Will Sale remembers the first time he attended Easter in Lee Park. And it was an accident.
“I was driving [with friends] on Easter Sunday and we happened by the park,” he recalls. “ I thought, ‘What is this?’ … I have a tradition of spending every holiday with my parents… except Easter. Easter was for me.”
So as much as anyone, Sale was upset when last year’s event was cancelled, and for the first Easter Sunday in (as it turns out) 49 years, the Uptown park was silent, without the sound of picnickers and puppies, music and murmurs.
But Sale was also in a position to do something about it this year. As a board member of the Lee Park and Arlington Hall Conservancy — the nonprofit that operates the city-owned public space, and which restored the historic field house called Arlington Hall in the late 1990s, following decades of neglect — he could actually make the event happen this year. And with the conservancy behind him, that’s just what he did.
Sale is the chair of Easter in Lee Park for its historic 50th anniversary — the first time the conservancy has taken charge in all that time.
“For years, it was just individual groups that put it on,” says Gay Waltrip Donnell, president and CEO of the conservancy. “We weren’t even around for much of [the history].” But it was a natural fit for the organization (originally founded by the Dallas Tavern Guild, the Oak Lawn Association and three other civic organizations) to lead the charge to bring it back. And, Sale thinks, improve upon it.
“We visited with a lot of people about what they wanted to change,” Sale says. “It got to the point where there were too many vendors. And the
Cathedral of Hope [felt] that it began too early,” which meant that parishioners had to choose between worship and Sunday Funday… or else dash around to do both.
This year’s event took basically a year to plan. (The conservancy was unable to coordinate the event in time to save it in 2015.) The entirety of Turtle Creek Boulevard between Hall and Lemmon streets will be blocked off, and a raised 24-foot-square stage will be erected in the middle of the road.
That will allow the show’s emcee, Steve Kemble, to speak toward the majority of attendees, rather than with his back to them. It also allows music (from a live band and a DJ) to entertain and for everyone to get the best look at the entrants in the Petropolitan Pooch Parade, which as usual, will be the centerpiece of the event. (Last year, Chris Watts of Petropolitan salvaged the Pooch Parade at a different locale, and it returns this year.)
One of the biggest changes from recent years, however, will be that the event will be virtually free of vendors.
“Entrants in the Pooch Parade will receive what we’re calling a doggie bag, a gift bag with items donated by local businesses,” who helped underwrite the expenses of the event, says Sale.
Uptown businesses including Jack & Jill, Mutts Cantina, Uptown Vision, Parigi and Kroger have donated money and items to help pay for the event. Donnell also says the city of Dallas has been very cooperative; councilmembers Adam Medrano and Philip Kingston will even serve as judges for the parade, which includes categories like “Best Easter-inspired Outfit,” “Most Creative,” “Best Group,” “Best Pet-Owner Looka-alike” and “Best in Show.”
The idea, according to Sale and Donnell, was to return the day to its roots as a community gathering. There’ll even be an appearance by the Easter Bunny and two egg hunts — one for under-4 year-olds, one for 4-to-10. Pet adoptions will be available on-site from the Greyhound Adoption League of Texas, Furry FriendZy and Dallas Animal Services. One of the few vendors will be Oak Farms Dairy, which will serve complimentary cookies and chocolate milk to attendees.
The conservancy also started an online registration for the parade (the only thing that will require a fee, of $10), to make it less of a mad-dash on the day-of. Sale says he’s not sure what to expect in terms of turnout since he sees this as a rebuilding year, but he’s not worried.
“This is not a hard sell,” he says. “Everyone wanted it back.” •
Easter in Lee Park takes place at 3333 Turtle Creek Blvd., March 27, 1–4 p.m. Parade at 2 p.m. Bring your own picnic basket of food and refreshments. To register for the parade, and to get more information, visit LeeParkConservancy.org.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 25, 2016.
Chris Watts and Petropolitan took the annual Pooch Parade from Lee Park to Deep Ellum this year, successfully transitioning the Easter tradition to a new location.
Chuck Marcelo was on hand to capture the event in photos for Dallas Voice.
Easter weekend is the springiest of times, and nothing if springier that a light and fruit punch drink. This creation from mixologist Enzo Cangemi sounds perfect for brunch at your place, or even a picnic or patio party.
14 oz. Bombay Sapphire gin
7 oz. St-Germain liqueur
6 oz. fresh guava juice
6 oz. lemon juice
Sprig of sage
Build ingredients in a punch bowl with ice. Stir. Serves 5–7 (or 1–2 drag queens).
If you’re looking for an LGBT- and family-friendly Easter service or event this weekend, check out the list below. Feel free to e-mail russell(at)dallasvoice(dot)com t add your event. I’ll be sure to get it up.
Cathedral of Hope, 5910 Cedar Springs Road, hosts a Good Friday service at 7:15 p.m. and three Easter services at 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 4, and 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 5. For more information call 214-351-1901 or visit CathedralofHope.org.
Grace United Methodist Church, 4105 Junius Street, hosts a Good Friday service 7–8 p.m. on Friday, April 3 and three Easter services from 8–11:45 a.m. Easter SONrise Service 8–9 a.m. followed by an Easter Egg Hunt at 9:30–10:15 am for children ages 3–12, and a worship service 10:30–11:45 a.m. on Sunday, April 5. For more information call 214-824-2533 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Northaven United Methodist Church, 11211 Preston Road, hosts a Good Friday service at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 3 and two Easter Sunday services from 7:30–11 a.m. Sunrise service 7:30 a.m. and a worship service at 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 5 Easter Egg-stravaganza, an LGBT family friendly even from 10 a.m.–noon on Saturday, April 4. Easter egg hunts, raffle, egg races with prizes and photo opportunities with Easter Bunny. Doughnuts, kolaches and other sweets for sale with proceeds benefitting youth mission trips. For more information call 214-363-2479.
Agape MCC, 4615 E. California Parkway, Fort Worth, hosts an an Easter egg hunt and fundraiser for Tarrant County Gay Pride Association from noon–5 p.m. on Saturday, April 4. For more information call or e-mail Richard Tinker at 817-921-3318 or email@example.com. Join the church for a sunrise service at 7:15 a.m. followed by a pancake breakfast at 8 a.m. and worship service at 10:30 a.m. on Easter Sunday, April 5.
Celebration Community Church, 908 Pennsylvania Avenue, Fort Worth hosts a Tenebrae service at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 3 and Easter services from 6:30 a.m.–11 a.m. Sunrise service at 6:30 a.m. followed by breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Easter services at 9 and 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 5. For more information call or e-mail 817-335-3222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A clerk at a children’s clothing store in Denison reportedly accused a mother of child abuse for allowing her 5-year-old daughter to choose a boy’s suit and tie as her Easter outfit.
Rachel Giordano told K-TEN television station that her daughter Maddie is a tomboy who has “preferred to dress in boys clothes since she was about three-years-old.” Rachel said she doesn’t mind a bit if Maddie likes wearing boy clothes, but a clerk in Martha’s Miniatures in Denison did mind. A lot.
Rachel Giordano told the TV station that she and Maddie were hanging out at Denison’s Art Walk last Saturday, March 28, when she decided to take her daughter into Martha’s to shop for an Easter outfit. But when the store clerk saw the little girl, she was outraged.
Rachel Giordano told K-TEN, “The woman’s face was just a face of disgust. She told me that I was promoting wrong behavior. That parent’s should not let their children choose the way that they dress if it’s cross-gendered.”
She said the incident made Maddie start crying, and after they left the store, she put a post on her Facebook page recounting the incident.
When the store started getting blowback over what happened, the clerk decided to explain her side of the story. In posts on the Martha’s Miniatures FB page the clerk said, “I was so shocked she asked for a boys suit for the child. I asked her why she was encouraging this.” And in another post, “This is child abuse from the mother.”
The Martha’s Miniatures FB page has since been removed, K-TEN notes.
And just so you know, Rachel Giordano ended up taking Maddie to JCPenney’s, where the little girl got her Easter suit.
Ever since our traditional Easter celebration in Dallas was nixed over money woes, gay Dallas has been looking for some other way to spend next Sunday, April 5. How about doing something romantic for your honey-bunny … or just something indulgent for yourself?
1. Beekman 1802 Hand and Body Wash. Those Fabulous Beekman Boys — husband-and-husband team Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge — are still at it with Beekman 1802 (you’ve probably seen them hard at work in their very own American Express commercial recently), a lifestyle brand born on their sprawling Upstate New York farm. To give your partner a skincare pick-me-up this spring, pack his basket with the delightfully perky Honeyed Grapefruit Body Wash and Honey & Orange Blossom Hand Wash. $20-$25; beekman1802.com.
2. FattyCakesNY Cookies. While you’re trying to avoid building a basket overloaded with empty calories you don’t have to shun sugar altogether. Satisfy his sweet tooth with FattyCakesNY’s Sweet n’ Salty Trio, six each of its three best-selling cookies, including Old Salt (triple chocolate with sea salt), The Norm (chocolate chip with sea salt), and PBCC (peanut butter with chocolate chips, pretzels and sea salt) … which, if it’s possible, sound just as delicious as they taste. $38; fattycakesny.com.
3. Menage A Trois Vodka. Two’s company, but three’s a night to remember with Ménage à Trois. This gluten-free vodka (it’s made from American corn) is distilled six times for a clean, smooth liquor, the high proof of which is brought down to 80 using pure mountain spring water. Flavors include original, citrus and berry, and cocktail recipes are available on the Ménage à Trois website. $22.99; menageatroisvodka.com.
4. Elizabeth W Bath Fizz. A gift for both of you to kick back and relax (if you have a tub suited for two), Elizabeth W aromatic bath-time effervescents include six foil-wrapped tablets in assorted scents. To color coordinate with the other holiday goodies in your basket, opt for the Leaves, Rose, & Sweet Tea fizz or the special-edition fizz in the shape of festive eggs. $20; elizabethw.com.
5. aussieBum Swimwear. Heat waves are on the horizon, and that can only mean one thing: Time to hit the beach. You’ll want him to look his best when he’s sopping wet with surf and sweat — and aussieBum’s got what he needs. Its Las Vegas short-leg boardie covers the junk but shows just enough leg to keep you excited, while the Speedo-style Superhero collection makes no bones about taking you up, up and away. $28.40-$31.95; aussiebum.com.
6. Illinois Nut & Candy. Illinois Nut & Candy offers a bevy of sweet selections (and plenty of nuts, too), but he’ll go gaga for its LGBT-friendly personalized chocolate options, available in dipped pretzels rods and peppermint patties. Other put-it-in-my-mouth confections include taffy apples, popcorn balls, English toffee and Jordan almonds. From $1.75; illinoisnut.com.
7. The Way He Looks DVD. End Easter on a high note with an LGBT DVD and a cuddle sesh. A new release of note, The Way He Looks from Wolfe Video, is a coming-of-age story about friendship and young love set to the music of Belle and Sebastian. Plus, the boys are cute. Do you need a better description? $19.95; wolfevideo.com.
Felicia Miller, left, and Katrina Franklin with their grandson Kade.
Local couple Katrina Franklin and Felicia Miller and their grandson Kade will be among the thousands of families attending the 135th White House Egg Roll on April 1.
The couple was among 35,000 people who received invitations to the Easter celebration on the south lawn of the White House. The daylong event includes the traditional egg roll, games and stories, as well as sports and cooking demonstrations in support of first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative.
Miller and Franklin, who celebrated their eighth anniversary last year, said they are excited to be included in the festivities.
“Our invitation to attend to the 135th White House Egg Roll allows our grandson to experience first-hand President Obama’s commitment to support equality for all families regardless of race, sexual identity or religion – no matter where you are from – even from East Texas,” Franklin said.
Miller, a longtime local LGBT activist who was named one of Dallas Voice’s 25 Notables in 2009, said the couple is excited that their grandson will be able to experience the event and see President Barack Obama.
“This is an amazing opportunity for our 5-year-old grandson to see a fellow African-American that who not only has risen to the highest office in the land but who also symbolizes strength, bravery, intellect, family and country,” Miller said. “We are thrilled to be able to share this moment with him.”
“We are getting ready for Holy Week, where we will feature most of our traditional services, plus a new contemporary Easter service on Saturday evening at 5,” said CoH spokesman Phoebe Sexton. “I’m really excited about the Saturday service (called “Easter Extra”); it will feature Angie Landers (recent Voice of Pride winner), Scott Ayers, our own Voices of Hope and Gospel Choir, plus Rev. Dr. Jo Hudson and Rev. Dr. Dawson B. Taylor will preach in a new format. (The service will still be between an hour and an hour and 15 minutes.) We hope to offer an option to those with busy Easter Sundays, either with family, Easter in the Park or something else (there are some pretty fabulous brunch options out there.)”
March 24 — Palm Sunday at 9 and 11 a.m.
The Way of the Heart: “Unceasing”
Rev. Dr. Jo Hudson, preaching
Our indoor labyrinth will be set up for walking and meditation in the Interfaith Peace Chapel from Sunday afternoon to Tuesday evening (I can get you specific hours later today).
March 27 — 5 p.m.
Community Dinner ($10 at the door, $7.50 if you register online at http://www2.cathedralofhope.com/lenten-suppers — the food is amazing)
March 27 — 7:15 p.m.
Service of Anointing and Healing
Christian Clichés: “If You Have Enough Faith…”
Minister Todd Scoggins, preaching
March 28 — Holy Thursday at 7:15 p.m.
The Way of the Heart: “The Servants’ Entrance”
Rev. Dr. Dawson B. Taylor, preaching
March 29 — Good Friday at 7:15 p.m.
Featuring the Cathedral of Hope Sanctuary Choir and Orchestra
March 30 — Holy Saturday at 5 p.m.
Easter Extra: A Contemporary Easter Worship Service
Featuring Angie Landers, Scott Ayers, Voices of Hope and the CoH Gospel Choir
Rev. Dr. Jo Hudson and Rev. Dr. Dawson B. Taylor, preaching
March 30 — 7 p.m.
Congregacion Latina Easter Vigil
March 31 — Easter Sunday at 9 & 11 a.m.
Rev. Dr. Jo Hudson, preaching
March 31 — 1 p.m.
Congregacion Latina in the main sanctuary
March 24 — Palm Sunday at 9 and 11 a.m.
Since we have many denominations represented at Celebration Community Church, we thought we would share a bit of background. The symbolism of Palm Sunday, is expressed in Zachariah 9:9 — “See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” The riding of a donkey, based on ancient Eastern tradition, is considered as coming in peace, whereas riding a horse was considered wanting to come in waging a war. Therefore, Jesus wanted to symbolize he was coming as the Prince of Peace. Palm branches, in ancient times, represented goodness and victory. When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the crowds lined his entry with palm branches. On Palm Sunday, we distribute palm branches and enter the church waving them as we remember His triumphal entrance.
March 29 — Tenebrae Service at 7 p.m.
Be sure to join us for Celebration’s annual Tenebrae service. This very moving step in the procession to Easter is one of our most meaningful services. Tenebrae is Latin for “darkness” or “shadows”. As you arrive for the service, the sanctuary is joyfully alight; however, as the service progresses, the lights are extinguished until total darkness envelops us. The service will be presented by Reverend West and the Music Department. Tenebrae is on Good Friday, March 29th beginning at 7:00 pm.
March 31 — Easter Sunday
Sunrise Service at 6 a.m.
Breakfast at 7 a.m.
Services at 9 and 11 am
Our Easter season tradition continues at Celebration Community Church on Easter Sunday, March 31st. Be here to worship at our Sunrise Service beginning at 6 am, in the Rose Garden (weather permitting) followed by Easter breakfast in the Fellowship Hall at 7am. Our 9 am and 11 am services will be identical and we hope you can join us for one or all three services. We look forward to seeing you during this Easter season.
March 26 — Second day Passover Seder
Community seder led by Rabbi Steve Fisch at Resource Center Dallas on March 26 at 6:30 p.m. $45 for members and $65 for non-members. Email to make a reservation because the event is catered
“Bunnies on the Bayou,” the annual Easter weekend fundraiser that draws hundreds to the Wortham Center’s bayou adjacent patios, is still months away, but it’s younger brother “Snow Bunnies” is this Sunday, January 15, at Vue Nightclub (526 Waugh). Doors open at 5 pm.
“Snow Bunnies is not really like the big Bunny event, because it’s indoors,” says Bunnies board president Jack Berger, “although we’ve got some really kind of neat special activities that are going to happen.” Those neat special activities include an ice sculpture donated by Skye Vodka, tracks from DJ Joe Gauthreaux, “and maybe”, says Berger, “even some real snow.”
Bunnies on the Bayou started in 1979 as a joint birthday party. During the height of the AIDS crisis in the ’80’s it became one of the major fundraisers for Houston’s LGBT charities. Last year the various Bunnies events raised over half a million dollars distributed to ten area organizations.
Tickets for “Snow Bunnies” are $10, all proceeds benefit Bunnies 2012 beneficiaries, which have yet to be announced.