By Michele Stevens Bernard, TSB Lifestyle Editor
Cinco de Mayo weekend is upon us, folks, and in McKinney, Texas, this fiesta is spelled with a capital Mariachi! Three of my Fave Five events happening this weekend will help us honor our culturally rich Mexican heritage while enjoying the company of our family, friends and neighbors. Also making this week’s list is epic musical theater brought to us by an amazing group of performers, and an event that is in my opinion, one of the most inspirational tributes to have been born in McKinney. Check it out:
1. High Noon on the Courthouse Lawn – Friday, May 3, Noon – 1 p.m. Why wait till Cinco de Mayo to have fun, when you can start the party on Tres de Mayo? Pack a lunch or grab a lunch, then head on down to the historic downtown McKinney square to join those gathered on the lawn surrounding the McKinney Performing Arts Center to enjoy the sounds of Mariachi Michoacán. Read my next fave pick to learn more about this exciting group of musicians.
2. Cultural Music Series Cinco de Mayo Festival Concert – Saturday, May 4, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., Finch Park – Yes, it’s true. Your eyes are not deceiving you, nor have I made a typographical error. This year’s Cinco de Mayo Festival Concert is indeed being held on Cuatro de Mayo. Presented by McKinney Parks, Recreation and Open Space, the popular Cultural Music Series continues with this Cinco de Mayo Festival Concert featuring, you guessed it, Mariachi Michoacán.
Billed as the best mariachi in Dallas and Fort Worth, this award-winning group of talented musicians have been entertaining and sharing the stage with well known recording artists for over 20 years. Definitely the group to see on this particular weekend in May.
The concert is free to the public and will be held near the basketball courts at Finch Park, 301 W. Standifer St. The city stage will be set up near the playground area, so guests of all ages can fully enjoy the entertainment and amenities in the beautiful city park. Guests are invited to pack a picnic (leave the alcohol at home), grab your favorite lawn chairs and come out for an evening of wonderful entertainment.
3. Ballet Ollimpaxqui presents McKinney Folklorico Festival 2013 – performances at various elementary schools from Friday, May 3 through Wednesday, May 8 (click here for specific times and locations ). This is the first year for this particular event, and is also Michele’s Hidden Gem for the week. The McKinney community is invited to participate in a most colorful and festive cultural experience designed to educate through the arts. The festival is free to attend for MISD schools, and is an in-school, family-friendly event that promises to feature live mariachi music, ballet folklorico (traditional Mexican dance, as well as, multi-cultural works of art. Artistic Director, Eduardo Gutierrez will be on hand to provide bilingual explanations about the event and its offerings. Anything that mixes art and education in a fun way sounds like a great way to spend the day to me.
4. McKinney Youth Theatre presents ‘Les Miserables’ – Opens Thursday, May 2, 7:15 p.m. at Heard-Craig Hall; 306 N. Church St. I have been longing to see MYT’s presentation of the school edition of Les Mis since I heard tale that they would be doing such several weeks ago. This exceptionally talented group of kids, ages 19 and younger, are just the cast to take-on such a daunting task, and I look forward to it with the same anticipation I felt waiting for the recent movie version of what is billed as the most popular musical in the world. The story, told through song, follows Jean Valjean on his adversity-laden journey to redemption in 19th century France. The MYT production is directed by Danny Miranda. Tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the door. Front row fetches $18 a seat. To purchase tickets, click here
5. The 3rd Annual Strikes Against Cancer Baseball Tournament – May 3 – 5. Maybe it’s because I’m a baseball mom, but mostly because I am just so humbled and impressed by this kid, Geordon Cox, for having the impetus to use his power for good in the face of what I can only imagine to be the most difficult thing any child should have to endure. I find the Strikes Against Cancer Baseball Tournament to be the most inspirational event to be born in the city of McKinney.
By now, most folks in this area know Geordon’s story. To honor his mom Lisa and join her ongoing battle with cancer Geordon, with the help of his dad, launched strikesagainstcancer.org. Through this site folks were able to pledge funds for every strike pitched by his baseball team, with proceeds benefitting the V Foundation for Cancer Research. From this simple idea, has grown the tournament that now, only in its third year, draws hundreds of teams from around the country to McKinney to “Fight Cancer One Strike At A Time.” The first weekend in May by proclamation of the mayor of McKinney, Brian Loughmiller, and the city council, will be forever known as “Strikes Against Cancer Weekend” for Geordon and his mother Lisa.
Opening ceremonies are slated for 7 p.m., Friday, May 3 at Craig Ranch at the Gabe Nesbit Collegiate Field. To see the full opening ceremony line-up click here
In addition to my Fave Five fun things to do this weekend, here’s what else McKinney has to offer:
Thursday, May 2, 2013
• Farmers Market at Adriatica – 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Friday, May 3, 2013
• Collin County Master Gardeners Community Wide Walking Tour – 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. The Landing parking lot at Myers Park
• MRT Presents Lend Me a Tenor – MPAC Courtroom Theater– 8 p.m. also showing Saturday, May 4, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Saturday, May 4, 2013
• Top 5k/10k Run Walk Roll – 7 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – 7910 Collin McKinney Pkwy.
• Morning Maniacs Show & Shine – 7:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Downtown McKinney
• Historic Farmers Market at Chestnut Square – 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
• McKinney Youth Theatre presents “Don’t Count Your Chickens Before They Cry Wolf” 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at Heard-Craig Hall; also showing Sunday May 5, 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
• Franconia Brewing Company Tour and Tasting – 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
• Mockingbird Society Poetry Reading – Heard-Craig House – 1:30 p.m. – 4 p.m.
• Juried Art Show Opening Night Reception – MPAC Gallery and Noble Hall; 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. and annual art show featuring local and regional artists
• MLA Annual Spring Yard Sale – Stonebridge United Methodist Church – 7 a.m. – $1 per adult to shop – 126 spots – bring a rolling tote and plenty of cash – lots of treasures to be had – benefits scholarship fund
Cadillac Pub – Open Mic Jam with Mark Sena (Thurs.); Stratoblasters (Fri.); Maylee Thomas (Sat.)
Ricks Lounge – Lynne Cadena (Thurs.); Buzz Andrews (Fri.); Texas Slim (Sat.)
Grotto – Travis Muscatell and the Black Hand Rivalry (Fri.); Back to Blue (Sat.)
Spoons – Open mic (Thurs.); Live music Fri. and Sat.
Landon Winery – Dueling Mikes (Fri.); Larry Johnson (Sat.)
One Lazy Lizard – Trick Bag (Fri.)
Hank’s – Rodney Parker and 50 Peso Reward (Thurs.); JB and The Moonshine Band (Fri.)(pictured); Elevenhundred Springs (Sat.)
Still looking for fun to be had? Don’t forget to show McKinney’s art galleries, museums, restaurants, merchants, not to mention the wonderful system of parks and recreation areas a little love.
Carpe Diem Y’all, Michele