Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Eyes on Arlington: Eggroll Festival, Business Expo and Health Fair is Saturday

A performing group at the 2013 Eggroll Festival, Expo and Health Fair. The Tarrant County Asian-American Chamber of Commerce will host the annual event at a new location this year.
A performing group at the 2013 Eggroll Festival, Expo and Health Fair. The Tarrant County Asian-American Chamber of Commerce will host the annual event at a new location this year. Star-Telegram archives

“Experience a little bit of Asia right here in the Heart of Texas” has long been the tagline for one of Arlington’s finest traditions, the Eggroll Festival, Expo and Health Fair. A new venue, Ben Thanh Plaza at 1818 E. Pioneer Parkway, will be home for the event hosted Saturday by the Tarrant County Asian-American Chamber of Commerce.

Besides an irresistible egg roll offering, the festival features other Asian foods, ethnic dances, music performances, business exhibits, a health fair and a dessert contest. Generous cash prizes will be awarded to the top three desserts chosen by judges who have the enviable job of tasting the yummy delicacies. Entries are judged on appearance, presentation, flavor, aroma, texture and originality.

Traditional Vietnamese dances, the always popular and famous Chinese Dragon Dance, and performances representative of the Philippines, Korea and Thailand are among the entertainment that attendees can enjoy.

Festivalgoers can visit business exhibits and meet Mayor Jeff Williams, city officials and business and community leaders. And volunteer medical professionals will be on hand to provide free health screenings and flu shots.

“Many of the attendees, especially those who are new immigrants to this country, may not see a doctor on a regular basis for preventative care or may be reluctant to do so because of language barriers,” said chamber President Yen Nguyen. “This gives them a chance to receive a medical exam in a non-emergency situation.

“In addition to supporting Asian-American businesses, we believe it’s our mission to pursue a broader range of civic and social activities that promote recognition and understanding of the many Asian cultures in our community.”

The event is free. Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Register for the dessert contest and learn other details at, or send an email to

Levitt Pavilion fall season opens with polka band Brave Combo

Fall happiness is football, great weather and five weeks of free concerts at the Levitt Pavilion in downtown Arlington. Friday is the season opener at Levitt featuring “everybody’s favorite mosh-pit polka band, Brave Combo.”

Now a tradition for the Levitt, the Grammy-winning band has done the opening-night honors since 2008. Its repertoire includes old-school rock, Latin, polka, twist, samba, hora and more.

On Saturday, Delta Rae will perform its brand of alt/pop incorporating aspects of Americana. It has performed at Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits and on The Tonight Show among other big venues. The weekend wrap-up honors will be handled by bluesy rock musician Paul Thorn doing his trademark music sprinkled with humor showing his Southern roots.

“This fall concert season has shaped up to be especially strong,” spokeswoman Cathy O’Neal said. “We’ve got Delta Rae, Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis, Cas Haley, The Killdares and Billy Joe Shaver all returning to the Levitt, plus several bands making their Levitt debuts. Of course, we end the concert year rocking out with ‘the world’s greatest party band,’ the B-52s. It doesn’t get much better than that.”

Levitt’s fall concert series continues through Oct. 2 with performances at 8 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is free.

Bring your lawn chairs or blankets and a picnic dinner if you like (or purchase yummy food available on site) and enjoy fabulous music under the stars each weekend. The fabulous fall lineup of talent includes The Peterson Brothers, Aquile, Soul Track Mind, Seryn, Daphne Willis and Cas Haley.

Also, don’t miss the shows performed by Luke Wade, the Killdares, Shel, Jimmy Cobb & the UTA Jazz Orchestra, the Nightowls, Billy Joe Shaver and Bart Crow.

The one show with ticketed admission is the annual benefit — this year the one and only B-52s on Oct. 8. Tickets are $40 general admission and $195 for VIP tickets.

Detailed information is at or download the Levitt Arlington mobile app. Direct inquiries to O’Neal at 817-543-4308.

Winners of Salvation Army’s Most Amazing Race get $5,000

At least 30 teams of two are expected to compete Sept. 10 in one of the area’s most unusual events, the Salvation Army’s Most Amazing Race. The stakes are high because the winning team takes home a tidy sum of cash — $5,000 — along with bragging rights.

Competitors will race around 10 sites in central Arlington, most likely to begin at AT&T Stadium (with a challenge from the Dallas Cowboys) and will end up at the Levitt Pavilion before that night’s concert starring Aquile.

“There aren’t many races out there that can offer so many different challenges, and that’s what makes The Most Amazing Race so special,” event chairman David Sanders said. “It’s a race for all ages. Sure, the younger ones are in it to win it, but the various age groups all enjoy the experience of it.

“All of the monies raised go directly to so many great Salvation Army programs including those in our Youth Education Town like the GED programs and fitness activities,” Sanders added. “The new Arlington Salvation Army officers, Lt. Timothy and Andrea Israel, have jumped right in after only arriving in June to be of tremendous help.”

According to promotional information from the charity, the event is patterned like the popular TV show and will involve each team “following clues to reach checkpoints, where they complete a task before moving on to the next location.

“The tasks can be mental, like assembling a gas pipeline, or physical, like performing a choreographed dance. Sometimes tasks are downright thrilling, like jumping off a 10-meter diving platform. Others are just plain fun, like bouncing across a field inside a giant inflatable ball.”

There is no registration fee, but there is a minimum fundraising requirement to be eligible to compete. Teams compete against each other to raise the most money and try to earn a pass to skip a challenge in the race. Teams that raise over $1,000 will receive a five-minute head start.

The Salvation Army’s local programs include housing for 15 families in the Family Life Center, after-school and summer programs for youths, a weekly soup kitchen and summer cooling stations, to name just a few.

Register by Sept. 2 online at or contact Sanders at Fundraising continues until Sept. 9.

Events at a glance

  • Arlington Genealogical Society will meet from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Sept. 12 in the community room of the Arlington West Police Service Station, 2060 W. Green Oaks Blvd. Guest speaker is professional genealogist Judy Knight on “Westward Ho! Or Go West Young Man.” Except for the September meeting, the society meets every second Tuesday of the month at this location. The public is welcome. Contact Ruth Goodman at to inquire.
  • Mainstage Classic Theatre in Mansfield is accepting applications for student acting classes. The theater is at 1557 E. Broad St., Suite 103. A variety of classes for all ages from toddler through high school are taught. Details at, or call Heather Thomas at 817-308-6145 or send email to
  • Guys and Dolls will open the 44th season of Theatre Arlington on Sept. 9. The “musical fable of Broadway” runs through Oct. 2. Buy tickets at the box office or online at Check out the wonderful shows planned for the season ahead.
  • Arlington on Tap, the free happy hour lecture series, begins Sept. 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Legal Draft Beer Co., 500 E. Division St. Featured speaker is Mayor Jeff Williams. Save the dates for future programs: Oct. 11 — “Research at UTA from Nano to Miraculous,” Vice President of Research Duane Dimos, at J.R. Bentley’s, 406 W. Abram St.; Nov. 8 — “Football is Long Gone But Athletics Remains Big at UTA,” UTA Athletic Director Jim Baker, at Mavericks Bar and Grill, 601 E. Main St.; Jan. 10 — “Things I Wished I Hadn’t Learned About the Texas Legislature,” former state Rep. Diane Patrick, at J. Gilligan’s, 400 E. Abram St.; Feb. 13 — “Great Women of Arlington, a Valentine’s Salute,” writer/historian O.K. Carter, at Hooligan’s, 310 E. Abram St.; March 14 — “My Spin on the Universe,” humorist and cartoonist David Hopkins, at J.R. Bentley’s; April 11 — “I’ll Take a Second Order,” Star-Telegram Eats Beat columnist Bud Kennedy reflects on dining out in Tarrant County at more than a thousand restaurants, at Legal Draft; and May 9 – “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Pressroom,” former Citizen-Journal city editor/columnist Donna Darovich, at Mavericks Bar and Grill.

Send your Eyes on Arlington news tips to Also, keep up with local events through our social media page. Please “like” us at Twitter @FayeReeder