most perfect weekend, Fan Girl doesn’t even come close to describing how I feel about it. Art, music, family and baseball … well, it really doesn’t get any better than that for me. And when I don’t have to drive miles away or spend tons of cash to enjoy any of the above, I become even more giggle-filled and skip-skippity-happy about the prospects at hand. Such is how I feel about the McKinney weekend in front of me when I consider my Fave Five things to do.
Check it out to see which events, activities and entertainment options make this week’s top five.
My number one pick for the weekend is:
1. Arts In Bloom – I love everything about the Arts In Bloom Festival. A courtesy of McKinney Main Street, MPAC and the shops in downtown McKinneythis fun event happens each 2nd Saturday in April. This year’s event happens Saturday April 13th in and around the downtown square between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Admission is free.
With so many don’t miss events within the event, I do want to call your attention to ArtWalk. This is where literally hundreds of artists, many of whom we call friends and neighbors, take to the streets to delight and entertain us with demonstrations of their amazing talents. What this means to you and me is block after colorful block meeting, greeting and admiring the works of a truly talented army of artisans.
Be sure to check out Chalk Walk. Who among us hasn’t chalked up the sidewalk at some point in the name of a righteous game of hopscotch? Let’s just say, Chalk Walk takes this particular art form to unbelievable levels! I like to do my first walk-by in the morning to witness the artists doing their thing. There is something so gratifying to witnessing the before, during and after of it all. I am amazed at what these folks can do with chalk, and am sure you will be too.
With all the fun going on outside, don’t neglect the opportunity to poke your head inside the downtown shops and galleries. And even if you hit the galleries by day, I highly suggest you make another pass at them by night. The Garret Art Gallery features artist Rebecca Pelley McWatters this 2nd Saturday with opening reception starting at 7 p.m. Orison’s Fine Art and Framing will feature photographer Mark Renz.
Michele’s Hidden Gem: When at Orison’s be sure to check out the gallery space upstairs. It will be filled with artwork by the McKinney Artist Critique Group. I especially direct your attention to the works of a few of my fave artist friends: Annie Royer, LC Tobey, Tommy Tobey, Jeni Tomlinson and Bob Bruu.
Mypersonal ArtWalk will begin and end at Laura Moore’s Fine Art Studios. During the day, she will feature a large outdoor gallery with dozens of artists represented. By night,Waleed Arshad’s “The Vortex Between Light and Dark” opens at 7 p.m. For me, no art walk is complete without a visit to Laura’s beautiful gallery. It’s located at 107 S. Tennessee St. on the northeast side of the square.
Arts In Bloom is the only reason my number two choice for the weekend comes in at two instead of one. Here’s why: I am forever and always a Baseball Mom. All three of my sons played baseball at some point in their lives. Somewhere along the way, the great American pastime became our family’s passion, carrying over from the diamond even into our other favorite pastimes like going to the movies. This weekend, I have a date with one of my three favorite baseball players of all times to see the movie about one of the greatest baseball players of all times. Coming in at Number 2, I give you:
2. 42 The Movie – 42 is the biographical film chronicaling the life oflegendary baseball player Jackie Robinson. Directed by Brian Heldgeland, it stars Chadwick Boseman as Robinson and Harrison Ford as Dodger GM Branch Rickey. Pre-release, the reviews are looking pretty good and I’m calling it now: Whether the movie strikes out or hits it over the fence, I believe the line, “You give me a uniform. You give me a number on my back. I’ll give you the guts,” will make it into the Baseball Movie Quotes Hall Of Fame. Write it down. McKinney’s first opportunity to catch this movie will be Thursday night at 10 at Cinemark McKinney Movies 14.
Rounding out my Fave Five are the next three fun things I look forward to doing this weekend:
3. The Old Red Lumberyard Junk Market – Man, do I love a treasure hunt! And, there is treasure to be had here. Also known as Orly Market, this hidden gem seems to get more popular with each passing month. As time passes, more customers and even more venders are finding their way to the east side setting up booths filled with all sorts of shiny, retro yumminess. 600 E. Louisiana St is the place for all who love vintage to be come Friday April 12 and Saturday April 13 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
4. Young Artist Competition & Spencer Myer Concert – McKinney is known for the tremendous talent housed within her city walls. This includes this much anticipated yearly event brought to us by the McKinney Musical Arts Society,which sees the best high school pianists gathering to compete for some serious cash awards. As an added bonus, this year’s event kicks off with a concert by guest artist and adjudicator, the incomparable Dr. Spencer Myer. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Heard-Craig Performance Hall. Tickets are $20, seniors $17, and students $5 (free if accompanied by a parent who has purchased a ticket). The competition will ensue through the weekend and will feature a Young Artists Recital at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 14. This is as much of a must see as Dr. Myer’s concert in my humble opinion, as the talent the students bring with them is an experience to behold.
5. Grotto Live – After all the movie watching, treasure hunting, and art walking is said and done with, I believe THIS will be the place to be on Saturday night. And, not just because Grotto Live has one of the hippest Saturday night vibes in town, but also because for the fun factor their Saturday night musical guests are bringing to the party. Because really, doesn’t wrapping up a really fine day singing along to the musical stylings of Worlds Apart: A Journey Tribute Band, sound like a mucho fun thing to do? I thought so. See you there. The show starts at 7:30 p.m.
So that’s my Fave Five.Still looking for more fun to be had?Keep reading to see what else is happening around town.
Thursday April 11
Adriatica Farmers Market 3 p.m.-7 p.m.
Friday April 12
Chestnut Square Pioneer Days 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.
High Noon on the Square – Lunch and Mechanical Bullriding on the MPAC lawn
McKinney Has Talent! Semi-Finals McKinney Performing Arts Center 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. $10 or $15 for semifinals and finals on Saturday, April 13.
Farmers Market at Chestnut Square 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
Heard Museum Second Saturday Bird Walk Walks begin promptly at 8 a.m. and last 1.5 hours. Free with regular admission.
McKinney Has Talent! Finals MPAC 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. $10
Live Music This Weekend
Heard-Craig: E-Flat Porch Band (on the lawn)(Thurs.); Spencer Meyer (performance hall)(Fri.); Young Artist’s Recital (performance hall)(Sun.)
Cadillac Pub: Open Mic with Buzz Andrews (Thurs.); Broken Code (Fri.); Jason Elmore & the Hoodoo Witch (Sat.)
Rick’s Lounge/Grand: Nickel & Dime (Thurs.); Nick & The Nighthawks (Fri.); Buzz Andrews (Sat.)
Grotto Live: Open Mic (Thurs.); Travis Muscatell & the Black Hand Rivalry (Fri.); WorldsApart: A Journey Tribute (Sat.)
Spoon’s: Open Mic (Thurs.); Buzz Andrews (Fri.); Eric Erickson (Sat.)
Landon’s Steve Duncan (Fri.); Tu-Tones (Sat.)
Lone Star Wine Cellars: Steve Brummet (Thurs.); Crystal Yates (Fri.); Mike Allyn (Sat.)
Dawgs-n-Hawgs: Hard Country (Sat.)
Hank’s: Brandon Bush Band (Thurs.); Whiskey Meyers (Fri.); John David Kent (Sat.)