Author Archives: StaceyD

Grapevine Main Station Observation Tower Tours Now Open

Photo Courtesy of the Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau 

The Grapevine Visitor Information Center is now offering guided tours of Grapevine Main Station Thursday through Sunday! A Visitor Center Concierge will escort groups on a 20-minute tour of Grapevine Main Station, which includes Harvest Hall, Peace Plaza and the Observation Tower. The tour also includes an overview of Grapevine’s art community and Historic Main Street. Additionally, while visitors take in the views of Grapevine and the DFW area at the top of the 12-story Observation Tower, a guide will be on hand to describe points of interest.

Each tour is limited to no more than 12 people. Tickets are $3 per person and may be purchased online HERE. Visitors must agree to a security screening and abide by the Observation Tower rules and regulations. Luggage or other large bags may be stored at the Visitor Information Center for $2 per bag.

Tours are available Thursday – Sunday at 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m., Noon., 1p.m. and 2 p.m. Tours are also available on demand. Additional days and times may be arranged with seven (7) days’ notice.

The Grapevine Visitor Information Center is located inside Grapevine Main Station at 815 S. Main St. Visitors may access the Grapevine Main Parking Garage or use free parking (when available) along Main Street.

DIRECTIONS TO PARKING GARAGE AND INTO THE STATION:

  1. Use the Visitor entrance off of Dallas Road
  2. Park on levels 3 – 6
  3. Parking Fee: First 90 minutes are complimentary, $1 every hour after. No overnight public parking is allowed
  4. Take the elevator to the Lobby / Ground Level
  5. Turn right when exiting the elevator. Walk through the Hotel Vin Lobby to Harvest Hall. The Visitor Information Center is located directly in front of the Main Street entrance doors.

ABOUT GRAPEVINE MAIN STATION

Grapevine Main Station is a $114-million-dollar public/private sector transit-oriented development project. Located at the intersection of Main Street and Dallas Road in Historic Downtown Grapevine, the 42,000-square-foot rail station consists of Harvest Hall, a European-style food hall with seven globally-inspired kitchens; Third Rail, an indoor/outdoor entertainment and event venue; a 38,000-square-foot expansive outdoor Plaza; and a 150-foot-tall Observation Tower with 360-degree views of the city and beyond, all connected to Hotel Vin, a six-story, 120-room Marriott Autograph Collection property and a 552-space parking garage.

For more information, visit GrapevineTexasUSA.com/Grapevine-Main/.

Ice Cream Social at Nash Farm on July 10

Enjoy the beauty and history of Nash Farm, located at 626 Ball St., and a tasty treat on Saturday, July 10, at Nash Farm’s 1920s Ice Cream Social from 7 p.m. until dark. This family-friendly event features old-fashioned, hand-cranked ice cream, ‘20s music, antique cars, lawn games and more!

Relax in the great outdoors and soak up summer with sundaes, root beer floats, lemonade and watermelon as the Lone Star String Band entertains with their traditional old-time and Texas-style prairie music. Additionally, Jessie Jean will spin 1920s records on an antique phonograph under the shade.

Take a stroll by ‘20s-era antique cars or vintage bicycles from the period while kids of all ages can play old-fashioned lawn games such as croquet, horseshoe pitching and more!

Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets and picnics to the event. Admission is $5 per person, which includes homemade ice cream, refreshments and all activities.

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Nash Farm, circa 1859, is the oldest operating farmstead in Tarrant County. Through interpretive programs, events and exhibits, Nash Farm educates the community about the heritage and importance of the Grape Vine Prairie and Grapevine’s pivotal role in the development of North Texas.

A variety of programs and special events held throughout the year offer guests a unique learning experience in a historic setting. Remaining events include First Fridays at the Farm, Heritage Workshops, Barn Dance and Fall Round-Up. Volunteer opportunities at Nash Farm are available through the Nash Farmhand Program.

To purchase tickets or for more information about Nash Farm’s 1920s Ice Cream Social, please call 817.410.3185 or visit NashFarm.org.

DART: July 4, 2021 Holiday Schedule

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) will operate on the following schedule in celebration of the July 4 holiday weekend:

Bus and light rail services will follow a Sunday schedule on Sunday, July 4, and Monday, July 5.

The Trinity Railway Express will operate a normal Saturday schedule, July 3, and will not operate on Monday, July 5. Schedules for the TRE can be found at www.trinityrailwayexpress.org.

The Inland Port GoLink Zone will operate on a Sunday schedule (5:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. & 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.) on Sunday, July 4 and Monday, July 5. There is no service in any of the other GoLink Zones.

DART’s Paratransit Services will run a Saturday schedule on Monday, July 5 and the Paratransit Scheduling Center will be closed. Customers may call Thursday, July 1, to book their trips through Monday, July 5, and Friday, July 2, to book their trips through Tuesday, July 6. Customers can also schedule, view and cancel trips 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at www.DART.org/Paratransit.

DART’s Customer Information Center will be open on Sunday, July 4 and Monday, July 5 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 214-979-1111 for trip-planning needs while the administrative offices and the Customer Care Center, which handles complaints, commendations, suggestions and Lost and Found, will be closed.

Route and schedule information for DART and the Dallas Streetcar is available at DART.org. TRE schedule information can be found at trinityrailwayexpress.org.

Information on special holiday destinations served by DART is available at www.DART.org/fireworks.

DART offers new booking website for ParaTransit customers

DART started offering up to 4 free rides to and from vaccination sites on March 22. Please let the reservations agent know you are booking a trip to get your vaccine so your ride will be free. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide service to drive-thru sites at this time.

ABOUT PARATRANSIT SERVICES

Paratransit is a shared-ride service operated with modern accessible vehicles and taxi cabs. Riders who are unable to access vans by using steps can use the wheelchair lifts or ramps. On the large accessible vans, boarding chairs are available upon request.

DART also offers free travel training through our Mobility Ambassador Program to persons with disabilities who are capable of riding accessible fixed-route bus and rail services.

Have questions about Paratransit Services? Review our Guide to Paratransit Services to find answers to the most frequently asked questions. If you need additional information, please call 214-828-6736. Paratransit Customer Relations representatives are available Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

DART PARATRANSIT SERVICE AREA

Certified paratransit riders are welcome to schedule trips to begin and end anywhere in the following cities:

• Addison• Garland• Rowlett
• Carrollton• Glenn Heights• Plano
• Cockrell Hill• Highland Park• University Park
• Dallas• Irving 
• Farmers Branch• Richardson 

Paratransit service also is provided between the DART Service Areas and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

NEW PARATRANSIT BOOKING WEBSITE

You now can schedule, view and cancel trips 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at DART.org/RidePara.

Once you schedule, we’ll provide you with a 20-minute pick up window. You can track your vehicle’s location in real time without having to call Where’s my Ride. Our booking website is open to all DART certified paratransit riders.

First you will need to create an online account using your DART Paratransit ID to register. If you experience issues creating your account, please call 214-828-6736 for assistance logging into the booking website. Paratransit Customer Relations representatives are available Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Don’t have internet access? Call 214-515-7272 to schedule a trip. New automated features allow you to cancel a trip, get updated trip information including estimated arrival times, and more.

Due to these new tools, DART will discontinue our automated X-Press Booking (XPB) system.

To learn more, click HERE.

Face Masks Still Required Onboard DART Vehicles; Recommended in Outdoor Areas

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has recently revised its face mask policy, allowing public transit passengers to forego masks in outdoor areas. The face mask requirement for all transportation networks, including public transportation, remains in effect while onboard or indoors through September 13, 2021.

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) will continue to require a CDC approved face mask be worn over the mouth and nose by passengers and operators at all times while on DART vehicles including buses, trains and paratransit vehicles, Trinity Railway Express trains, in buildings and onboard the Dallas Streetcar.

Refusing to wear a mask, unless exempted or excluded under the CDC guidelines, is a violation of federal law and failure to comply will result in denial of boarding or removal, and passengers may be subject to federal penalties.

Face masks and hand sanitizer dispensers are installed on all buses, light rail vehicles and Dallas streetcars and will continue to be available to all passengers.

If a DART passenger is concerned with someone not wearing a mask, they can contact DART Customer Service at (214) 979-1111, or use the “DART Say Something” app, which can be downloaded from the Apple Store or Google Play for free.

Staying Safe While Riding DART

DART remains committed to doing everything possible to keep both our patrons and employees safe through this pandemic. DART remains in close contact with local, state, and national health authorities, including the Texas Department of State Health Services and the CDC. DART encourages passengers who feel sick or are experiencing symptoms to stay home and avoid public places.

Cleaning and Protection

DART continues to undertake aggressive agency-wide cleaning and safety protocols on buses, light rail, paratransit vehicles and properties. In addition to thorough nightly cleanings, DART buses and trains are also cleaned on a rotating basis with hydrogen peroxide-based cleaning solutions to sanitize and disinfect each vehicle.

Social Distancing

DART recommends maintaining a six-foot distance between both fellow riders and your DART operator, leaving an open seat between yourself and other riders when available, avoiding large groups and staying home if you feel sick or are experiencing symptoms.

To enforce social distancing practices and protect customer and employee well-being, all transit center waiting areas have been temporarily closed. DART riders can still use the outdoor areas for boarding buses and light rail vehicles.

You can find more information about how DART is working to keep our passengers safe at www.dart.org/health.

Make Tracks for Your Next Getaway

An Acela train emerges from the B&P Tunnel in Baltimore. Photo: Amtrak

We’re inviting travelers to ride the rails to Grapevine, Texas for a car-free vacation experience! Whether it’s traveling across America or taking a staycation, trains can help you get here without the hassles of congested highway traffic.

Amtrak’s Heartland Flyer has daily connections from Oklahoma City to Fort Worth Central Station. 

Additionally, Amtrak’s Texas Eagle now runs daily, connects to more than 40 stops that stretch from Chicago to Los Angeles.  Along the way, it takes you deep in the heart of Texas as it rolls through San Antonio, Austin, San Marcos, Waco, Mineola, Marshall, Dallas and Fort Worth Central Station.  

From Fort Worth Central Station, riders can catch the Trinity Metro TEX Rail and visit Grapevine, Texas for a car-free vacation experience.  Once in Grapevine, everything is a short walk or shuttle-ride away! More train adventures await with the Grapevine Vintage Railroad!

With train connections from across the country to DFW, travelers looking for adventure have easy, car-free access to Grapevine’s many hotels and resorts, bistros and cafes, boutiques, and outdoor adventures.  

Enjoy a ride with Amtrak as they celebrate 50 years of connecting people and places across the country. Amtrak’s Heartland Flyer will put you in a cowboy state of mind with its daily connections from Oklahoma City to Fort Worth. Additionally, Amtrak’s Texas Eagle now runs daily and connects to more than 40 stops that stretch from Chicago to Los Angeles. Along the way, it takes you deep in the heart of Texas as it rolls through San Antonio, Austin, San Marcos, Waco, Mineola, Marshall, Dallas and FortWorth.

“On Amtrak, we don’t care if your socks match or not because we are never going to see your feet,” said Marc Magliari, Public Relations Manager for Amtrak Government Affairs and Corporate Communications. “Amtrak offers roomy travel and is friendly to people with disabilities. Our trains are reliable and are built for going farther with roomier seating and options to ride in coach, a private roomette or bedroom.” On Amtrak’s Texas Eagle, enjoy traveling free from the hustle and bustle of highway traffic and take a walk to the Sightseer Lounge. With its domed windows, riders experience unlimited views of the passing countryside and expansive Texas skies. The trains also offer a variety of food options to keep you satisfied along your journey.

“Unlike in a car, on a train you don’t have to pull off the highway to find somewhere to eat. We offer full meals in the dining car and a snack bar as well. You can eat on the train and save time as you travel,” Magliari said. For your next trip, watch the world roll by from the roomy comfort of a train. For more information on Amtrak, call 800-USA-RAIL.

Grapevine’s 39th Annual July 4th Extravaganza Details

Photo: Grapevine CVB

Celebrate America’s birthday at Grapevine’s 39th Annual July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza, a free and festive 20-minute fireworks spectacular over Lake Grapevine.

Set to patriotic music, the show is the perfect way to celebrate Independence Day. The show begins at 9:30 p.m.

Suggested viewing locations listed below include some of Grapevine’s lakeside parks and are subject to change. Parking or entry fees may apply.

  • Oak Grove Park
    o    Oak Grove Baseball Field ($10 per car entry fee)
    o    Minnow Loop (Drop-off Only) 
    o    Trawick Pavilion ($10 per car entry fee)
    o    Oak Grove Soccer Complex ($10 per car entry fee)
    o    McPherson Slough (No fee)
    o    Oak Grove Softball Complex (Boat traffic only)
  • Rockledge Park ($20 per car entry fee, card only, no cash)
  • Scott’s Landing Marina  (Private parking & cash only)
  • Silver Lake Park by Silver Lake Marina (Private parking & cash only)

VIEWING AREAS WITH RESTRICTED ACCESS:

  • The Vineyards Campground & Cabins (Accessible to guests only with pre-scheduled reservations for that Friday night. Gates are closed to general public. Click here to make your reservation)

LAKE PARKS WITH LIMITED VIEWING:

  • Lakeview Park ($10 per car entry fee, card only, no cash)
  • Meadowmere Park ($10 per car entry fee, card only, no cash)

OTHER LOCATIONS:

  • Hotel Vin / Grapevine Main Parking Garage – 255 E. Dallas Rd. (Self Parking, 0-90 minutes is complimentary; 90+ minutes is $1 per hour; $24 per car, per day)

Visit GrapevineTexasUSA.com/Summertime for a list of official viewing locations and the accompanying music track. Due to capacity limitations, cars will not be allowed to leave and re-enter the park without paying an additional fee.

DART Celebrates 25 Years of Rail Service in North Texas

On Monday, June 14, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) will celebrate 25 years of providing light rail service to the residents of North Texas.

The DART light rail system debuted on June 14, 1996. The original starter system was 11.2 miles long, with Blue Line service between Illinois Station and Pearl/Arts District Station, and Red Line service between Westmoreland Station and Pearl/Arts District Station.

Over the last 25 years, the DART light rail system has grown into a 93-mile, 65 station network – the longest light rail system in the country – improving the quality of life for all North Texas residents, and providing access to greater mobility options to jobs, health care and even educational opportunities.

As part of the celebration, DART is offering riders the opportunity to win 25 days of free rides. Participants who share a photo on social media of themselves riding DART rail or explaining how DART rail benefits them are entered to win. Be sure to include #DARTRail25 to be included in the drawings. Click here for more information.

Click here to view DART rail through the years.

Grapevine’s IPAT Porcelain Museum Receives Significant Donation

Acclaimed fine porcelain artist Carolyn Barlock is donating her artwork “Beauty and Grace” to the International Porcelain Artists and Teachers, Inc. (IPAT) Museum of Porcelain Art on June 23 at 11 a.m. (204 E. Franklin Street). The work consists of three pieces, painted in vibrant colors using the centuries-old luster technique and her own Florentine gold finish technique. The two smaller vases stand 12 inches tall and the centerpiece work stands 18 inches tall. Barlock said “Beauty and Grace,” characterized by its boldly colored water lilies and graceful swan accents, was named after Monet’s water lily works.

In addition to “Beauty and Grace,” many more of her other works will be on display, including Art Nouveau and Aztec-styled pieces. Barlock added that because she will be in Grapevine, there will be works with grapes as well.

During the June 23 event some of Barlock’s works, including jewelry and porcelain pieces, will also be available for purchase. One third of the proceeds from that sale will go to support IPAT,” Barlock said. 

Barlock’s work is characterized by the art of luster, created by suspending flecks of gold in the paint to give a work depth, and her uniquely crafted Florentine gold finish which is only achieved through many applications of 22 karat gold to a chiseled porcelain surface. Barlock said in college she had the luck to study with the understudy of renowned porcelain artist and painter Franz Albert Bischoff and that she learned a lot about art from that experience. Her one-of-a-kind, museum quality creations that exemplify her energy, passion and diversity of form. Barlock has exhibited her work in internationally renowned galleries and shows. She is currently represented by Columbine Gallery in Loveland, Colorado,

Barlock said she chose to donate to IPAT because of the museum’s recent recognition by the Grapevine Heritage Foundation and because of the work of board members Tana Parks and Susan Painter. This year, IPAT was awarded theGrapevine Heritage Foundation Advocacy Award for “Rehabilitation & Addition Project Award” for improvements made to the property while saving and maintaining the building’s original materials to maintain its history. She also said that the current

IPAT board’s hard work and dedication to grow the museum as a premier porcelain museum, in addition to work done by IPAT members and artists over the encouraged her to make the donation. She hopes her donation will leave an impact and a lasting legacy.

“I wanted my donation to help give them the wow factor,” she said. “I hope that my pieces will connect to collectors, will be timeless and will be cherished for years to come. Porcelain can last for centuries, and I hope mine is part of that lasting legacy.”

ABOUT INTERNATIONAL PORCELAIN ARTISTS AND TEACHERS, INC. (IPAT)
The Grapevine IPAT Museum of Porcelain Art is one of two porcelain museums in the United States and has existed for more than 50 years. The museum features porcelain art of various styles and techniques from around the globe and is home to the most complete collection of old masters’ artworks from anywhere in the world. 

The Astroworld Bridge You Didn’t Know About

By Chris Daigle

Photo: Chris Daigle

Being as June 1 is the anniversary of the opening of Astroworld in 1968, I can’t help but reflect on how my 10-year-old self made hundreds of trips across a bridge over Loop 610 to this wonderful world of fun. Just as the Astrodome is a marvelous engineering feat, and Astroworld was built just a stones throw from it with its own engineering miracles, who even knew even the bridge from the parking lot to the park had a place in history itself?

In 1966, as Roy Hofheinz was ramping up plans for Houston’s ultimate theme park, he realized parking wouldn’t be possible on the park grounds. Fighting traffic to get to the front gates would be a dangerous proposition from a busy freeway. Hofheinz enlisted the help of an important friend, President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Hofheinz worked with Johnson to gain federal approval for the bridge, since the only thing that can cross a freeway had to be a city street, and this wasn’t. The bridge turned out to be the first privately owned, publicly accessible bridge to cross a federal highway. Having the first of everything was really big to Roy Hofheinz. 

The two were old friends from the Texas political scene, dating back to July 1928, when Hofheinz was a 16-year-old high school graduate (he wasn’t going to wait until 18), working as a temporary page for the New York delegation during Houston’s  Democratic National Convention, in what would become the Sam Houston Coliseum. It was there he met 20-year-old Lyndon B. Johnson.

When the Astrodome opened in April 1965, President Johnson was a special guest high above right field as the Houston Astros beat the New York Mets in the world’s first indoor baseball game. Hofheinz chose April 9 as the opening day because April 10 was his birthday. There was talk that the Astros won the opening night game on a wink and a nod – it was a big event, after all. 

The bridge is still being used for getting Rodeo goods to the now empty field that was once Astroworld. It looks like it did in 1968, with lamp posts and railings. It is the only remnant left of “The Wonderful World of Fun.” The supports were made wider to accommodate a future monorail. Though a prototype existed, it never came to be.