Easter in Lee Park doubles vendor spaces, seeks sponsorships

It’s not even Mardi Gras yet, but already, Dallas gays are looking ahead to Easter.

Easter in Lee Park (including the Pooch Parade) is back again, and after last year’s successful turnout, they have doubled the number of vendor spaces — from 35 to 70. Half of those will be dedicated to pet rescue/adoption, according to the Petropolitan’s Chris Watts, who once again is helping to organize the event. The other half will be for artisans, jewelers, etc.

Because Easter is early this year (March 31) the deadlines have also been moved up. Applications must be in by March 22 — or earlier, if spaces go quickly. The rental prices are the same as last year. Sponsorships are also being sought.

Anyone interested in inquiring about a booth, or a sponsorship, should contact Watts at paperfish@sbcglobal.net.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Razzle Dazzle Dallas seeks volunteers for main event; VIP Passports on sale through May 7

Razzle Dazzle Dallas marketing director Kris Martin sends along word that only 39 days remain until the June gay Pride celebration on Cedar Springs, which according to the above flier will have a theme of “Back to the Eighties” a la Marty McFly (now try to get the thought of running into your real daddy out of our head!).

But seriously, Martin adds that the RDD steering committee is still looking for volunteers for the all-day main event on Saturday. Sign up by going here. Finally, although most RDD events are free, organizers are offering a VIP ticket special through May 7. Below are the deets courtesy of Martin:

—  John Wright

Cedar Springs Arts Fest grows in size, popularity; Merchants Association unveils new logo for strip

Cedar Springs Merchants Association dons a T-shirt bearing the street's new logo during Saturday's Art Festival. More photos from the event below.

The Cedar Springs Arts Festival on Saturday was very successful, but Cedar Springs Merchants Association Executive Director Scott Whittall said he expects next year’s event to be much larger.

Whittall said that this year’s date conflicted with an art and jazz fest in Denton. The date planned for 2013 doesn’t conflict with other art festivals and additional artists have already indicated interest. He said that April is a busy time for art festivals before the weather warmed up. The previous weekend was the Main Street Arts Fair in Fort Worth.

Artists and crafts designers who exhibited at the Cedar Springs Arts Festival agreed that this year’s event was a success.

“We’ll be back,” artist Marco Saucedo said. “We heard about it in past years and this year decided to sign.”

By mid-afternoon, a number of paintings in Saucedo’s booth had sold signs on them.

While most of the tents displayed art, others included a variety of crafts, jewelry, businesses, upcoming events and even a dog rescue.

—  David Taffet

Razzle Dazzle Dallas releases 2012 schedule

Razzle Dazzle Dallas — the gay Pride Month celebration and fundraiser on Cedar Springs —  today announced its 2012 beneficiaries and preliminary event schedule. According to a press release, Razzle Dazzle Dallas runs June 6-9 and will include a Wine/Dog Walk on Wednesday, a Pub Crawl on Thursday, the 7th annual MetroBall on Friday, and a street party on Saturday night.

Singer Taylor Dayne, who appeared at Black Tie Dinner last year, will return to Dallas to headline MetroBall, which benefits the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund. Also this year, Saturday at Razzle Dazzle Dallas will include LifeWalk Waterpalooza, in addition to the sidewalk sale, street fair and antique car show. On Saturday night, according to the release, Cedar Springs will become “a big crazy dance club with LIVE ‘80s music and DJs on the Main Performance Stage!”

Razzle Dazzle Dallas, which distributed more than $60,500 in 2011, this year will benefit Resource Center Dallas, AIDS Interfaith Network, Turtle Creek Chorale, Legacy Counseling Center, Legal Hospice of Texas, AIDS Arms, GLBT Leadership Education & Advocacy Program (LEAP), Uptown Players and the Cedar Springs Road Beautification Fund.

Razzle Dazzle is also planning three events in April: a bus trip to the WinStar Casino, a Rising Star Show featuring D Alexander at the Rose Room, and a Razzle Dazzle-sponsored installment of GayBingo.

The full press release from Razzle Dazzle marketing director Kris Martin is below.

—  John Wright

Here’s your chance to design the new logo for ‘The Strip on Cedar Springs’

A logo currently in use by the Cedar Springs Merchants Association.

The Cedar Springs Merchant Association has announced plans for a bold new marketing campaign, which includes a new look and new logo for “The Strip on Cedar Springs.”

Logo submissions will be accepted by the CSMA through March 15. The winner and new logo will be unveiled at the 2012 CSMA Easter in the Park Celebration on April 8.

“We are seeking a logo that encompasses the diversity, colorful history and welcoming spirit of the best entertainment district in Texas, The Strip on Cedar Springs,” said CSMA Executive Director Scott Whittall.

The Merchants Association would like to market the area with one clear identity. Since Crossroads Market closed several years ago, Whitall said more people call the area The Strip rather than The Crossroads.

He said that all logos should include “The Strip on Cedar Springs” within the design.

More info below:

—  David Taffet

Holiday on the Strip takes place Dec. 7

Cedar Springs Merchants Association’s First Wednesday Wine Stroll for December takes place on Cedar Springs on Wednesday, Dec. 7 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The Oak Lawn Band and Voice of Pride singers will provide holiday music. Merchants offer free wine all evening (with the purchase of a Cedar Springs Merchants Association wine glass).

At 7 p.m., the Cedar Springs Christmas Tree will be lit on the patio of TMC: The Mining Company.

Sexy Santa will be on the Street handing out fun gifts and prizes. Go to the main tent in front of Buli Cafe to find out the “Secret Saying” for Santa to give you a prize!

AIDS Arms‘ Santa and elves will be visiting the bars collecting toys for children affected by HIV/AIDS.

Director of Development Tori Hobbs said that they would like to provide gifts to the more than 700 children of clients served by the agency. They will hold a Santa pub crawl in conjunction with First Wednesday.

Santa and the elves will begin the evening at 6:30 p.m. at the Round-Up Saloon. Here’s where they’ll be the rest of the evening:

6:45 at Peker’s
7:00 at Brick/Joe’s
7:30 at TMC
8:00 at Sue Ellen’s
8:30 at JR’s Bar & Grill
9:00 at Drama Room
9:30 at the Round-Up
10:00 at the Dallas Eagle
10:30 at Tin Room
11:00 at BJ’s NXS
11:30 Return to Round-up

Toys should be unwrapped. Anyone who cannot make it to the Santa Pub Crawl and would like to donate toys may contact Hobbs or Hannah Orsburn at AIDS Arms at 214-521-5191.

—  David Taffet

CSMA raises money with dinner and cabaret

Linda Petty

Cedar Springs Merchants Association presents the Holiday Dinner and Cabaret in Friday, Dec. 2 at The Rose Room. Money raised benefits Oak Lawn beautification projects funded by CSMA.

Victoria Weston will emcee the event. Sax player Rusty Johnson is the dinner entertainment and Linda Petty performs in the after dinner cabaret.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. and the cabaret beings at 7:30 p.m. Individual tickets are $75, which includes a buffet dinner, wine and the show. Tables of 4 and 6 are available.

Contact Chris Bengston to purchase tickets at 214-528-3316.

The Cedar Springs merchants will also hold their next sidewalk sale on Saturday, Nov. 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In addition to savings in the stores, they plan sale tents, food booths, an artist pavillion and activities along the street.

—  David Taffet

Atmos construction on Cedar Springs begins Monday

The Cedar Springs Merchants Association reported that Atmos Energy’s street construction on Cedar Springs Road will begin on Monday, Oct. 17.

Association president Scott Whittall said that the work that was originally scheduled for two weeks and would not have been completed in time for the parade is now scheduled to be completed in two or three days.

“We have worked closely with Atmos to shorten the length of construction time,” Whittall said. 

Most of the parking on Cedar Springs Road between Reagan and Throckmorton streets will be blocked daily during construction times from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will be available evenings and early mornings. CSMA is working to make sure signs are posted directing daytime customers to the parking back parking lots.

—  David Taffet

Cedar Springs construction postponed

Cedar Springs Road

Earlier this week, merchants on Cedar Springs were told that traffic would be disrupted for two weeks because of installation of new gas pipes. That construction has been postponed until after Pride.

“Great news!” wrote Cedar Springs Merchants Association President Scott Whittall. “The street closure planned by Atmos Energy has been postponed to Sept. 26.”

The construction was to have closed two lanes of traffic and eliminated all street parking while work progressed. Instead, Whittall reported that the work will be done in sections so that parking will not be blocked for two weeks.

Calls to Councilwomen Angela Hunt and Pauline Medrano made the difference, Whittall said. In addition to the loss of business during construction, merchants were worried that work would drag on longer than the announced two weeks and interfere with the Pride Parade on Sept. 18.

Whittall said that the delay gives merchants time to post signs warning of the closure and direct customers to alternate places to park. The closure should not affect evening or weekend business. Whittall said that weekday customers are used to parking in front of the businesses. He expects merchants along the street to offer “construction discounts” during the utility repairs.

—  David Taffet

Merchants say they didn’t get ample notice about Cedar Springs construction, fear impact on Pride

Scott Whittall

Atmos Energy will tear up Cedar Springs Road from Throckmorton Street to Oak Lawn Avenue to install new gas lines beginning Monday, Aug. 22.

Two lanes of traffic will be closed. All parking on the street will be blocked. Construction should last two weeks.

Cedar Springs Merchants Association President Scott Whittall said five days notice was not enough time to notify customers about the construction.

He contacted City Councilwomen Angela Hunt and Pauline Medrano to ask that the construction be delayed until after Pride, which is Sept. 18. He said his fear is that the work will drag on for a month or more.

He also said that with more notice, the merchants on Cedar Springs would have had time to remind weekday customers who are used to parking in front that there is parking behind the stores and bars. And with more notice, merchants could plan events and specials that would encourage customers to continue shopping on the street during construction.

“The last time we had major construction on the street, they closed the bridge over the tollway for 13 months and four businesses went out of business,” Whittall said.

He wants to be more prepared this time — even if the closure is only for a couple of weeks.

The construction will pass in front of the firehouse and could affect response times if it takes more time to maneuver equipment out of the station and around the construction.

—  David Taffet