1Spring Festival in the Japanese Garden: Of the myriad spring festivals blooming now across DFW, this is the one that ushers in the season in our mind. That¡¯s because the fragrance of newly bloomed flowers abound as you take in Japanese culture (martial arts, sushi and ikebana demonstrations, etc). 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd., Fort Worth. $3-$5. 817-871-7686; www.fwbg.org
2Main St. Fort Worth Arts Festival: It¡¯ll be fun as usual, if not more more chaotic this year, thanks to the still-in-progress construction in Sundance Square. We say find a way to take a train or bus or skateboard into downtown. In addition to the nine blocks of artist booths, food and more, the music headliners include Carolyn Wonderland, Average White Band, Richard Elliot and the awesome Robert Randolph and the Family Band. And the MASS Ensemble, which puts up giant strings between buildings and plays them like a harp, returns. Read more in this week¡¯s cover story that begins on page 15. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Thursday; 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday. Free to attend. www.mainstreetartsfest.org
3Fort Worth Opera Festival: Notice that most of the events in this week¡¯s Dozen have the word ¡°festival¡± in them? In the performing arts, it doesn¡¯t get much bigger than the Fort Worth Opera Festival, which kicks off 7:30 p.m. Saturday with a production of Puccini¡¯s La Boheme, then continues 2 p.m. Saturday with the chamber opera Glory Denied, which deals with a Vietnam War POW. The festival also brings Donizetti¡¯s The Daughter of the Regiment and Richard Strauss¡¯ Ariadne auf Naxos to Bass Hall, and, in the final weekend, a new event called Frontiers, which will feature up to 20 minutes of material from eight new operas selected from hundreds of submissions. Saturday through May 12 at Bass Hall and McDavid Studio, Fort Worth. $25-$200; festival passes are $53-$476. 817-731-0726; www.fwopera.org
4North Texas Taco Festival: Remember when tacos were simple? Now you can get pretty much anything in one, with all kinds of seasonings, and we like it. Taste some of the area¡¯s best at this shindig, which will have chefs and tacos from such area restaurants as El Tizoncito, Velvet Taco, Rusty Taco, Revolver Taco Lounge, Chile Pepper Grill, Taco Party, Urban Taco and La Nueva Fresh and Hot Tortilleria; plus a taco throw-down. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday at Deep Ellum Outdoor Market, 2800 block of Main Street in the Deep Ellum neighborhood of Dallas. Free to attend. www.northtexastacofestival.com
5Paste Untapped Festival: More than 100 craft beers from about 50 breweries are the headliners for this festival, which has gone national. But the kicker is the killer music lineup that includes Sarah Jaffe, Justin Townes Earle, Deer Tick, the Orbans, Tennis and other bands. Gates open at 3 p.m. Saturday; concerts start at 3:30 p.m. and go until 11:30 p.m. at Panther Island Pavilion, 1048 Peach St., Fort Worth. $22 concerts only; $30 with beer ticket (12 two-ounce samples); $58 for VIP. www.untapped-festival.com
6David Sedaris: In case you weren¡¯t sure this man was funny, the titles of his essay collections quash any doubts. Take, for instance, his latest: Let¡¯s Explore Diabetes With Owls. A hoot! He¡¯ll read from it and his other stories at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at AT&T Performing Arts Center, Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St., Dallas. $83-$175. 214-880-0202; www.attpac.org
7 Earth Day events: There are several celebrations of Mother Earth around DFW this weekend. In Fort Worth, check out River Legacy Living Science Center, which will feature nature walks, crafts and activities (10 a.m.-2 p.m.); and the Tarrant County Earth Day Celebration, featuring live entertainment and informational booths (10 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday, Tarrant County Public Health Building, 1101 S. Main at Rosedale). In Dallas, a two-day fest at Fair Park features everything from demonstrations on chicken coop building to going green with the cast of Wicked. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
8Citizen Twain: Val Kilmer is known for playing bad boys ( Top Gun, The Doors) and good boys (Batman Returns, The Saint), and Mark Twain is definitely his most complex character. He brings his one-man show, which depicts with Twain¡¯s relationship with Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy, to the AT&T Performing Arts Center¡¯s Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre. See it Thursday through Sunday at 2400 Flora St., Dallas. $45-$125. 214-880-0202; www.attpac.org
9Friends of the Fort Worth Public Library Book Sale: Books ©¤ remember those? Not the kind with the letter ¡°e¡± in front, the ones with pages you can flip and dog-ear and smell, even? You can find more of them at the Friends of the Fort Worth Public Library Book Sale, a biannual event that also has CDs, DVDs and other items. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon-4:30 p.m. Sunday at the Friends of the Library Chapter 2 Annex in Wedgwood Village Shopping Center, 5332 Trail Lake Drive, Fort Worth. $1 admission. http://fortworthtexas.gov/library/
10Dallas International Guitar Festival: The 36th annual edition of the world¡¯s largest and oldest guitar show features all kinds of axes, plus concerts with Rick Derringer, Damon Johnson, Rhett Butler, Bugs Henderson and many others, including an all-star jam on Saturday. Noon-7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday at Dallas Market Hall, 2200 Stemmons Freeway. Concerts on Friday and Saturday go through midnight. Tickets are $22 ($15 for students with ID, free for children under 10). Two-day passes are $37, three-day passes are $47. Concert admission varies. www.guitarshow.com
11Three eras of country: Three concerts at different venues give you an interesting trajectory of country music. Start in the 1970s with the great Gene Watson, Moe Bandy and T.G. Shepard at Billy Bob¡¯s Texas on Saturday ($10-$16, 817-624-7117, www.billybobstexas.com . Then on to the ¡¯90s with alt-country heroes Son Volt at Sons of Hermann Hall in Deep Ellum on Saturday (214-747-4422; www.sonsofhermann.com); then the 2010s with the Zac Brown Band on Friday at Gexa Energy Pavilion in Dallas ($29.50-$65.50, 800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com ).
12Taste of the NFL¡¯s Ultimate Dallas Cowboys Tailgate Party: Mind you, the ¡°ultimate¡± descriptor comes with a price tag to match. This fundraising event ¡ª which benefits the North Texas Food Bank ¡ª will set you back a cool $150. But consider what you get (other than the chance to give back): gourmet tailgate fare, signature cocktails and the chance to hobnob with the likes of DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher, Dallas celeb chef Kent Rathbun of Abacus, plus former Cowboys Preston Pearson, Daryl Johnston and Chad Hennings. 6:30-9:30 p.m. (VIP event starts at 6 p.m.), Glass Cactus Nightclub at the Gaylord Texan, Grapevine. $150 advance single ticket; $250 for a pair of advance tickets; $175 each at the door. More info at http://www.tasteofthenfl.com/events.