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Friday, May 13, 2011

A Weekend of Festivities on Magnolia Avenue

Arts Goggle 2011

Bring a blanket and your friends to the one-acre park between Rosedale and Magnolia this evening for live music and local yummies.

Fort Worth South, Inc. works with Fort Worth Weekly to host First Fridays on the Green every month from April to October. (It happens to fall on the second Friday this month so not to interfere with Mayfest.) Next month the event is June 3, and my favorite local band, Calhoun, will play.

Arts Goggle this Saturday is an entirely different and biannual event occurring Spring and Fall. It's a coincidence they both fall on the same weekend this year. Fort Worth South, Inc. originally linked the event in 2003 to Fort Worth Gallery Night to bring people's attention to the South Side. Arts Goggle quickly got it's own following, so the separate events now attract their own substantial crowds.

"This part of town is more about the grassroots community and less about expensive art galleries," said Mike Brennan, Fort Worth South, Inc. planning and development coordinator.

A number of venues all over South Fort Worth will host a series of bands and artwork by local peeps. Click here for an extensive 8-page program to find out who's playing when and where. Included is list of artists, their craft and venues where artwork is displayed.

Last month's First Friday filled the Magnolia Green (the park) to capacity, according to their newsletter. A similar story with last fall's Arts Goggle – it was a record-breaking event.

And both events are a part of a larger project taking place – they bring Fort Worth's focus back to one of its original hoods. The South Side was a hot spot in the 1920s and 30s, but turned industrial when people moved toward new developments. When this happened we dubbed the historical site as "the medical district."

But things have changed dramatically. We can see plans for the first year of Bike Fort Worth materialize all over Magnolia. Small local businesses now host a film series. Mom and pop shops like local eateries, lounges, coffee-roasters and even a Turkish café popped up recently. It's become a place where you can have an authentic yoga experience, eat a vegan lunch, grab a home-roasted cup of coffee and take a glass-blowing glass all on one street in one day. And I'm loving it.

What's the story behind the South Side renaissance? That post is coming up next.