Archive for August 2009

Quarters and Letters for Fort Worth

by Joy Donovan on August 31, 2009

Downtown girl, that’s me.

Always have loved going downtown. Any downtown. Like the pace, the action, the people, the traffic. So when I gather up some girlfriends for happy hour or dinner, it’s not unusual for me to suggest downtown.

That’s exactly what we did Monday night. And then, as the Music Man predicted, we got trouble, right here in River City. With a capital “T”
That rhymes with “P”
And that stands for…parking meter.

Here I am, the one who loudly and confidantly discounts anyone’s protests of parking downtown. It’s easy, I say, in Sundance Square.
Park on the street, valet park, whatever, but it’s a no-brainer.

Well, I have a new appreciation for my friends’ apprehension. The City of Fort Worth now has parking meters where you have to push which spot you’d like to pay for. You have to figure out whether you’re in spot “A,” “B” or “C.” That was easy, like I said. But then when I started stuffing quarters and dimes down its long throat, the minutes–21 of them I saw once–started being replaced by double “Es.”

No worries, I think while still in confidant mode. There’s a phone number conveniently placed right on the meter to report any problems. So I dial it, humming happily along that Fort Worth so smartly has a way to deal with these little malfunctions that happen from time to time.

I’m asked if I want Spanish. I’m put on hold. For a l-o-n-g time. And then I get Ms. Charm on the line. No one, she says, who can handle this is still at the office. Did I mention it was before 5 p.m., and the parking meters want to be fed right up until 6 p.m.? No, she can’t get me back my lost quarters. “No refunds,” she says, all business. And no, she can’t make sure I don’t get a ticket.

What I need to do, she says, is move my car.

So let me get this straight, Fort Worth. I can plug quarters into your parking meters, use my cell phone minutes to report your problems, not get credit for the money I spent, be told I won’t get a refund, be told to move my car and let the next unsuspecting driver deposit more quarters into a non-working parking meter no one will fix. Is that right, Fort Worth?

I’m thinking the downtown restaurants, movie theaters, banks and stores might not like this unfriendly attitude. We drivers might just decide to drive our cars to a shopping center with no parking problems.

Let me give you two more letters, Fort Worth. P.R. Public relations, and you’re woefully lacking.

1 comment » | Joy Donovan's Blog

Miss Parks to Marry Mr. Butler

by Joy Donovan on August 30, 2009

Melissa Parks and Justin Butler are planning a December wedding.

Melissa Parks and Justin Butler are planning a December wedding in Fort Worth.

Susan and James Parks of Grapevine announce the engagement of their daughter, Melissa, to Justin Butler, son of Jerri Brunner of Fort Worth.

A Dec. 19th wedding is planned at Bass Performance Hall.

Miss Parks graduated from Colleyville Heritage High School and then attended Texas Christian University where she received a bachelor of science degree. She is now pursuing a career in elementary education.

The future bridegroom was a graduate of Grapevine High School. He attends Tarrant County College, working toward a degree in radiology. Currently, he works as a visual manager for Stacy Furniture.

Comment » | Weddings

Mayfest Saved: 2010 Festival Set for Trinity Park

by Joy Donovan on

What was to be the 37th annual Mayfest was canceled abruptly this year, but event organizers are looking toward another festival in 2010.

What was to be the 37th annual Mayfest was canceled abruptly this year, but event organizers are looking toward another festival in 2010.

Mayfest, the long-running Fort Worth tradition, will return in 2010, even after its unexpected cancellation this year threatened its future.

Mayfest, Inc. recently announced the return of the outdoor festival, scheduled for April 29 through May 2, 2010 over 33 acres in Trinity Park, along the banks of the Trinity River.

The 2009 festival 2009 was just hours from opening when the City of Fort Worth canceled because of a threat of swine flu epidemic. The unexpected cancellation forced Mayfest, Inc. into financial turmoil, leaving the festival’s future uncertain. A summer concert fundraiser also did not garner necessary funds to alleviate Mayfest’s finanical problems, according to Shannon Baumgardner, the event’s marketing manager.

Since the closing, though, many festival vendors volunteered to reduce or relieve their invoices in an effort to aid the festival. This, along with an operating reserve, has resulted in organizers decided the 2010 festival can be scheduled.

Elizabeth Basham, the festival’s executive director, is cautiously optimistic for the future of Mayfest beyond 2010. Fundraising efforts are underway, including the “1000/100/100 Campaign,” asking 1,000 people to donate $100 in 100 days to raise $100,000. The money will be used for Mayfest’s operating fund.

Mayfest’s profits, $5.8 million to date, are distributed to founding partners in the greater Fort Worth area. Donations may be sent to the Mayfest, Inc. office located at 255 Bailey Ave., Fort Worth, TX 76107 or online at All donations are tax deductible, and Mayfest, Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization.

For more information on Mayfest’s fundraising campaign, check to http://www.mayfest.orgor call 817-332-1055.

Comment » | Featured

Runway Monday

by Joy Donovan on

Date: 2009-08-31

Location: The Mitchell Lofts, 3800 Commerce St., Dallas

Start Time: 6:00 pm
Description: House of Dang presents cocktails at 6 and fashion show at 7 p.m. After party? It\’s at 9 p.m. at Vapiano.

Comment » | Events

Labor Day

by Joy Donovan on

Date: 2009-09-07

Location: U.S.A.

Description: Who\’s going to work today?

Comment » | Events

Home for the Holidays

by Joy Donovan on

Start Date: 2009-11-27

Location: Bass Performance Hall, Fort Worth

End Date: 2009-11-29
URL: Click here
Description: The Fort Worth Symphony is paired with the Southwestern Seminary Master Chorale. $26-$78.

Comment » | Events

Lyle Lovett and His Large Band

by Joy Donovan on

Start Date: 2009-11-24

Location: Bass Performance Hall, Fort Worth

End Date: 2009-11-25
URL: Click here
Description: The singer/songwriter performs in Fort Worth.

Comment » | Events

Billy Crystal in 700 Sundays

by Joy Donovan on

Start Date: 2009-11-17

Location: Winspear Opera House, Dallas

End Date: 2009-11-22
URL: Click here
Description: The comedian brings his one-man look at his own life to the Dallas stage.

Comment » | Events

Pat Green at the Texas Stampede

by Joy Donovan on

Date: 2009-11-13

Location: American Airlines Center, Dallas

URL: Click here
Description: The singer brings his country show to Dallas. $30-$105.

Comment » | Events

The Von Trapp Children

by Joy Donovan on

Date: 2009-11-06

Location: Bass Performance Hall, Fort Worth

URL: Click here
Description: The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra teams with the singing family for \”The Wonderful Sounds of Music.\” $26-$78.

Comment » | Events

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