The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU students gather around a bucket of markers to write an encouraging note to put in “Welcome to the Shelter” kits at event in mid-April on SMU’s campus.
Dallas homeless recovery center, The Bridge, is a home
Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024
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Summertime in the city has plenty to offer for students

Each new day the sun is reaching a higher point in the sky, thermometers are pushing toward triple digits, sweat is emerging on the skin’s surface and Dallas streets are looking more like the desert.

With the date June 6, 2006, approaching, it’s tempting to say that these are signs of an imminent apocalypse, but more than likely it’s just the annual slap in the face that summer is here.

Oh my, what a breath of hot air!

However, before resolving to spend the next two months poolside or in a sanctuary of air conditioning, here are some local events that might actually inspire you to venture out and embrace the heat.

Just as summer begins, so does the season’s call to get away and vacation. For many, that call might include the beach, and for many more that call might include escaping to a far and distant mystical dream world known as the music festival.

But don’t worry if you can’t make it to “Coachella” in California or can’t afford the prices to see Radiohead at “Bonaroo” in Tennessee. There’s plenty happening locally to entertain.

The Dallas Museum of Art kicks off the summer by presenting the “Jazz Under the Stars” concert series on June 8 and June 15. The concert series is just what its name describes it to be, and it provides a fun and relaxing escape from the usual busy, on-the-go nature of downtown Dallas.

On the complete opposite side of the music spectrum is the Vans Warped Tour, which comes through Smirnoff Music Centre July 1.

Now in its 11th year, the tour offers a diverse festival environment with some of the biggest names of the punk, metal, and indie genres on more than 10 different stages.

However, the all day festival is entirely outside, so if you plan on attending, be prepared to break your wallet’s ethical guidelines by buying a bottle of overpriced water.

True to classic Texas fashion, the summer would not be complete without a good ol’ ho-down hootin’nanny, gun shootin’, bbq’n, country-fried music festival.

So with that in mind, July Fourth this year doesn’t just usher in national patriotism and fireworks, but also Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic country music festival.

However, if a day spent wandering around festival grounds through crowds of people and a huge cloud of other ambiguous substances (I’m not pointing fingers Willie) isn’t really your scene, you’re still in luck.

While Dallas may reside in the often culturally downplayed south, there’s actually a great deal of what some might call “refined entertainment,” which is really just a name for some of the more artistic things to do for fun in Dallas.

In particular, an event not worth missing is Dallas’ largest free outdoor festival: the Taste of Dallas food festival. Taking place from July7-9 and often drawing over 300,000 people to the West End, this food festival brings all the best food and wine out for the public to sample from Dallas’ top restaurants.

Also drawing many of the same people from the “wine and cheese” crowd is Shakespeare in the park.

I know Shakespeare can often come off as lofty, overly pretentious, falsely superior pseudo-theater, but if you open your mind and your senses there is plenty of relevant depth and humor to enjoy in this annual Dallas tradition. Beginning June 14 at Samuell-Grand Park with “The Tempest” and with “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” starting June 22, the plays will run through the end of July.

Now that you’ve got the footnotes to some of summer’s best local events, all that’s left to do is to go out and enjoy them. Embrace the heat, as I’m sure it will you, and make the most out of summer.

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