DALLAS -- Forget about the recent rainy days. The forecast calls for sunshine and fun Thursday through Sunday for the Summerfest celebration.
The annual festival, centered on the county courthouse lawn through Saturday and Dallas City Park on Sunday, just gets bigger and bigger each year.
At its heart is the downtown Dallas Summerfest Parade, set to begin at 11 a.m. Saturday. Traffic will be diverted, and the young and young at heart will take to the streets.
Dallas has hosted a parade every summer since the late 1800s. The theme for this Summerfest is Wet 'n' Wild, and the floats will reflect the many ways local residents beat the heat.
In recent years, the event has featured more than 150 entries and more than 1,000 participants.
This year's route starts at the corner of Washington and Jefferson streets. The Parade will proceed north on Jefferson, turn west onto Oak Street and then continue south to the intersection of Main and Washington.
Pre-parade activities begin at 10 a.m. and include chalk drawing, face painting, clowns and street performers.
Some 70 booths, including many selling exotic food, will be set up on the courthouse lawn, and live entertainment will be featured almost continuously on the Main Stage. Many other family-oriented events will take place throughout the festival.
On Sunday, activities shift to Dallas City Park, where the local Rotary Club starts things off by hosting a giant community breakfast. An art festival, live music and a car show with more than 400 vehicles will keep everyone entertained.
A complete guide and schedule of Summerfest events is in today's Itemizer-Observer as Section C.