Social Eyes by Faye Reeder

Levitt opens with music festival on Memorial Day Weekend

Blood, Sweat & Tears will play at 8:30 p.m. Saturday during the Center Stage Music Festival at the Levitt Pavilion in Arlington.
Blood, Sweat & Tears will play at 8:30 p.m. Saturday during the Center Stage Music Festival at the Levitt Pavilion in Arlington. Courtesy photo

Kicking off its free summer concert series, the Levitt will “rock its way through Memorial Day weekend” as it hosts the Center Stage Music Festival opening Friday and offering six live music shows through Sunday at the downtown Arlington pavilion.

Ramping up festival fun will be even more live music offered by nearby restaurants and bars. Locations with bands performing before and after the main events at the Levitt Pavilion include J. Gilligan’s Bar & Grill, Mavericks Sports Grill, the Grease Monkey, J.R. Bentley’s, Hooligan’s and Division Brewing.

“Dallas indie rock heroes Pleasant Grove take the Levitt stage at 7 p.m. Friday to open for the Texas psych/pop choir The Polyphonic Spree, who perform at 8:30 p.m.,” said Levitt spokeswoman Cathy O’Neal.

“Saturday is the big festival night with a free concert at 8:30 p.m. from Grammy Award-winning classic rockers Blood, Sweat & Tears featuring Bo Bice, American Idol runner-up to Carrie Underwood. Opening for them at 7 p.m. is Reagan James, an R&B artist who landed in The Voice’s top 10 in 2014.”

“Quirkiness abounds at the Levitt beginning at 7 p.m. Sunday with the musical storytelling of Doug Burr, followed by the infectious punk/pop fun of popular area band Bowling for Soup,” O’Neal said.

Plenty of food and drink will keep music fans fortified all weekend with a cadre of food trucks and the big selection of downtown eateries. The J. Gilligan’s tent at the pavilion will have a big menu, and other vendors will offer traditional festival food favorites.

Music after Memorial Day weekend

The Levitt’s free summer concerts rock on each week on Thursday through Sunday nights through July 17. A diverse concert schedule features many returning artists as well as a slew of new bands making their Levitt debuts.

“Audience favorites include country artist Dale Watson, blues diva Ruthie Foster, triple-threat fiddles from the Quebe Sisters Band, the eclectic sounds of Spoonfed Tribe, New Orleans funk from Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Grammy Award-winning country artist Rick Trevino, West Texas poet Radney Foster and a return visit from the World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra,” said O’Neal.

Bands appearing for the first time include rock group Micky & the Motorcars, indie band Knox Hamilton, The Verve Pipe, Texas blues guitarist Buddy Whittington, Tejano band La Tropa F and Deep Blue Something.

The children’s concert series will continue with performances at 9:30 a.m. Wednesdays June 8-29. Performers include Big Bang Boom, Secret Agent 23, Skidoo, the Boogers and Terrance Simien and Creole for Kidz.

New app and movie nights added

For the latest on the Levitt, download the new Levitt Arlington mobile app to stay abreast of weather alerts and receive notifications about your band faves. Funds for developing the app were made possible by local charity Women Inspiring Philanthropy.

This same generous charity is also responsible for the Levitt’s new giant video screen where the latest films will show during Family Movie Night on Wednesdays from June 8 through July 6 at 7:30 p.m.

Bring blankets or chairs for open lawn seating for all Levitt events. Convenient free parking is available. Details at levittpavilionarlington.org.

Summer Games for Special Olympics

More than 3,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities will begin flooding into Arlington this week getting ready for the Special Olympics opening ceremonies set for 7 p.m. on Friday at UTA’s Maverick Stadium.

To add to the hoopla, at 10 a.m. Friday, the Law Enforcement Torch Run will complete the last leg of the weeklong, statewide relay as the torch-bearing participants parade into the stadium.

Competitions all day Saturday and Sunday at UTA and surrounding venues will have athletes participating in one of six sports: track and field, basketball, cycling, gymnastics, soccer or tennis. According to Special Olympics Texas, they will be supported by nearly 400 coaches and 90 unified partners (teammates without intellectual disabilities). This is the 47th year for the event.

“Athletes from all across Texas have been training for these games for several weeks, so this will mark a culmination of all that hard work,” said SOTX spokesman Steve Helm.

“It will take more than 3,750 volunteers to run the four-day statewide competition,” Helm explained. “They will serve in numerous capacities, including officials, scorekeepers, athlete escorts, award presenters and administrative support services.”

But most important are the thousands of smiles and the spine-tingling excitement for the athletes and their families and coaches.

A detailed schedule of events is online at www.SOTX.org or call Helm at 800-876-5646.

Dream Big at summer conference for women in business

For ladies who want to get the summer started on the right foot, the annual Celebrating Women in Business conference is June 10 at the DFW Marriott Hotel & Golf Club near Texas Motor Speedway. Presented by the Northwest Metroport Chamber of Commerce, the conference theme is “Dream Big” and will feature an expo and luncheon along with five dynamic speakers.

“We want to challenge businesswomen to dream big, personally and professionally,” said Sally Michalak, president and CEO of the chamber. “Since we began the conference 11 years ago, even more opportunities have developed for women in business to pursue.”

Michalak said the conference aims to equip women to fulfill their ambitions and achieve such goals as starting a new business or choosing a healthier lifestyle. “We’ve designed the event to be an inspiring and fun program filled with networking, insightful speakers, shopping, door prizes and more.”

Keynote speaker is television personality and producer Janeé Hill, from mHe3 Productions. Hill’s engaging and motivating session “Dreams to Destiny. Stop the Dreaming — Start the Doing” — will explain “how to turn attitudes into action and hopes into happenings.”

Continuing the dream theme, four outstanding women will lead breakout sessions at the event. Cindy Carbone, healthy life coach/well-being speaker, will talk aboutHealthy Life. Happy Life. Ditch the Diet! Change your mind, body and life.” Psychologist Shannan Crawford’s topic is “Building Dreams into Reality Intentionally.”

Twanna Rachal-Woods, president of Icebreakers Unlimited, titles her sessionCracked, But Not Broken. Reset, renew and restore your dreams to reality.” Carolyn Sims, former chief of staff for Tarrant County Commissioner Gary Fickes and state Rep. Vicki Truitt, is calling her session “Under Construction. Give yourself the ‘Permits Required’ to dream.”

Tickets are $65 for chamber members and $75 for general admission. Purchase at www.NWMCCWomeninBusiness.com or call the office at 817-837-1000.

Please send your SocialEyes news tips to freeder@star-telegram.com. Keep up with even more community news by liking our page on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SocialEyes.ST. Twitter: @FayeReeder

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