Discover North Texas: 4 Reasons to Head to Collin County This Weekend (Hint: Crayola!)

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Photo: Shelby Skrhak

A thousand years ago, I was the founding editor of a weekly newspaper called Plano Insider, which covered features, society events, youth sports and an “around town” calendar of events. Of course, the best part was the “What We’re Drinking” column I wrote weekly, in which I visited Plano bars and restaurants sampling their signature or most unique cocktail. Now I’m brand new to so I won’t push my luck pitching that, but I will “get a little Plano in here” to bring you what’s going on outside the loop, starting with a fun Crayola ticket giveaway and this weekend roundup of stuff to do in Plano and Collin County. 

Because Crayons

Remember that old episode of Sesame Street when the kids visited the Crayola factory to see how crayons were made? You can recreate that experience at Plano’s Crayola Experience at Shops at Willow Bend opening this Friday, March 23, home to more than 60,000 square feet of crayon-themed demonstrations, hands-on experiences, and retail space. This is the fourth Crayola Experience location in the U.S., joining Orlando, Fla.; Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn.; and Easton, Pa. — and marks a revitalization at the West Plano mall that’s had some sparse tenancy in the past. 

At Crayola Experience Plano, guests can name and wrap their own Crayola crayon (Wrap It Up!), star in their own coloring page (Be a Star) and bring art to 4-D life (Color Magic). Plus, Pinterestistas get your pins ready for the melted crayon wax spin-art (Drip Art) and learn how crayons are made in a live Factory Show. 

And thanks to the nice folks at Crayola, one lucky reader will win a pair of Crayola Experience general admission tickets, valued at $42 if they correctly answer this trivia question. To win, email with your answer. Official rules below.

Answer this trivia question to win: What Crayola crayon color was retired in 2017?

The Crayola Experience is open 7 days a week, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. weekends. Tickets start at $19.

Farm to Market(s)

If it’s a madhouse at Willow Bend this weekend, head to the northwest corner of the mall near Macy’s for the Willow Bend Farmers Market. Red Tent Markets hosts this weekly farmers market Saturday mornings 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. More than 30 vendors will be selling local produce, baked goods, handmade artisan goods, grass-fed beef, farm fresh eggs, honey, salsa, plants, and sweet treats.

Then on Sundays, head east to historic downtown Plano, 916 E. 15th Street across from Haggard Park, for another Red Tent farmer and artisinal market featuring home-grown fruits and vegetables, local honey, handmade goods and more. That should tide you over until the popular McKinney Farmers Market at Chesnut Square that opens seasonally in April and the downtown Frisco Rotary Farmers Market that opens in May.

As Long as You’re Feeling Artisanal Vibes …

Of course, with Spring comes outdoor arts festivals and there’s no better than the 8th annual Arts in the Square in Frisco Square. Frisco’s annual event is a legit juried fine arts and crafts festival featuring artists competing in the following categories: Fine Arts/Graphics, Pottery, Textiles, Glass, Jewelry, Leather, Metal, Photography, Wood, and Miscellaneous. Come ready to shop because more than 120 local and regional artists are selling their handmade creations at Arts in the Square.   

Plus, props to the Frisco ISD students who compete to design the annual festival poster. This year’s honor goes to Josh Reynoso, a graphic design student at the Frisco Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center.

Admission is free.

See Ray Hubbard The Man, Not the Lake

Ray Wylie Hubbard, no relation to the lake

Catch Honky Tonk queen Margo Price, singer-songwriter Ryan Bingham and the legendary Ray Wylie Hubbard in Plano’s Oak Point Park this weekend for the 22nd Toyota Texas Music Revolution, presented by Toyota, the independently-owned music station KHYI 95.3-The Range and the City of Plano.

But don’t take my word for it. Ask Hubbard himself, who curiously tweets this without capitalization, “this is it! i am returning to the khyi TTMR! the prodigal, well the prodigal old country blues folk cat returns! come have the time of your life!!!!!! (That should be enough exclamation points to get the idea across that its gonna be exciting..well, maybe one more) !”

In addition, the musical lineup includes the Texas Gentlemen, Two Tons of Steel, Austin Cunningham, Drew Kennedy, Buffalo Ruckus, Jesse Dayton, The O’s and The Ticket sports radio’s George Dunham and the Bird Dogs.

Tickets start at $15.


Here’s a bonus tip for next weekend: If you know who shot J.R., then you might want to see the real thing at DALLAS’ 40th Year Reunion fan day from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 30, at Southfork Ranch. Memorabilia including the gun that shot J.R., Lucy’s wedding dress, the DALLAS family tree and Jock’s Lincoln Continental will all be on display. If you don’t know who any of those people are, the Southfork tour guides will catch you up. Then display your Dallas 80’s best for DALLAS’ fan party/concert from 6-10 p.m. Saturday, March 31 at the Longhorn Ballroom, featuring cast Q&A hosted by KVIL’s Jody Dean and music by Texas-native Neal McCoy. Tickets are $125 for the two-day package.

P.S. If you were one of the many annoyed Plano residents who complained about the Plano Insider newspaper being thrown to your front yard every Sunday, I really do apologize. And feel ‘ya. I fished an old newspaper that was a few ticks shy of returning to pulp out of my yard last weekend. Karma, I guess.

Crayola Contest Rules
Enter to win a pair of tickets to the Crayola Experience in Plano. To participate, email your correct trivia question answer to along with your name, address, and phone number. Contest ends 11:59 p.m. CT March 26, 2018. All eligible entries received during the submission process will be gathered and a winner will be chosen at random. No purchase necessary. One qualifier per household. Void where prohibited.
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Shelby Skrhak

Shelby is Associate Editor of She's a journalist and podcaster turned full-time freelance writer based in Plano. She comes to after 12 years with SUCCESS magazine as digital content director. After hosting two top-rated iTunes Top 200 podcasts, she launched her own podcast called the Secret to My Success. She's a Lake Highlands native and graduate of UT-Dallas.

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