All About the All About Uptown Fest
Despite the rain early on Saturday, I found myself at the All About Uptown Festival for the third-straight year, and it wasn't until checking out the festival's website just now that I realized it's only the third year of its existence. Not a heckuva lot has changed since 2008 -- same scattered arts and crafts booths, food options, live bands and Dan Branch campaign peeps -- but progress takes time, and at least a steady stream of folks showed up once the weather cleared up.
Photos by Sam Merten Mike Rhyner
Unfortunately, I got there just after two highlights of the event had just wrapped up -- the State Thomas Historic District and Uptown Trails Cemetery tours -- but arrived just in time to chat with former city plan commissioner Neil Emmons and former city historic planner Jim Anderson. (Anderson is now working on preservation for Balch Springs since Dallas apparently no longer sees the need for such a position.) Emmons pointed out that the festival took place in one of the city's first planned development districts -- No. 9 -- which preserved the historic houses in the area.
"That's why everyone is dying to live here," he said.
After spotting a few other notables, such as UNT System Chancellor Lee Jackson and Park and Rec assistant director Willis Winters, I headed to the main stage to catch Petty Theft (one of several tribute bands playing throughout the day) led by The Ticket's Mike Rhyner, who provoked a whopping four people to jump from their chairs and begin dancing near the end of the set. Needless to say, there's a long way to go before Uptown can capture the cool factor of an Oak Cliff, Oak Lawn or downtown festival, but you gotta start somewhere.
Check out some pics from Saturday in our slide show, and if you really love you some Mike Rhyner, jump for more photos of the Old Grey Wolf plying his craft.