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FALL 2013

inside CONTACT US

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COME SAIL AWAY WITH ME

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THINK BIG

Mike Miller Publisher

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Gina Aldaz Executive Editor 972-398-4295 galdaz@ starlocalnews.com

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Liz McGathey Splash Editor 972-398-4206 lmcgathey@ starlocalnews.com

STATE FAIR OF TEXAS TO UNVEIL NEW BIG TEX

TREEHOUSES BRINGING OUT YOUR INNER CHILD

DINING LAKESIDE

14 TEMPTING TRICKS & TREATS AREA FESTIVALS AND EVENTS TO CELEBRATE HALLOWEEN

SMALL-TOWN SIT-DOWNS

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Leanne Libby Advertising Manager 972-398-4203 llibby@ starlocalnews.com

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Cindy Ann Molinari Layout Design

LIGHT IT UP LAKE PARK OFFERS EXCLUSIVE NIGHT-GOLF EXPERIENCE

Splash Outdoor Living is published quarterly by Star Local Media, 624 Krona Dr Ste 170, Plano, TX 750748304. The entire contents of Splash Outdoor Living Copyright 2013 by Star Local Media. No portion may be reproduced in whole or in part by any means without the express written permission of Star Local Media. Additional copies are available for purchase by contacting customer service at 972424-9504.

LET THE WIND TAKE YOU AWAY ON NORTH TEXAS LAKES

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A TIME TO HARVEST AUTUMN PERFECT FOR PICKING APPLES, PECANS, PUMPKINS

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GET YOUR

come

As the breeze propels sailboats across the water now lit with the golden rays of autumn, it’s easy to see why more and more sailors are answering to the siren’s call of our local lakes.

feet wet

Scott Hardin, commodore at the Lake Lewisville Sailing Club, is no exception and is frequently found on Lewisville Lake participating in the sport he said allows people to get out on the water in a way like no other.

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“Depending on the setting, sailing offers quiet solitude and self reliance,” he said. “… sailing can give you a terrific sense of freedom in that you can just use your skills and the wind to go virtually anywhere. There is a cerebral aspect to sailing that fills your mind with insight; to the wind and water, to your boat, to your friends and to yourself. You are always learning, adjusting, listening, sensing, feeling and thinking. When the wind is mellow, it is relaxing. When the wind is up, it is exciting – exhilarating.”

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The Lake Lewisville Sailing Club, located at the Pier 121 Marina, has a Facebook group of nearly 80 people, and posts as simple as “tonight” to indicate the willingness of sailors to get back on the water. It’s easy to see Hardin’s enthusiasm is echoed by fellow boaters.

NORTH TEXAS SAILING SCHOOL 300 Rush Creek Drive, Heath 972-771-2002 info@northtexassailing.com northtexassailing.com

“Sailing is popular for a few reasons,” he said. “Being out on the water is relaxing, and using the wind to move you around can be very peaceful in the right conditions. When the wind picks up it can be a lot of fun and a bit challenging to keep the boat under control. You can sail in a relaxed fashion just taking in the sights or you can constantly tweak the lines, called sheets, as it is fun to

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Fall 2013 — Splash Outdoor Living — Page see how much speed you can get out of a sailboat.” On Wednesday evenings, Hardin said his club can be seen doing just that – tweaking lines in an exhilarating race to the finish. The club organizes keelboat races throughout the year, including the club’s largest, the Annual Lewisville Cup Regatta. According to its website, the regatta brings in boats and competitors from all over the region. But, unlike many other racing sports, Hardin said sailing is not only environmentally friendly, but easy on the pocketbook. “Boating is good fun for friends and family,” he said. “Sailing provides a learning experience power boating doesn’t offer. And the price if gas doesn’t hurt as much if you use the wind to power you around.” For information about the Lake Lewisville Sailing Club, visit llsailingclub.org. ■ MARTHE STINTON mstinton@starlocalnews.com

THERE IS A CEREBRAL ASPECT TO SAILING THAT FILLS YOUR MIND WITH INSIGHT; TO THE WIND AND WATER, TO YOUR BOAT, TO YOUR FRIENDS AND TO YOURSELF. YOU ARE ALWAYS LEARNING, ADJUSTING, LISTENING, SENSING, FEELING AND THINKING. WHEN THE WIND IS MELLOW, IT IS RELAXING. WHEN THE WIND IS UP, IT IS EXCITING — EXHILARATING. – Scott Hardin, commodore at the Lake Lewisville Sailing Club

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facts AT A GLANCE WHAT 2013 State Fair of Texas

WHEN Sept. 27 - Oct. 20

WHERE Fair Park, a 277-acre entertainment and recreation complex 2 miles east of downtown Dallas

HOURS Exhibit buildings open from 10 a.m. 10 p.m. (closing at 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays)

PRICE General admission: $17 Children (3 years of age and up to 48” tall): $13 Senior citizens (60 and up): $13 Children under 2: free Seniors 60 and up free on Thursdays

EXHIBIT SPACE Approximately 370,000 square feet in six buildings

RIDES 70-75, varies according to space requirements. The Top o’ Texas Tower stands at 500 feet tall.

state fair to include unveiling of new big tex

LIVESTOCK ENTRIES Approximately 10,000

They say everything is bigger in Texas.

CREATIVE ARTS ENTRIES Approximately 5,000

HISTORY The first State Fair was held at this location in 1886. Fair Park was the site of the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition, which ran for six months and attracted 6 million people. A 31-day fair in 1986 celebrated the Texas Sesquicentennial and

The same holds true for a Texas icon, as well as the secret surrounding him. Big Tex, a landmark at the State Fair of Texas for 60 years, is set to make his triumphant return at this year’s fair, which runs Sept. 27 to Oct. 20 at Fair Park in Dallas. Big Tex, the 52-foot-tall cowboy statue that greets fans as they enter the fair, was destroyed by an electrical fire Oct. 19, 2012. Since then, event organizers have been hard at work repairing Big Tex for this year’s festival.

The details of the new Big Tex, however, have been a secret as big as his Dickies jeans. Officials have been quiet about what Big Tex will look like and who the voice will be. Bill Bragg’s 11-year tenure as the voice of Big Tex ended earlier this year. “Usually we preview Big Tex by raising him up the Monday the fair opens, and a lot of the schools come out for that,” said Debbie Flatt, state fair spokeswoman. “But this year, we’re not having that. We’ll raise him up on the first day of the fair. Everything about Big Tex is a big secret, even to us.” The unveiling is set for 2 p.m.

Soon, though, anyone interested will know all about the new Big Tex and the history of him as well. One of this year’s main attractions is a presentation at the Hall Estate detailing the history of Big Tex. “We’ve always had a main attraction at the hall,” Flatt said. “The year we had the Super Bowl out here, the attraction was the NFL. And when the Girl Scouts of America celebrated 100 years, we had an attraction about them. This year, it made sense to put up the history of Big Tex. It will be quite interesting.”


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Fall 2013 — Splash Outdoor Living — Page Flatt said judging from the large reaction to Big Tex’s mishap last year, the attraction should be a big hit. “The response we got was unbelievable,” Flatt said of last year’s fire. “Everyone knows that he’s a big icon, but I never imagined that we would be getting calls from all over the world by people who were verifying that he was burning. CNN was calling us five minutes into it. It was unbelievable.” The historic aspect will touch on how a large statue of a Santa Claus in the Texas town of Kerens sparked the idea for Big Tex, as well as how he got the clothes that he wears. Another new piece to the fair this year will be ostrich racing, an idea encouraged by fair president Errol McCoy. “He thinks outside the box,” Flatt said. “He saw a picture of it one day and decided that he wanted to bring it here.” Flatt said there will be between two and

three races each day featuring 400- to 450pound ostriches with a jockey riding them. “They’re very unpredictable,” Flatt said. “Just like any wild animal, you think they’re going in a circle, but then they could go back toward the starting gate. It should be a lot of fun.” Also new to the fair will be the top of the Top ‘o Texas Tower Ride. The ride is 500 feet tall and lasts four and a half minutes, including a five-second stop at the top for a 360-degree view of the Dallas skyline. In addition to the new features, the fair will also include longtime staples such as food, an auto show, art contests, livestock shows, agricultural education opportunities, kids’ activities, college football, celebrity chefs and live music. For information, go to www.bigtex.com. ■ CHRIS ROARK croark@starlocalnews.com

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KELSEY KRUZICH / STAFF PHOTOS

sage during s a p f o te ri a re a Treehouses hapes and s t n re fe if d y n a ey come in m th d n a , d o o h d il h c t, treehouses s e d o m t r o n a g extrava w o h r e tt a m o N . sizes ations and have a in g a im d il w stering are known for fo child by r e n in ’s e n o t u nging o unique way of bri h nature. it w it g n ti in a u q c rea

BRANCH above the ordinary

a

RESEARCH, SALVAGE IN ED OT RO NG DI IL BU EUS HO EE TR THE ART OF


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Fall 2013 — Splash Outdoor Living — Page When treehouse designer and builder James Curvan began building treehouses for friends, it wasn’t just as a side job or hobby. The architect lost his business when the real estate slump hit in 2000, and he decided to put a vertical spin on his craft by building on a smaller scale for families in the area. When Dallas clients Steve and Jeri Wakefield commissioned him to build a treehouse in their backyard for their grandchildren, Curvan let his creativity fly in order to make perhaps one of the most unique treehouses in the world. Found atop a pecan tree that’s more than 100 years old, the 72-square-foot cottage features a 600-foot zip line, rock climbing wall, slide and a rope bridge to a crow’s nest, all of which were added as challenging offshoots for the growing adventurers. Since starting his website in 2010 (jamescurvan.com), Curvan has attracted worldwide attention and has been featured in publications as far away as France and Brazil. Curvan said he hopes the attention will lead him to similar projects in the future. The steps to building a sturdy treehouse begin with delving in to the world of dendrology, or the study of trees, something many people bypass and go straight for the hardware store instead. Curvan first made a wire model of the tree, then a plat-

form and the treehouse. Four steel columns support the platform so nothing touches the tree. No major limbs were cut, and any limb that dies in the future will fall away from the treehouse. “You have to take care of the tree – it’s the living part of the treehouse,” said Curvan, who has also designed and built homes in Farmersville and Fairview. “The tree is the host; without always considering the tree’s needs first, you will harm the tree. Remember, the tree was here before the treehouse, and it will remain there after the treehouse is gone.”

T SAFETY FIRSCurvan said he doesn’t have a particular tree preference since most trees in Texas will make for an ideal host as long as it has sturdy branches and a strong root system. But safety for the tree and the child comes above all else. “People hear that and they say, ‘How can you say that?’ But once you find a good tree, you will do a lot of modifications to keep your child safe,” Curvan said. “The tree is first; you’ve got to protect the tree. If there’s something dangerous to the kid, you can always put a barrier or something around it.” The Wakefield’s fairytale treehouse started with a platform and 5-foot walls framed to avoid any major limbs; in fact, the house’s entire form was dictated by

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Page 10 — Splash Outdoor Living — Fall 2013 the tree. Its stained glass windows have a Plexiglass covering to protect the children.

daughter, Savannah. Mike’s engineering background and Gwen’s forte in real estate and decorating made the perfect combination for creating a hidden oasis 14 feet above the ground. The 18-acre property, perfect for a weekend getaway, also features a lavender farm and gift shop in which farmer Gwen sells her fragrant wares.

As if the cottage’s design isn’t enough of an eye-opener, the décor inside definitely is. Jeri used antique toys, heirlooms and trinkets to make the interior look like a step into the past, complete with tea sets and play kitchen area.

The Snyders met at the spot where the gate to the treehouse currently stands, marking the beginning of ultimate privacy for its guests. Gwen said they decided to open it as a bed and breakfast because it was simply too good not to share.

RASH ONE MAN’S T Salvaging is the key to making a treehouse unique and affordable, said Curvan, who incorporated parts of a bed from the 1880s and an old piano bench into the structure. Even though there is no insulation, a reused A/C unit and a birdhouse in the cottage’s gable, or “attic” helps cool the house.

cent, Curvan said. Recycled rubber on the ground also helps enhance safety.

If building for little ones, scissor stairs with sectional landings are a good way to help small children feel a bit more at ease by offering a less intimidating as-

“I did a lot of Montessori research and how kids play and how to allow them to learn,” Curvan said. “This allows them to experience it at their pace; it doesn’t force them.”

MEADOW SAVANNAH’S Treehouses are not just for children, as is evident at Savannah’s Meadow in Celeste. Located just west of Greenville off U.S. 380, Savannah’s Meadow is home to Plano natives Mike and Gwen Snyder and their

“Long story short, we got married and I informed him I’m afraid of heights,” Gwen mused. “He built me a really nice house, and I started on the farm. He wanted to build a treehouse and I said ‘do it.’ It was just the two of us, and he did most of the building. Now I run it as a bed and breakfast.”

LOVE A LABOR OF With a common room and crow’s nest loft built around the thick trunk of the great oak tree and a full bathroom and master bedroom offshoot, the house sleeps about six people. The house took Mike roughly a year and a half to build, inspired by a weeklong workshop in Seattle, Wash., with tree whisperer Pete Nelson, host of Animal Planet’s “Treehouse Masters.” “I was going to live in a treehouse; I lived in a boat for a while,” Mike said. “The foundation of a house is a third of the cost,

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Fall 2013 — Splash Outdoor Living — Page so why not go ahead and knock that out? It just makes good sense.” After selecting the perfect tree for his masterpiece, Mike used one of Nelson’s tips by inserting a steel bar connecting the tree to the house for the tree to grow around and maintain overall support. Mike hauled these and other corrugated steel beams up 14 feet by himself using ropes and pulleys. The ramp was built second in order for Mike to bring the floorboards in. Plexiglass was attached to the limbs inside the house to keep water from falling inside the house. No traffic is allowed under the tree in order to protect its valuable root system. In addition to the indoor amenities (like an all-glass shower overlooking the secluded forest), Mike’s house also features what he calls a “book nook,” a treehouse porch made of cargo net and cable wire that juts out of the side door, creating a peaceful relaxing spot to convene with nature.

11

“I did my homework,” Mike said. “Pay attention to the tree and to be nice to the tree. There are certain things you don’t want to do to a tree. Do a little homework on how to keep a tree happy. It’s a lot more about the trees than the treehouse. It’s harder to build on the ground near a tree than in the tree itself.” The Snyders also relied heavily on finding salvaged items – from wood to fixtures to décor – to help cut costs and lend to the rustic feel a treehouse should have. “Do all your research, wad it up in the trash and do what you feel’s right; don’t overanalyze it,” Mike said. “You can either spend time or money – there’s no sense in spending both.” Having welcomed visitors of all ages – their oldest guest was Gwen’s grandmother, who is 91– the Snyders say their treehouse brings out the child in everyone. One guest said his experience was “magical,” writing in the Snyder’s visitors’ journal

that he felt like a kid again and admitted to pretending he was a “Keebler elf,” intoxicated by the sights, sounds and scents of the summer night. The height also gives visitors an advantage in the summer, as there are surprisingly few mosquitoes lurking about. In fact, the Snyder’s bungalow is booked every weekend

through the end of the year. The couple closes in December and reopens their B&B and lavender farm in February. “Couples really embrace this; it turns them into kids,” Gwen said. “There’s a certain whimsical, magical romance about it.” ■ KELLEY CHAMBERS kchambers@starlocalnews.com

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GET YOUR

festival

ON THIS FALL

WITH WARM TEMPERATURES LINGERING, CITIES AND NONPROFITS AROUND NORTH TEXAS ARE LOOKING TO HELP RESIDENTS AND OUT-OF-TOWNERS GET OUT IN THE SUN FOR SOME SUMMER FUN. HERE ARE JUST A FEW EVENTS PLANNED FOR THE SUMMER. • ROWLETT •

Movies on Main Dusk, Sept. 6 3900 Main St., Rowlett Cost: Free ci.rowlett.tx.us Each of the three movies draws crowds of parents and children. Families spread blankets on the library front lawn, eat their picnic dinners and enjoy a cinema under the stars.

• PLANO •

FarmFest 2013 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sept. 7 1900 W. 15th St., Plano

• FRISCO •

• LEWISVILLE •

Breakaway Music Festival-Dallas

McKinney Oktoberfest 2013

11 a.m. Sept. 21 FC Dallas Stadium

4 p.m. Sept. 27-28 111 N. Tennessee St., McKinney

9200 World Cup Way, Frisco Cost: $82 breakawayfestival.com Musical artists performing at the festival include Empire of the Sun, Wu-Tang Clan, Big Gigantic, Matt and Kim, Explosions in the Sky, Crizzly, Ra Ra Riot, Danny Avila, Booty Fade, Oil Boom and yeahdef. All will perform at FC Dallas Stadium.

Cost: Free mckinneytexas.org/Oktoberfest McKinney meets Bavaria as Oktoberfest comes to life in Historic Downtown McKinney. This family-friendly event will continue through Saturday, Sept. 28. McKinney Main Street, supporting sponsors and the shops in downtown McKinney will host nonstop activities in the heart of the city.

• LITTLE ELM •

Cost: $7.50 (online), $10 at the door heritagefarmstead.org A family-friendly, all-day celebration to kick off the fall season. A “county fair”style atmosphere with music, food, livestock demonstrations, vendors and hands-on activities.

• CARROLLTON •

Autumnfest

• SOUTHLAKE •

Western Days Festival

Concert in the Park 7:30-9 p.m. Sept. 14 Rustin/Family Park 1400 E. Southlake Blvd., Southlake Cost: Free cityofsouthlake.com Music performances will be provided by the Arts Council Northeast through a partnership between the city of Southlake. Music lovers of all ages are invited to come out and hear a wide variety of musical performances during this concert series.

• MCKINNEY •

Autumn Fest Sept. 26-29, 704 W. Eldorado Parkway, Little Elm Cost: Free littleelmfestival.com The festival will have events/activities for the entire family, including a carnival, Pretty Baby contest, BBQ cook-off, Anything Floats Race, vendors and more.

7-11:30 p.m. Sept. 27 & 10 a.m.11:30 p.m. Sept. 28 Old Town 617 E. Main St., Lewisville Cost: Free lewisvillewesterndays.com The Western Days Festival is designed to showcase Lewisville’s rich history, and will include live music, arts and crafts vendors, gunfight re-enactments, trick ropers, car show, KidZone, Tailwaggers Ranch pet zone, Stickhorse Rodeo for kids and the annual World Tamale Eating Championship.

8:30 a.m. Sept. 28 St. Catherine of Siena 1705 Peters Colony, Carrollton Cost: Free stcatherine.org Autumnfest activities begin with the 5K Race and 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk. It features arts and crafts, bingo, a silent auction, family-friendly entertainment, games and food.


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• CARROLLTON •

The Haunted Forest 4100 Marsh Ridge Road, Carrollton Cost: $10 Test your wits at Carrollton’s Haunted Forest. Try to walk through the haunted Maze of Death or face the Trails of Terror.

• LAKE DALLAS •

Theatre of Carnage 8 p.m.-midnight, October weekend nights 503 Main St., Lake Dallas Cost: $10-$30 facebook.com/TheatreofCarnage This haunted house is inspired by some of the most terrifying scenes from popular horror movies and shows, such as “The Shining,” “The Exorcist,” “Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “The Walking Dead,” “Dead Silence” and more spooky titles.

• MESQUITE •

Pumpkin Fest 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Oct. 19 City Lake Park 403 S. Galloway Ave., Mesquite Cost: Free oldtownmesquite.org Mesquite’s pumpkin fest will include several activities for different age groups, including arts and crafts, games, rides, costume contests and festival food.

• MCKINNEY •

• FRISCO •

Halloween at the Heard

Trick or Treat at Fire Safety Town

6 p.m. Oct. 19 Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary 1 Nature Place, McKinney

6-9 p.m. Oct. 25 801 Gary Burns Drive, Frisco

Cost: Free to $15 (depending on age) heardmuseum.org Kids can come trick-or-treat on the Dinosaurs Live! exhibit trail at Collin County’s family-friendly Halloween event. There will also be a familyfriendly movie playing outside at the amphitheater, a costume contest and an opportunity to brave the spooky Haunted Forest.

Scare on the Square 4-6 p.m. Oct. 31 Historic Downtown McKinney Cost: Free downtownmckinney.com Enjoy the sights of hundreds of ghosts and goblins, young and old, on the downtown square. This annual event has grown to hundreds of trick-ortreaters enjoying treats and the annual “Be Green on Halloween” costume contest showcasing homemade costumes, a pumpkin patch and other interactive activities to celebrate a safe, secure family-fun Halloween event.

Cost: Free friscotexas.gov For toddlers through fifth-graders, Frisco’s Fire Safety Town will get into the Halloween spirit with decorations. Safety Town residents will hand out treats.

• ROWLETT •

Camp Fear 6 p.m. Oct. 25 to 11:30 a.m. Oct. 26 5300 Main St., Rowlett Cost: TBD (Last year-$48 per family) ci.rowlett.tx.us Camp Fear features an overnight campout at Pecan Grove Park. There will be tent-totent trick-or-treating, an opportunity to scare fellow campers with scary stories and plenty of s’mores to go around.


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harvest PECANS

APPLES

Back in the old days – before most people got their fruits and vegetables from the local big box store or chain grocery store – they often went into the orchard or garden and picked their own fruits and vegetables.

FF TA

OTO PH

KELSEY KR UZ ICH

an autumn

/S

Page 16 — Splash Outdoor Living — Fall 2013

PUMPKINS will be ready within a few weeks, and some may go to an orchard or pumpkin patch in the area to pick the perfect batch.

There are a few places in the Metroplex where this can still be done, at least at certain times of the year.

Mike Sage, owner of the Sunnyvale Pecan Orchard, has about 140 trees on eight acres of land near Sunnyvale. Sage said the first shaking of the trees will take place on Oct. 15 for wholesalers who will resell the pecans.

trees to knock the pecans out, a shaker is hooked up to the front of a tractor. The shaker is attached to the tree and the vibration shakes the pecans to the ground.

Fall crops of pecans, apples and pumpkins

He said rather than people climbing into the

Beginning Nov. 1, the public is invited

to pick up pecans for their own use. Pecans are charged by the pound. Sage said last year was a good year, and a smaller harvest is expected this year. For information or to call before heading out to pick up pecans, call 972-2261251 or 972-226-7243. For information, visit www.e-pecan.org.

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(972) 784-6846 www.farmersvilletx.com


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Fall 2013 — Splash Outdoor Living — Page It will be apple-pickin’ time in Texas in September, and the Henrietta Creek Orchard in Roanoake will be buzzing with school students throughout much of the month. Ray and Sue Short are the owners of the orchard, which has about 800 apple trees along with about 500 peach trees and a vegetable garden. “In mid-September, we are expecting about 200 to 250 kids a day on field trips, who will be coming to pick apples,” Sue Short said. After the scheduled field trips, the orchard will be open to the public to pick apples. “People should bring their own containers and call before they come,” she said. The Henrietta Creek Orchard is located at 14255 Old Denton Road in Roanoke.

Those who plan to come and pick apples should call 817-439-3202. For information, visit www.henriettacreekorchard.com. For the last several years, the Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch has been a busy site where people not only choose a pumpkin for pies and a jack-o-lantern, but children can also have fun getting their faces painted, going on a hay ride or playing in a bounce house. Food for snacks is also sold at the site, although people may bring their own for a picnic and a good time. The facility is closed during rainy weather. For information, go to flower moundpumpkinpatch.com or call 817-430-4536. The Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch is located at 5100 Cross Timbers Road in Flower Mound. ■ DAN EAKIN deakin@starlocalnews.com

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KELSEY KRUZICH / STAFF PHOTOS

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JUST FOR

starters SNEAKY PETE’S Located at 2 Eagle Point Road in Lewisville. For information, call 972434-2500 or visit www.sneakypetesonline.com.

NEAL’S ITALIAN Located at 721 E. Hundley Drive in Lake Dallas. For information, call 940-321-4560 or visit www.facebook.com/neals.italian.restaurant.

Dining Lakeside small-town

The best places to eat near Lewisville Lake are the hidden gems – Neal’s Italian in Lake Dallas, nestled deep in the town on Hundley Drive, and Sneaky Pete’s in Lewisville, built on a party cove a mile off of Interstate 35E.

A piece of history since the 1940’s

We have a tradition of excellent customer service. YOUR SOURCE FOR FARM ANIMALS & PETS. VEGETABLE AND BEDDING PLANTS LOCAL HONEY CHICKS, DUCKLINGS & GEESE ORGANIC LAWN & GARDEN SUPPLIES FERTILIZERS, CHEMICALS & GRASS SEEDS MANAGER, BEN GRIFFIN

113 S. CHESTNUT, MCKINNEY, TX

972-542-5011

sit-downs provide comfort, excellence

Located on Hundley Drive near Willow Grove Park, Neal’s is a quaint restaurant with a sprawling porch outside and excellent food and prices on the inside. Owner Ron Shawer, who has been a businessman in Lake Dallas for seven years, puts a huge

emphasis on customer satisfaction. “I tell my staff, ‘the customer is your boss, not me,’” he said. “We will do anything and everything to make the customer happy and want to come back.”

25th Annual

Harvest Craft Bazaar October 5, 2013 • 9am to 4pm 4901 Paige Road, The Colony Handmade & Retail Crafts • Fun Activities • Bake Sale Opportunity Drawings • Breakfast & BBQ Brought to you by United Methodist Women Proceeds benefit local & community missions

972-625-1281 FUMCTC.org


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Fall 2013 — Splash Outdoor Living — Page

Besides the expected Italian dishes – lasagna, chicken alfredo, fettuccini, etc. – Neal’s also features an excellent assortment of pizzas and seafood. The newest menu item, Ron’s Super Supreme Pizza, has drawn rave reviews from customers as well as the owner. “I highly recommend Ron’s Super Supreme,” Shawer said. “You won’t be disappointed.”

While some pizza items are priced at around $20, the Super Supreme is listed at $15 and hardly any other items on Shawer’s menu exceeds $14. Neal’s also has a bevy of special prices: senior citizens receive 10 percent off their meal on Tuesdays; veterans receive 15 percent off their meal on Wednesdays; on Thursdays kids eat free; and on Fridays teachers receive

10 percent off their meals. Sneaky Pete’s is a perfect after-work hangout just off of Lewisville Lake – whether it’s shooting pool, arcade games, pool volleyball, outside dining or happy hour drink specials, anyone looking to blow off steam will find plenty of entertainment methods at Sneaky Pete’s. Pete’s has several drink specials that run

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daily: Happy Hour drinks run daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., including $1 off wines, wells and selected drafts; $3 Lemon Shot and Kamikazee shots; $2 16-ounce and $3 24-ounce Bud Light select drafts; $4 select beers on Thursdays and Fridays. The restaurant also has five banquet hall rooms for use via reservation. ■ TIM GLAZE tglaze@starlocalnews.com


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e m e r t x E TAILGATING Making food for sports parties fast & easy With football season kicking off soon, tailgating will be a major pastime. That may be a typical routine for some, but for those who aren’t masters of the grill it can be worrisome.

According to Trace Arnold, pitmaster of 3 Stacks Smoke & Tap House in Frisco, however, tailgating is all about keeping it simple. Instead of focusing on full sandwiches or meals, Arnold said the most important aspect to keep in mind is that

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Arnold recommends using a Big Green Egg cooking machine, which he says is the “finest cooking machine known to mankind” because it can serve as a grill, oven or smoker. Big Green Egg users can then use different kinds of smoking chips – such as cherry, apple, pecan or hickory – to elicit different tastes. Once a type of food is chosen, Arnold said he likes to try different ways of wrapping them.

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people want to eat without utensils. “Tailgating is all about appetizers and finger foods; you don’t need any forks and plates,” said Arnold, who is known as the “Rib Whisperer” for his barbecue prowess. “Hamburgers and hot dogs are obviously the easiest, but I like to take it to another level – I like to always raise the bar. I’m what you’d call an extreme tailgater.”

2012

STAR COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

READERS’

choice

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“I’ve cooked a lot of different kinds of meats, and one thing you can’t go wrong with is bacon,” he said. “You can grill chicken breast, then smoke it, then cut it in slivers and wrap it in bacon. Sliders are another [popular food]. You don’t want to make people eat a full sandwich, but you can do a lot with brisket and pulled pork and try other ingredients on a slider.” Arnold said sausage is another popular

food choice, though beans are the only side dish he recommends since most people enjoy them, though they require plates and forks. Arnold said he typically uses a lot of jalapenos, bacon, cheeses and meats at tailgating festivities. 3 Stacks will soon sell its own rubs and barbecue sauces on its website, 3stacksbbq.com, and at the restaurant, located at 4226 Preston Road. The recipes were created by Arnold, who was part of a group that hosted the NFL’s inaugural tailgate party at Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004. For those still unsure of their cooking abilities, 3 Stacks offers full-service catering and group meals starting at $12.99 per person for smaller parties and $14.99 per person for parties of 100 or more. “If someone wants to go that route, we can handle that,” he said. “They can call us, stop in, load it up in the car, and they’ll look like the heroes.” For information about 3 Stacks Smoke & Tap House catering, visit 3stacksbbq.com and click on “menus.” ■ ANTHONY TOSIE staff writer


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LIGHT IT UP

Lake Park offers exclusive night-golf experience The Lake Park golf club in Lewisville is offering a unique experience for local golfers. The club’s executive course features an array of lights that illuminate the facility to bring the Metroplex its first and only night golf experience. “We’ve been getting more and more people coming at night,” said Andrew Randich, assistant general manager at Lake Park. “It’s mostly a younger crowd.” Lake Park’s 9-hole executive course opened in 1994 and features eight par-3 holes and one par-4. “It’s definitely a unique experience,” Randich said. “A lot of people bring their kids because it’s a little easier than our 18hole course.” The course allows tee times until 9 p.m. on weekdays and until 10 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, with the facility closing at 11 p.m. and midnight, respectively. Prices start at $9 to walk the 9-hole course

on weekdays, or players have the option of using a cart for $18. The course fee starts at $11 Friday through Sunday, while kids 15 years and younger are able to play at no charge at any point during the week.

KELSEY KRUZICH / STAFF PHOTO

“The rates are a little cheaper than our 18hole property,” Randich said. “That makes it a lot easier for some of the younger crowds to come out and play.”

“[Lake Park] has one of the only lit courses around,” Randich said. “It’s something you can’t do at most [golf] courses.”

Randich said one of the main benefits of playing the night course is the difference in temperature during the summer days. With highs often reaching 100 degrees during the day, players can wait for the heat to pass before taking their first swing.

The Lake Park Golf Club is located at 6

“The break from the heat is something that appeals to a lot of people,” he said. “Most days during the summer can be too hot to play during the afternoon, but the temperature is much better by night time.” Players at any level are welcome, with the executive course offering fun and entertainment for all golfers.

Lake Park Road in Lewisville, and tee times can be made by calling 972-4363113 or by visiting lakeparkgc.com. ■ CHRIS O’DELL codell@starlocalnews.com


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KELSEY KRUZICH / STAFF PHOTO

Trail steward Charlie Gaines said the prettiest section of the trail runs from the Highland Park trailhead to Wilson Creek, where riders and hikers can spot the occasional armadillo, fox, wild hog or deer.

HIKERS, HORSEBACK RIDERS CONNECT WITH THEIR WILD SIDE

happy trails Sometimes the best opportunity for getting away from it all is right in your own backyard. Trinity Trail, along the eastern shores of Lake Lavon, is such a find.

ON THE trinitytrailriders.org facebook.com/ TrinityTrail

PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRIS CHURCHILL

Kaitlin Churchill rides a wooded section of the trail.

That’s advice echoed by Chris Churchill, spokeswoman for the Trinity Trail Preservation Association.

Geared primarily toward horses and their riders, hikers and joggers also frequently enjoy this 25.5-mile path. But hikers, beware: A horse is a horse of course, but a hiker is a bear – at least, to a horse.

“If a hiker or runner is approaching a horseback rider, especially from the rear, they should call out or whistle to get the rider’s attention,” Churchill wrote in an email. “Most trail users are very courteous of each other, so sharing the trail has gone well.”

That’s the main caveat hikers need to keep in mind when sharing the trail with horseback riders, according to Paul Kautz of HikingDude.com. He instructs hikers encountering horses to move downhill and off the trail, because the animals tend to run uphill when they’re spooked, and a hiker standing uphill may look like a predator to the horse.

Trinity Trail features three main trailheads, which from north to south are Highland Park, Brockdale Park and East Fork. Hikers and riders can spot the occasional armadillo, fox, wild hog or deer trekking the path, which is maintained by the nonprofit, all-volunteer TTPA. Charlie Gaines, trail steward, said TTPA members keep the way walkable by attending to


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fallen limbs and erosion as needed with Bush Hogs, bulldozers, tractors and Bobcats.

While the trail is free for anyone to use – except those on wheeled vehicles – Gaines urges people to join the TTPA. A family membership is $35 a year, and benefits include CareFlite insurance, available to members whether on the trail or not, and participation in monthly work days, which not only help maintain the trail but can instill a sense of ownership in TTPA volunteers. “It’s a tremendous amount of work involved in keeping the trail open,” Gaines said. “That’s why we’re always needing members to join the club and help us out to keep that trail – because we’re really lucky to have such a beautiful trail.” “We think of it as the gem of Collin County,” Churchill wrote. “As riding and hiking places disappear from the Texas landscape, trails like

WHAT

to do STAND DOWN • When meeting a horse, get off the trail on the downhill side. Horses will tend to bolt uphill when spooked. Also, a person waiting on the uphill side looks more like a predator waiting to pounce. • Quietly greet the rider and ask if you are OK where you are. • Stand quietly while the horses pass.

Join us for a Fall Festival on Saturday, October 19th

Source: hikingdude.com

Trinity Trails will grow in importance. It’s a place neighbors and families can come to walk and reconnect with nature.”

Games & Food P u m p k in C a r v in g Obstac le C o u r ses Bounce Houses

Carnival and Vendor Fair



The trail is open year-round. Visit trinitytrailriders.org or facebook.com/TrinityTrail for information.

■ MONIQUE OAKS moaks@starlocalnews.com

3:00 to 7:00 pm Outdoor Concert 7:00 to 10:00 pm

Wristbands and tickets available at the door.



“It’s an improved trail, but it’s dirt the whole way,” Gaines said. “We put in cobbles ... and we do have some rock on some of the culverts, but when you’re hiking, you’re on bare dirt the whole time.”

7659 Preston Road

For more information and to reserve your vendor spot go to www.friscofumc.org

Bring this ad for a discount on tickets!


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Splash Fall 2013