It’s Labor Day weekend, so you have three full days to celebrate the end of summer (of course, it doesn’t feel like the end of summer with a high of 104 today in Dallas, but we’ll play along). Few things are better than having fun for free — or at least for cheap — so we’ve compiled a list of things to do around DFW this weekend that are free, cheap or at a meaningful discount.
Friday, Aug. 30, 2013
Bedford Blues & BBQ Festival: Jimmy Vaughan, John Mayall and Buddy Guy headline this three-day festival featuring 17 bands and about 100 teams competing for barbecue glory (and cash prizes). Afraid of the heat? You can rent party cabanas and tents on-site, plus there are plenty of shade trees. 6-10 p.m. Aug. 30, 6-10 p.m. Aug. 31, 2-10 p.m. Sept. 1; 1900 L. Don Dodson Dr. (at Forest Ridge Drive) in Bedford. $5 daily lawn seating; daily parking $10 at the library and Old Bedford School. Reserved seats start at $25.
- Labor Day Weekend Rodeo: The city of Lewisville and the Lewisville Saddle Club host this annual professional rodeo that delivers thrills including bareback bronc riding, calf roping, steer wrestling and saddle bronc riding, as well as mutton bustin’ for the kids. The rodeo runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday; on Sunday, Midnight Thunder will perform concerts at 7 and 10 p.m. 8-10 p.m. Aug. 30, Aug. 31 and Sept. 1; Lewisville Rodeo Grounds, Mill Street Arena, 101 Parkway St. in Lewisville. 214-534-8440. $8 adults, $6 kids 5-12, free for younger kids, public-service officers and military members.
- Fireworks over Lake Grapevine: Each Friday over the summer, the city of Grapevine puts on a spectacular 12-minute-long fireworks display over the lake at 9:30 p.m. According to Grapevine’s website, the best spots to view the show are at any of the lake’s parks. As a bonus, the city has choreographed the fireworks to two different mp3 playlists that you can download for free here. This is the final fireworks display of the season, so don’t miss it. 9:30 p.m. Aug. 30, Lake Grapevine; 817-410-3185. Free, though some parks charge a small entry fee per carload.
Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013
- Invasion Car Show: Check out hot rods and custom cars at this sixth annual outdoor car show hosted by Them! Car Club in Deep Ellum. Pre-1964 cars will be featured. Eight bands will perform; vendors and food trucks will be available. If you want to participate in the show, day-of registration is $35 and includes a pass to an after-party. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 31; on Elm Street between Malcolm X Boulevard and Good-Latimer Expressway in Dallas; invasioncarshow.com. Free.
Warbirds on Parade: See a B-24 Liberator, bombers, fighters and more at this parade of planes that honors veterans. You’ll also see parachute demonstrations, military vehicles, living history groups, period displays and a classic car show. After 4 p.m., big spenders can shell out for a ride in an R4-D for $150 apiece with a minimum of five riders. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 31 (car show from 10 a.m. to 2 pm.); Lancaster Regional Airport, 730 Ferris Rd. in Lancaster; call Russ Coonley, 940-466-3672. $5 per person or $10 per carload.
- St. Mark Community Carnival: Raise funds for the church’s outreach ministries at this carnival that includes rides, games, karaoke, fair-food such as cotton candy, tamales and turkey legs; a Kiddy Korral and raffle prizes including a big-screen TV and gift cards to area restaurants and attractions. Noon-10 p.m. Aug. 31, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sept. 1, Noon-4 p.m. Sept. 2; 1201 Alma Dr., Plano; 214-236-9916. Free admission and parking; ride tickets $1, food and game tickets, 50 cents.
- Shop till you drop: Holiday weekends are great for shopping, especially when they come at the end of a season. Many retailers will have summer items on clearance. Check out these stories at Living on the Cheap: What’s on sale in September and 16 post summer uses for pool noodles and other summer clearance items.
- Bedford Blues & BBQ Festival: 6-10 p.m. See Friday events.
- Salsa dancing in Addison: Saturday is the final night of Addison’s Summer Salsa series. Arrive at 7 for free salsa lessons given by the Dance Council. From 8-10 p.m., the dance floor opens as Clave y Sabor performs. 7-10 p.m. Aug. 31, Beckert Park, 5044 Addison Circle in Addison; 800-233-4766. Free.
- Labor Day Weekend Rodeo: 8 p.m. See Friday events.
Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013
- St. Mark Community Carnival: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. See Saturday events.
- Bedford Blues & BBQ Festival: 2-10 p.m. See Friday events.
- Labor Day Weekend Rodeo: Rodeo begins at 8 p.m. Midnight Thunder performs at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. See Friday events.
Monday, Sept. 2, 2013
- Garland Labor Day Parade: The city of Garland and the Noon Exchange Club host the 68th annual Labor Day event with a parade starting at 9 a.m. at the corner of Fifth and Walnut streets and ending at Central Park, 1310 W. Avenue F. Festivities including a classic car show (11 a.m.; $20 on-site registration for entrants), chili cook-off, vendors and a children’s area with pony rides, face painting, bounce houses and a petting zoo, continue at the park until 3 p.m. 9 a.m. Sept. 2; 972-276-6180. Free.
Labor Day Swim Party: The usually members-only Texas Pool on the Creek in Plano is hosting an end of the summer splash party for the public at the 168,000-gallon, Texas-shaped saltwater pool. Fun includes a cannonball contest, in addition to water slides and water volleyball. Bring your own food and (nonalcoholic) drinks; grills are on site for your use. Or you can buy food and drinks at the snack bar. Noon to 6 p.m. Sept. 2, Texas Pool on the Creek, 901 Springbrook Dr. in Plano; 972-881-8392. $5.
- Boston Market is offering a 50% off family meal deal on Monday, Sept. 2. Choose from rotisserie chicken, roasted turkey or meatloaf, as well as gourmet sides. The deal has some exclusions, and requires this coupon. Limit one deal per customer per visit. There are more than 25 area Boston Market locations. To find the nearest one, click here.
- St. Mark Community Carnival: Noon-4 p.m. See Saturday events.
Labor Day image at top by nuttakit, freedigitalphotos.net.