With summer vacation on the horizon and many people already making travel plans, it’s appropriate that America’s annual salute to the travel and tourism industry will be celebrated May 1-7. Designated as National Travel and Tourism Week, communities across the nation will unite to showcase the impact of travel to policymakers, business leaders, media and their local communities with rallies and events. This year’s theme of “Travel ‘16” pays homage to the upcoming 2016 election season.
Established by a congressional resolution in 1983, travel and tourism professionals work throughout the week to promote the positive impacts their destinations and organizations make to the U.S. economy. In Texas alone, direct travel spending was $69 billion in 2015, supported nearly 653,000 jobs, and generated $6.2 billion in state and local tax revenues.
In Southlake, the tourism industry supports 7,543 jobs and over 1,100 businesses. Because of its tremendous impact, the City of Southlake Economic Development and Tourism Department will celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week through its own lineup of activities.
“Tourism week in Southlake will be an exciting way to promote Southlake as a destination city. Through our week of events, we also hope to advance the power of tourism and demonstrate the positive economic and social benefits it brings to our community,” remarked Jill Lind, Southlake’s tourism marketing manager.
Tourism week in Southlake will include:
“Southlake is an incredible destination for business and play, and we want people to know that our City is one of the most welcoming and hospitable communities in Texas,” stated Southlake Mayor Laura Hill. “Several fun activities have been planned throughout the week to show our appreciation to all who have an impact on tourism in Southlake and to welcome our visitors. At the end of the day, all of us have an impact on tourism.”
For additional information about Southlake events, attractions and accommodations, go to VisitSouthlakeTexas.com.
Southlake Town Square will once again be a showcase of visual arts, live music, children’s activities, and delicious food and drinks during the 17th Annual Art in the Square April 22-24. Hosted by Southlake Women’s Club, the community fundraiser benefits Tarrant County charities and features more than 150 national and local artists presenting a palette of beautifully crafted paintings, drawings and sculptures. Admission and parking for the event is free of charge.
Since beginning in 2000, the event has evolved into one of the most popular art festivals in the nation. Art in the Square was recently rated the 12th best fine arts festival in the U.S. for 2016 by the ArtFair SourceBook, a two-decade-old national publication and guide to the Best Juried Art & Craft Fairs in the United States. Because of its wide variety of attractions and entertainment, the annual event was also named “Best Local Outdoor Festival” in the Star-Telegram’s 2015 Best of the Best Southlake category.
In addition to visual art, live musical performances will take place throughout the weekend on two stages with styles ranging from jazz and blues, to pop and rock–and even reggae, Motown, and country. Headlining this year’s event is Canadian-born country rocker Dallas Smith, who will perform April 23 at 8:30 p.m. on the main stage.
The three-day juried festival will also feature artists from across the country, as well as several international artists. Works include 2D medium, 3D relief and sculpture ranging from the traditional bronze to outdoor metal to multimedia decorative sculpture and photographic art. In addition, area high school students will participate in a juried “Youth Art in the Square.”
More than an arts festival, Art in the Square will offer something for each member of the family. Kids Korner will offer young children face painting and various crafts, while The Zone will entertain older children with bounce houses, a rock climbing wall, zip lining, and a bungee trampoline. Food and beverages will be available for purchase in the Le Bistro area. Popular local eateries will have booths on site, including FeedStore BBQ, Burger Shack, Tzikis, and Frezko Taco Spot, to name a few. Four food trucks specializing in various international cuisines, the King and Queen Pub, a bellini and margarita tent, and smoothie and lemonade stands will further add to the options available to event-goers.
Art in the Square is the Southlake Women’s Club primary fundraiser with proceeds going to support 31 local charities that serve women, children and families throughout Northeast Tarrant County, including Alliance for Children, APEX Arts League, Battered Women’s Foundation, Community Enrichment Center, GRACE, Metroport Meals on Wheels, North Texas SNAP, SafeHaven of Tarrant County, and Tarrant County Area Food Bank. Since its inception, Art in the Square has raised more than $2 million dollars.
For additional information, including event hours, map and an entertainment schedule, visit www.artinthesquare.com.