The month of November brings with it cooler weather, giant turkeys, and parades throughout the nation to celebrate the beginning of the holiday season. At The University of North Texas, the month of November this year brings a special surprise, George W. Bush. Former President Bush will be visiting the UNT campus this Wednesday, November 17, as part of the university’s Distinguished Lecture Series. The Distinguished Lecture Series is intended to introduce the University community to the excellence of world-class speakers whose messages will enhance student learning outside the classroom.
George Bush is a perfect fit for the D.L.S. and will be speaking to well over 10,000 audience members at UNT’s Coliseum on multiple topics, including a look inside of his new book Decision Points. Bush’s book defends the decisions he made in office, and more fully explains the reason behind them. Bush says he was inspired by the memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant which are considered by most to be the best written by all former presidents thus far. The book was released on November 9, which gives you plenty of time to pick one up and read it before Bush’s visit on the 17th.
The University of North Texas is particularly proud to have former President Bush visiting to speak to our student’s. SGA President Kevin Sanders was part of the committee that thought of, and made possible, Bush’s visit. “The benefit, for one, a former President of the United States, that’s a once-in-a lifetime thing. I think it’s a neat thing if you’re a freshman in college, you can go tell your family you heard the former president speak” Sanders said. Sanders also had an important message to share with the students of the university regarding differing political views. “I have faith in the student body that they’ll behave in a way that will make us look proud on the national stage, because this is a huge event.”
If you plan on attending this event, due to the high security that will be in place, here are a few tips to make your experience more enjoyable:
- If possible, do not bring any backpacks or bags with you to the event, as all bags will be searched by security before entering the event.
- Cameras and camcorders are allowed, but lenses must be less than 6” in length.
- No air horns or signs will be allowed into the building.
- Arrive early. Parking and security will take time. Doors for the event will open at 7 p.m.
The Distinguished Lecture Series is an event to not miss. With past speakers that include Suze Orman, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Bill Nye and Vicente Fox, George Bush will definitely go down in history. The event is open to both students and the public, but tickets are limited and are on a first come, first serve basis. To purchase ticket
s visit the union information desk of the University Union located at 1155 Union Circle in Denton, or call 940-565-3805. Tickets are $25 for general public, $15 for UNT alumni, and current UNT students are able to receive one free ticket each.
1. The Denton CVB should add a forum to their website where people can post comments on the events, restaurants, etc… featured on the website that they have had a personal experience with. This will allow potential visitors to see what locals and other people who have visited Denton think about the different aspects of Denton. In addition to giving more detailed information on the website, it will make the site more interactive for its viewers. When you have a more interactive website you will have repeat visitors who will want to share their experiences. Also, visitors will always have the newest and most up-to-date information available to them.
The CVB should also consider adding a calendar that will allow locals to post their own events. This will add another venue for visitors to interact with the site, as well as give potential visitors more reason to visit Denton. Some events last only one day or, like the North Texas State Fair, are only entertaining for one day. So, if there is another event going on that same weekend, people would be more likely to stay for more than just the one day. The employees of the CVB can’t be expected to know every little event happening around town, so if those throwing the event can post it themselves, Denton will seem even more happening to potential visitors. Events that locals will be able to post can range from high school or university athletic events to church fund raisers to sales at local businesses.
When: Last week of August
Where: 2217 N. Carroll Blvd.
Typically held during the last full week of August at the North Texas State Fair grounds, the North Texas State Fair and Rodeo has the standard fair activities: rides, games, fried food. But, truthfully, people come for two main reasons: the rodeo and the music. According to the fair association’s mission statement, its purpose is to promote “western heritage and values.” During the daytime, rodeo events range from rodeos for professionals, to amateurs, to children. The fair has also attracted country musicians from the country music’s underground “red dirt” genre. This genre provides a more “raw” sub-genre based on the musical tradition of Texas and Oklahoma country music, rather than the mainstream Nashville-based music.
Many of the artists who have performed at the North Texas State Fair have gone on to become successful musicians in the country music world, such as Stoney LaRue, Johnny Cooper, Radney Foster, Jack Ingram, and the Randy Rogers Band. Many of these artists have returned to the fair to perform after rising to the top. Admission to the fair is $12 for adults, $5 for children ages 7-12, and children under the age of 6 receive free admission.
When: First weekend of December
“Twinkling lights, choirs, bell-ringers, dancers and the aroma of spicy hot cider will transport the child in you to memories of Christmas past.” That’s what the City of Denton believes visitors to the Denton Holiday Lighting Festival will experience. Taking place in Denton’s historic square, this yearly event draws in thousands of spectators and is a thrill for both children and adults.
Besides the millions of Christmas lights twinkling amongst the decorated square, music from the Grammy Award winning band, Brave Combo, will jam throughout the crisp winter air. Visitors will also be able to walk the square and visit museums such as the Bayless-Selby House Museum, the Denton County African American Museum and the Courthouse Museum. If you’re feeling a bit hungry or thirsty, the squares numerous restaurants will be open and ready to fill your stomach with delicious food and warm hot chocolate. Interactive arts, photos with Santa, horse-drawn carriages, and a cider competition will also provide additional entertainment.
Although not directly part of the festival, the museum in the old courthouse is open and offers a great look into Denton history, a treasure for any history buff. The festival climaxes with the lighting of the tree around 8 p.m., but that doesn’t mean festivities are over, as music will continue well into the evening.
Admission is free to the event but visitors are encouraged to bring a unwrapped toy for the Denton Community Toy Drive. The nearest parking available is at the Wells Fargo Bank and The Bayless-Selby House Museum (BSH) parking lots, so we also recommend arriving early (at the latest, 6 p.m.) lest you have to park far away and walk a long distance.
What: Denton Air Show
When: Usually the third weekend of June
Where: The Denton Airport
Military power, crazy stunts, and machinery that will make you say, “wow,” all highlight the Denton Air Show. This yearly event pulls in thousands of aircraft buffs as well as families looking to be impressed. Held at the local Denton Airport, there is not a bad seat in the house when stunt planes go flying overhead at over 200 m.p.h. Every year, more than a handful of talented pilots demonstrate their capabilities to take modified aircraft and machete them through the sky.
The Denton Air Show is a fantastic way to spend a summer afternoon with your jaw dropped on the floor. Aircraft include the USAF A-10A Thunderbolt II West Coast Demonstration Team, Julia Wood Sukhoi SU-26M Aerobatics, the Texas Twisters, and more! Don’t just look to the sky either! The Denton Air Show provides over 25 different aircraft on the ground for fanatics to look, touch, and get their picture with. Food and memorabilia stands scatter throughout the event providing a way for visitors to refuel their tanks and also take a memory of the show with them, whether it’s a t-shirt, hat, or inflatable jet.
Admission to the Denton Air Show is free and the gates open at 10 a.m. The show usually lasts until 4 p.m. so make sure to bring the sunscreen. Coolers and backpacks are restricted so please be sure to arrive appropriately. Also, for the little ones, it’s a wise idea to bring earplugs as some performers definitely make their presence known.
When: Last weekend of April
Where: Denton’s Quakertown Park
Music, arts and crafts, tasty food and much more await visitors of the Denton Arts and Jazz Festival. Held on the last weekend in April, visitors are treated to a barrage of performances. Over 2,200 performers will take over 7 different stages and give it there all to please your ears. Proceeds from concession booths benefit a local art community where arts and music are cherished at every level.
Approximately 200,000 are in attendance each year for this free event. Visitors take all they can handle and are destine to have a great time. There is something for everyone and all ages. Painting, drawing and pottery just scrape the surface of the art festivities available for children. Rock climbing and small carnival rides are also available for children a bit older.
Once again, this event is free to all who wish to attend. Please arrive early as parking may take a few minutes with the amount of visitors arriving for the event. No pets or coolers will be allowed to the festival.
What: NX35 Concert
When: Usually the second weekend of March
Where: Denton Central Business District
The NX35 Music Conferette is a walkable, 4-day music conference that includes approximately 130 acts, multiple panels, Q&A sessions, and a trade show…all in Denton. Taking place at 12 different venues, NX35 has something for everyone. Last year, the band Flaming Lips from Oklahoma City, took the headline of the event and rocked out the crowd. This is one for the books as the local band scene will be exploited like never before.
Single night all-venue tickets are only $20, with the all-access tickets going for $65. Big heads up though, walk up tickets are non-existent, so be sure to purchase your tickets online and ahead of time.
Candy Haven is a popular bakery that is unique to the Denton area. Best known for beautiful wedding cakes, Candy Haven also specializes in gourmet cupcakes, fudge, chocolate-covered strawberries, and other goodies. As a preferred vendor for most wedding facilities in Denton and the surrounding areas, Candy Haven has provided countless cakes for newlyweds in the community for many years. Candy Haven won The Knots “Best of Weddings” award in 2007, 2008, and 2009.
301 N Interstate 35
Denton, TX 76205-5805
Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant
Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant was established in 1996 by Giuseppe Brownell, an Italian immigrant who grew up in the Umbria region of Italy. Giuseppe’s offers traditional Italian fare, with warm and attentive service, and a flair of authenticity. Giuseppe’s menu includes Italian favorites like lasagna, manicotti, pollo parmigiana, tiramisu, and Italian flan. The restaurant’s unique location, a historic Victorian home near downtown Denton, adds to its appeal and charm. The restaurant shares its location with one of the three Heritage Inn locations; a family owned and operated bed and breakfast.
821 North Locust Street
Denton, TX 76201-2952
Ravelin Bakery is a well-known staple unique to Denton, serving up a variety of breads, muffins, croissants, scones, biscuits, and more, all from scratch. Located across the street from El Guapo Mexican Restaurant, another reknowned Denton eatery, Ravelin makes all their items from scratch. They will even go as far as to slice your fresh baked bread for you on the spot, any way you like it. Be sure to come early on Saturday morning, as the demand for their products is so high that they frequently run out by noon.
416 South Elm Street
Denton, TX 76201-6016
Named for a strait in Thailand, Andaman Thai serves authentic Thai in Denton. Their menu has the usual Central Thai dishes as well as specialties like the sour Gaeng Som (the Southern version of Jungle Curry) or Nam Prik Ong (Spicy Meat Dipping Sauce) from the North. Fairly priced eats with ample portions have kept hungry Dentonites coming back for decades. Located on Hickory Street in the heart of the city, Andaman Thai makes for an amazing, authentic Thai food experience unique to Denton.
221 E Hickory St
Denton’s premier authentic sushi experience is only available at Keiichi. Named after the owner and main chef, a primarily reservation-based dining outing at Keiichi is made even more unique by being able to watch your sushi be made fresh by Keiichi Nagano himself. Fresh fish delivered daily, immaculate, intricate presentation and constant interaction all lend to an award winning atmosphere. Keiichi also offers an unorthodox selection of Italian food such as Tiramisu to compile a truly one-of-a-kind meal. A nearly 5-star rating with over 50 reviews after a quick Google search speaks for itself.
500 North Elm Street
Denton, TX 76201-4114
Every April since it was founded in 1980, Denton has its annual Arts & Jazz Festival. The City of Denton, in partnership with corporate sponsors, brings over 200,000 people each year for live music, fine art, food, drinks, crafts, and recreation. The Art and Jazz Festival is a free two and a half day exhibition of Denton’s original fine arts scene. The Denton Festival Foundation is able to put on this festival for free through sponsorships and cooperation with Denton City Council and Denton Parks and Recreation. Over the last 30 years, the Festival Foundation has contributed $102,000.00 to the Center for the Visual Arts and the Campus Theatre renovation projects.
. In addition to the variety of musical acts there are multiple art shows and craft stands to browse and shop. The festival is also home to several of food vendors, from Cajun catfish to roasted turkey legs. The Jazz Festival is a great place to bring the kids or to just hang out with a couple of friends.
Social Media Suggestion – YouTube
Denton CVB needs to create a YouTube channel to connect to citizens, business travelers and all future people that might stay in a hotel. The CVB could post weekly clips of city activities and places. It could be like a “virtual tour” for visitors to watch before they plan their trip. The short videos require quality editing and need to overall look appealing. You shouldn’t market your city, but engage and want people to generally visit. Also, if you use proper tags, titles and descriptions then the videos will also show up on regular search engines.
This Denton video shows all the reasons to visit, but maybe they could have a separate video for each activity. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcdxoA9wHp8
Grapevine gives viewers an inside look at one of the city’s activities. This is how the Denton CVB should format. http://www.youtube.com/grapevinegurl#p/a
Social Media Suggestion – Foursquare
The Denton CVB should work together with community businesses to promote their city on Foursquare. The users have the ability to leave comments, add photos, people will “review,” talk about their experiences with the location/product/service in an uncurated way.
- The CVB can create a program on Foursquare so when people check in to certain locations throughout the city, the user will see discounts, tips or advice. For example, once they check in they will see “20% off your purchase courtesy of The Denton Conventions & Visitor Bureau.” or “Try the cheesecake for dessert, it’s delicious!”
- Foursquare users receive virtual badges when they check into certain locations a certain amount of times. The CVB could host a “swarm event” at a certain spot in town and if 50 or more people show up and check in, they will receive a swarm badge. Yes, people actually do this!
- A very creative idea done by Pennsylvania Tourism Board was handing out itineraries with different road trips across town encouraging users to check in on Foursquare to receive badges. The CVB does all the planning, maps it out and the users just have to follow along on their smartphones. http://foursquare.com/visitpa
Chicago is also partnered with Foursquare, here is a press release on how they use their services. http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en/about_the_city/press_room/chicago_office_of/Foursquare.htm
The Denton CVB should create and maintain a Facebook fan page. People of all ages, backgrounds and lifestyles are on Facebook, and networking and word-of-mouth are incredibly valuable. The CVB could use the page to inform fans of horse country tours and upcoming events as well as nearby hotels and places to shop. Denton could then “friend” other cities to reach people who are planning to travel to Dallas or Fort Worth. The CVB would need to keep the page updated with pictures and information, and monitor for spam, but otherwise it’s a cheap, easy way to connect with people.
Dentonlive.com needs to be redesigned to be more functional and attractive. The layout looks amateur and is hard to read. The right half of the page is empty on most of the articles, and the text is hard to read. The search bar also needs to be moved so that users can find exactly what they are seeking. The Denton CVB should make the Denton Live website look more like the Discover Denton website. There should be less text and information should be grouped better. Plus, the websites will look related, giving Denton a more unified image online.
Denton’s downtown square is where the people from all backgrounds, ages and interests come to hang out throughout the week and into the weekend. The Denton community stays true to the historical traditions of town squares. You can always catch musicians playing outdoor concerts on the courthouse lawn, families enjoying picnics or friends gathering to having a good time.
Denton’s historic town square looks like a lot of other downtown squares. It has a Golden Era courthouse, antique and boutique-style shops and restaurants. What sets Denton apart from the others is how alive it is!
Come enjoy, explore and be a part of this unique scene on a weekend getaway with your girlfriends. Here is a suggested itinerary for women who need a break.
Kick your weekend off with the ladies at Cellar 22 Wine & Cigar Bar. You can take a tour through their wine collections, enjoy sample wine tastings or indulge in their “Cozy Party.” The party has table seating for 6-15 people, you’ll receive 3 bottles of wine, 6 bottles of beer, 12 bottles of water, and 1 Tray of gourmet cheese/cheese spreads and crackers.
After you’ve relaxed with some wine enjoy some eclectic cuisine and upscale comfort food in an artistic and historic atmosphere at Hannah’s Off The Square.
In Denton there is always music playing somewhere. Start your Saturday morning with a live Acoustic Lawn Jam outside the historic courthouse from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
After listening to the live jam, you can continue your exploring of the arts with a walk four blocks over to the Oxide Gallery, located inside the Linwood-Alford Florist building. This for-sale consignment gallery is dedicated to local North Texas artists.
Achieve total relaxation at the Still Waters Day Spa. Every woman loves a mani & pedi, but you can also take advantage of the full-service spa and choose from a variety of packages.
After your pampering, head to El Guapo’s for some Tex-Mex with homemade tortillas, amazing queso and not to mention their excellent Happy Hour. They have a full bar with inexpensive drinks.
Spend the rest of your afternoon in Denton doing what women do best, shopping! The square is filled with unique clothing boutiques, one-of-a-kind home goods and antique stores. Visit Denton Main Street for a preview of the shops. One local favorite that is slightly off the square, but still within walking distance, is Sleeping Lizards.
Catch a show at the Campus Theater and watch the professionals and Denton locals bring stories to life through great music, great acting and great stage design. While planning your trip, make sure there is a show playing on your weekend.
Wrap up the evening with dinner at The Greenhouse Restaurant and Bar. The Greenhouse was voted the Best Outdoor Dining 2010 by the readers of the Denton Record-Chronicle. The restaurant features a mesquite grill, signature cocktails and great atmosphere.
After absorbing all of Denton’s creativity, put your inspiration to work by creating your own jewelry at Bumble Beads. They offer a wide assortment of beads to create your own work of art or you can book a class for you and your gals.
Stay on the square for lunch and enjoy your last hours with the ladies at The Abbey Inn Restaurant and Pub. With the mood and ambiance of an English pub, the Abbey Inn serves authentic, freshly prepared traditional British favorites, blended with contemporary American cuisine.
You can visit Discover Denton for more ideas and a list of hotel rooms.
Think you know Denton music? Think again! You wouldn’t believe some of the artists who got their start in Denton. See if you recognize any of these names:
This nine time Grammy-winning artist studied jazz piano at the University of North Texas before she hit it big. She has even performed her music on Sesame Street!
This Grammy winning musician and Fight Club actor attended UNT back when he was known as Marvin Lee Addy and UNT was known as North Texas State University.
Image credit: http://blog.myforestparkapartments.com
This polka/unclassifiable band has been a staple of Denton for over 20 years. In that time, they won two Grammy awards and appeared on The Simpsons.
Bowling for Soup
Grammy-nominated pop-punk band Bowling for Soup has had several radio hits since their inception in 2004. They were also nominated for an Emmy for the theme song of the Disney channel show Phineas and Ferb.
Deep Blue Something
Their hit single “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is a staple of 90’s music, and has even been the subject of a Saturday Night Live sketch.
The Eagles’ lead singer attended North Texas State University (now UNT) from 1967 until 1969. Some suggest that the Eagles’ band name was inspired by UNT’s mascot Scrappy the Eagle. Henley has had great success with the Eagles and as a solo artist.
Eli Young Band
Their album Always the Love Songs spent 37 weeks on the Billboard country charts. The album featured the hit single “When it Rains.”
This band got their start in Denton, TX, but their star rose when they won VH1’s Band on the Run competition.
Founded by jazz students at UNT, Midlake has found considerable success in Europe. Actor Jason Lee is a huge fan of Midlake; he even directed their music video for “Balloon Maker.”
An incredibly popular musician, Boone spent time in Denton when he attended North Texas State University (now UNT). He has also appeared in a number of movies, hosted his own TV show, and released an album of heavy metal covers.
Orbison also attended North Texas State University, where he was enrolled as a geology major. Many of his songs appeared on the Billboard Top 40 charts, and in movies such as Pretty Woman and Blue Velvet.