After the last breath of winter (hopefully) and yet another freeze to thaw, damn it, we’re ready for spring. Blooming flowers, birdsong, blue sky overhead, you know the drill. And after two years of COVID-related closures, event postponements and outright cancellations, this spring in Fort Worth is going to be epic. This means big festivals, big events and a warm return to normalcy.
There’s something for everyone, from food and drink to arts and sports. This year, there are more reasons than ever to plan your calendar by taking advantage of one or all of these spring festivals and events. We’ll see you there.
Here’s your guide to the best spring events in Fort Worth:
Van Cliburn International Piano Competition
The most dramatic event of the year has to be the return of the famous Van Cliburn. The once-every-four-year piano competition offers screening auditions March 6-12 at TCU’s PepsiCo Recital Hall. They are free and open to the public. The 72 selected pianists will give 25-minute recitals before the competition narrows them down to just 30.
This year’s diverse list of prospects is drawn from 22 countries. The final round takes place June 2-18, when Fort Worth, along with the rest of the world, learns the winner.
But there are other great piano events in Fort Worth, including the opening of a brand new venue. TCU will open the Van Cliburn Concert Hall, with a special performance by Russian pianist Olga Kern on April 13. Kern was one of the winners of the 2001 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and the concert will take place on the 64th anniversary of Van Cliburn’s famous triumph in Moscow in 1958.
The concert hall is the newest addition to the $53 million TCU Music Center and another step forward for Fort Worth, which boasts exciting new venues like Dickies Arena.
The Tarrant Regional Water District trout stocking season culminates with TRWD FlyFest along and in the River Trinty on Saturday 12th March. They stock nearly 3,000 native fish per year, including 1,800 pounds of rainbow trout, creating an optimal fishing experience. This year will be the seventh Flyfest, which continues to grow in popularity.
So don’t be alarmed by all the anglers putting on their waders and casting their lines in rhythm ― 10 and 2, 10 and 2. . .
In addition to free fishing in the river, there will be activities for children and presentations by experts. Orvis and Coffee & Caddis will be on hand with fly tying and casting instructions and materials. Plenty of beer, wine and food trucks will be on hand, along with live music. For the kids, there will be face paint, a fishing tank to catch them early, and a climbing wall.
Magnolia at Modern
This special movie series runs from March 18 to May 1. The cozy auditorium of the Museum of Modern Art has long brought rare art films to Fort Worth. Among the seven films in this year’s Magnolia at the Modern series are Break the breadwhich follows Arab and Jewish chefs in Haifa, Israel, as they collaborate in the kitchen.
Most of the films featured in the series will air Fridays at 4 p.m., 6 p.m., and 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 5 p.m.; and Sundays at noon (show at half price), 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. (with some exceptions). Ticket prices are $10 for regular admission, $8 for Modern members, and $7 for Reel People members. Advance sales start two hours before each show at the admission desk.
Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival
Fort Worth’s tantalizing festival and its six ticket-exclusive events are finally back. The venue will be the Heart of the Ranch, in its shady Clearfork setting, and the Nite Bites event will take full advantage of the Whiskey Ranch skyline view.
Local chefs, restaurateurs and caterers will join regional and international bartenders, brewers and wine labels in this annual tour de force. The Fort Worth Food & Wine Festival runs from March 31 through April 3. Check out some of the well-known names participating this year and get your tickets or VIP passes before they sell out on the Fort Worth Food & Wine Festival website.
Main Street Arts Festival
From Thursday, April 7 through Sunday, April 10, the Main Street Arts Festival bills itself as the largest four-day arts event in the Southwest. It’s a chance for North Texans to indulge in art, music, and food all in one bargain. It’s the 35th year of the Main Street Arts Festival and fans can expect new entertainment places. In all, more than 200 local, regional and national artists-jurors will descend downtown.
Lining the red bricks of Main Street, this free event is a local tradition. There’s even a craft brew garden and wine pavilion, with hundreds of musical acts on stage, providing a soundtrack throughout the weekend.
Japanese Garden Spring Festival
The Fort Worth Botanical Gardens has a hidden gem on its sprawling campus – the Japanese Garden. The garden, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2023, is a lush seven-and-a-half-acre filled with forests of bamboo, cherry trees, Japanese maples, magnolias, arched bridges, raked rockeries and ponds filled with koi fish. If you’ve never experienced it, the Spring Festival is the time to go.
While the Autumn Festival showcases the ruby red of Japanese maple leaves, the Japanese Garden Spring Festival (April 23-24 this year) is full of color and life. It is also a cultural treasure with exhibitions of judo, sumo and karate, traditional tea ceremonies, drums, dancers and swordsmen. There will be Japanese delicacies to taste, bonsai and calligraphy. And these are just a few of the Japanese art forms that will be featured.
For one day only – April 23 this year – Magnolia Avenue hosts its annual ArtsGoggle. The Southside is planning an epic return to the festival this year. This free family event brings together more than 1,000 visual artists, 50 musical performances and artistic events of all kinds. Plus plenty of food and drink.
Many Magnolia Avenue businesses hold open houses during ArtsGoggle, and the event spills out onto the open streets with over a mile of exhibits to browse.
Generations of Fort Worthians have fond memories of MayFest. The 2022 edition marks the 50th anniversary of the beloved festival. It all takes place May 5-8 at Trinity Park. Past years have included fireworks reflecting off the Trinity River. Exact details are yet to come on this year’s Mayfest events.
Filled with food, arts and crafts, entertainment and music, Mayfest has everything from Ferris wheels to confetti eggs. You can expect plenty of activities and areas for children. There will be paddle boats along the river and, as always, an eclectic mix of vendors to explore and entertainment to enjoy.
Charles Schwab Challenge
While last year’s Colonial Golf Tournament drew limited spectators under COVID conditions, full crowds will return to the oak-lined wonder May 23-29.
The winner receives a coveted red plaid colonial jacket. The oldest event on the PGA Tour has a lot to offer, like its famous water-protected No. 13 hole along the stretch known as (Ben) Hogan’s Alley. We can barely wait for a few lazy days at Colonial this spring.
Hang on, Fort Worth. Spring is on the way – and it has plenty of fun in store.