Category Archives: Coppell

Mark your calendar!

Family Field Day
April 29, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
@ Cimarron Park Recreation Center

It’s time to put away the sibling rivalry and team up together with the family. Compete in a variety of classic events such as the sack race, and enjoy a picnic when the event is over. Cost: Free. This is a family event and open to all ages.

Run 4 The Dogs 5k
April 29, 8 a.m.
@ Mountain Creek Preserve

The Irving High School student council is sponsoring Run 4 the Dogs 5K benefitting Search One K9 Search and Rescue Team on Saturday, April 29, at Mountain Creek Preserve (1000 E. Hunter Ferrell Rd., Irving, TX 75060). The race begins at 8 a.m. for runners without dogs and at 8:15 a.m. for runners with dogs. Cost is $25 or $20 for students and includes a T-shirt, bandana for a dog and a koozie. Register at

Nimitz Farmers Market
April 29, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
@ Nimitz High School

The Agricultural Science department at Nimitz High School will host a farmers market from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, to showcase the school’s student-run enterprises. Students operate Nimitz Pet Care, Nimitz Floral Design, Nimitz Horticulture and Nimitz Culinary, and they will be offering their services. Additionally, outside vendors from the community are invited to rent a booth. For more information, visit

Market Highlights:
-Plant sale (vegetables, produce, perennials, herbs)
-Pre-made flower arrangements
-Low-cost pet vaccine clinic
-Dog & Cat adoptions
-Low-cost dog grooming services
-Fair foods
-Arts, crafts, and agricultural vendors
**Market is student-run and benefits the Nimitz FFA Chapter.

Celebrating Irving: Trivia Final Round
April 29, 10 a.m.
@Valley Ranch Library

Ten teams were scheduled to play Irving Trivia on Saturday, April 22, as part of the Celebrating Irving : The City and The Man April events.  Four of those teams will now advance to the finals which will be held on Saturday, April 29 at 10am in the Valley Ranch Library.  Emcee Craig Boleman juggled the questions for the teams during the preliminaries.  Questions are based on the life and works of Washington Irving, the history of Irving and local current events.  A number of tie breakers were required for many of the rounds.

Advancing to the finals this year will be the current champions from the Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau competing again a new team of the Ladies of the iGang.   The La Cima Heritage Committee will face off against the Irving Arts Center team.  The competition is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Irving Heritage Society, Irving Public Library, Irving Art Association, Irving Independent School District,  Irving Black Arts Council, National Scouting Museum, Boy Scout Troop 773 and the City of Irving.   For more information, visit or call 972-252-3838. 

Celebrating Irving: Geocaching Finale
April 30, 3 p.m,
@Jaycee Center for the Arts

The Celebrating Irving Geocaching Finale will be held on Sunday, April 30, at 3pm in the Jaycee Center for the Arts, 1975 Puritan Drive.  Participants who have found 50 percent of the locations in the Celebrating Irving series will receive a special prize in addition to other prizes to be awarded.  You do have to be present to win. Refreshments will be served.

For information about registering to participate in the geocaching search of the Celebrating Irving series, visit or call 972-252-3838.

Irving ISD Teacher of the Year Celebration
May 4, 6 p.m.
@ Singley Academy

Irving ISD will honor campus Teachers of the Year and announce the two teachers selected as the Irving ISD Elementary Teacher of the Year and the Irving ISD Secondary Teacher of the Year at a celebration on Thursday, May 4, at Singley Academy. This event, which traditionally has been held in the fall, will now take place in the spring as one big celebration and unveiling of our 2017 District Teachers of the Year. Open to the public, the celebration begins with a reception at 6 p.m. followed by the program at 7 in the Singley Academy auditorium.

Immunization and Health Fair
May 6, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
@ Schulze Elementary School

Irving ISD’s Clinic and Health Services Department, in conjunction with UT Southwestern Medical Center and UT Southwestern Pediatric Interest Group, will host an Immunization and Health Fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 6, at Schulze Elementary School (1200 S. Irving Heights Dr.). There will be free or low-cost immunizations, free school physicals, vision and hearing exams, dental screenings, assistance in enrolling in Medicaid/CHIP/SNAP, prizes and games and a bike helmet giveaway. Parents will need to bring vaccination records and Medicaid card (if applicable). For more information and to sign up for sports physicals and insurance appointments, visit

Garage Sale at First United Methodist
May 6, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
@ First United Methodist Church

First United Methodist Church will have a giant Garage Sale 8 a.m. –  2 p.m. Sat. May 6 on Ohio Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets. 

Funds raised to go missions and ministries.

Please come!

For more information, call Cindy Alleman at 972-253-3531.

Dia de la Familia
May 6, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
@ Richland College

Richland College will host a day of family fun when Dia de la Familia comes to the campus on Sat., May 6, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This annual free event is presented by the Dallas County Community College District and will feature free food, entertainment, children’s activities, tours of Richland College facilities and more.

Entertainment during the day will include performances from Folklorico, a dance group from Lake Highlands High School who performs traditional Mexican folk dances; top winners from the Richland College “So You Think You Can Dance contest”; a dance party with the school’s mascot, R. Mobius Thunderduck; and more.

For details, call 972-238-6194. Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Rd. in Dallas.

Irving ISD Board of Trustees Election
May 6
@ Multiple locations (see link below for polling locations)

The Irving ISD Board of Trustee election for single-member District 2 will be held on Saturday, May 6. For more information, visit

Don’t Miss these Local Events!

Coffee with a Cop
April 22, 9 AM - 11 AM 

Come out for a free cup of coffee and meet your local police officers. It is a perfect time to discuss any nonemergency issues you might be experiencing at McDonald’s, 5220 N. MacArthur Blvd, Irving, TX 75063.

Canal Fest
April 22, 2 to 8 p.m.

The event is returning to the Mandalay Canal in Las Colinas. Music is a big part of Canal Fest, and this year’s lineup includes Jenna McDaniel, Jonathan Fox Band, King David Band and Love & Happiness, performing a variety of music including Top 40, country, jazz and R&B. But the beats do not end there. The Musicians’ Corner, along the south side of the canal, will feature Zach Coffey, Joel Cross and Molly Ray Rockwell.

Concert Series 4 Kids
April 27, 10 am

The music of Mister G is just half the fun, the event has so much more going on. Before the show starts kids can check out the playground and participate in a craft activity. There will be a concession stand available; however, outside food and drinks are allowed. Covered seating is limited, attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets. Admission and parking are free. 

Minority Women/Business Vendor Workshop
April 27, 5:30 p.m.

Representatives from key City of Irving departments including Capital Improvements, Building Services, and Parks and Recreation will discuss the various types of goods and services contracts they require and the bidding process. Attendees are encouraged to ask questions during the presentations.

Workshop registration is scheduled Irving City Hall, First Floor Council Conference Room, 825 W. Irving Blvd. MWBE administrators will begin presentations at 6 p.m.

The city encourages all interested to attend and to RSVP with Deborah McVean, MWBE program administrator, (972) 721-3753 or 

Heritage Society 13th Annual Fish Fry
April 28, 5 – 7 p.m.

The Irving Heritage Society’s Annual Fish Fry will be held at Heritage Park, 2nd and Main Street. Past guests have put their “seal of approval” on this delicious meal and fun evening. The event will include a silent auction of cakes as well. Fish fry tickets are $12.50 in advance or $15 at the gate. Tickets for children 3-8 years are $5. Children 2 years and under are free. Advance tickets are available at Big State Fountain and Grill at Main/Irving Blvd., the Mustang Museum at Williams Square, from Heritage Society board members, or by calling 972-252-3838.

Visitors are always welcomed at Heritage Society events. See the website for more information on this as well as other upcoming activities or call 972-252-3838.

Irving Concert Series
April 28, 7 to 8:45 p.m.

The Irving Concert Series will highlight several genres with a New Orleans influence including jazz, big brass, Cajun and more. Food vendors will serve up dishes with flavors straight from NOLA.

All shows and are held at the Whistlestop Plaza, 123 W. Irving Blvd., Irving, TX 75060. Admission and parking are free. Seating is not provided, visitors are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs. Outside food and beverages are allowed. Mardi Gras beads will also be passed out, while supplies last.

Don’t Miss these Local Events!

Irving Concert Series

April 14, 7 to 8:45 p.m.

The Irving Concert Series will highlight several genres with a New Orleans influence including jazz, big brass, Cajun and more. Food vendors will serve up dishes with flavors straight from NOLA.

All shows and are held at the Whistlestop Plaza, 123 W. Irving Blvd., Irving, TX 75060. Admission and parking are free. Seating is not provided, visitors are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs. Outside food and beverages are allowed. Mardi Gras beads will also be passed out, while supplies last.

April 14, The N’awlins Gumbo Kings.

Easter Eggstravaganza

April 15, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Easter Eggstravaganza at First Baptist Church in Irving (403 S. Main Street). Free event! Fun for the whole family! Easter egg hunt, games, bounce house, caricature artist, music, food, and more!

Friends of the Coppell Public Library

The Friends of the Coppell Public Library are seeking donations of gently used books, movies, magazines, etc. for their upcoming BIG Book Sale. Donations may be delivered to the Cozby Library and Community Commons, 177 N. Heartz Rd. Coppell, Texas. Receipts are available for tax deductions. The BIG Book Sale will be held on Saturday, April 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Library Meeting Room. Members of the Friends of the Coppell Public Library may shop early beginning at 9 a.m.

For more information, please call 972-304-3658, stop by the Information Desk, or email

Annual CozbyCon Art Contest

April 1 – April 30

The 7th annual CozbyCon Art Contest at the Cozby Library and Community Commons is open to any student in grades K – 12. Art submissions will be accepted at the Library’s Information Desk or via email at through Sunday, April 30. Artwork submission forms and guidelines are now available via the library website,, and at the Library Information Desk.

Createria Studios is sponsoring prizes and will be judging the contest. Prizes will be awarded to the winning artwork in each of four grade categories: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Winners will be announced at CozbyCon (the library’s anime/comic/fandom convention) on Saturday, May 13, 2017 from 12 – 4 p.m.

The Cozby Library and Community Commons is located at 177 N. Heartz Rd. Coppell, Texas. For more information, please call 972-304-3658.

Your Local Events

Winter Guard International’s Regional competition

February 18

Coppell High School will host Winter Guard International’s Dallas Regional competition. Over 40 high school winter guard organizations from Texas to Mississippi will perform, including Coppell’s own varsity color guard team.

Winter Guard is an indoor pageantry activity that involves an array of equipment, movement, and skill. Flags, rifles, sabres and other props are utilized to bring music and themes to life while displaying technique, creativity, and expression. Competition is separated into six classes based on the complexity of the program and if the color guard is affiliated with a school (scholastic) or not (independent).

Tickets are $12 for prelims, and $15 for finals. A $24 combo prelims/finals ticket is also available at the box office on the day of the event. For more ticket and schedule information for this and all WGI events, please visit


Annual Black History Program

February 19, 4PM

Featuring Take The Bus! by Earnestine Rose and Unveiling of the 2017 USPS Heritage Stamp Irving Postmaster Rodney Malone. Admission FREE, Irving Arts Center – Dupree Theater, Reception immediately following.


African American Read-In & Desserts

February 22, 12:30 – 2 p.m.

Students, staff and faculty will share excerpts from literature to express their personal perspective on the crisis in black education. Afterwards, attendees may enjoy a variety of traditional African-American desserts.

North Lake College (NLC) will celebrate Black History Month with a series of free events throughout the month of February. Suitable for all ages, the celebrations will take place in the Gallery and Student Life Center at the Central Campus at 5001 N. MacArthur Blvd. in Irving.


Lone Star Youth Orchestra

February 22, 7 PM

The Lone Star Youth Orchestra invites you to join us as we present The Symphony Sings! Evening highlights include favorite selections by Saint-Saëns and Ponchielli, as well as a performance by one of our very own LSYO Concerto Competition winners, Victoria Hwang! You won’t want to miss this spectacular event! Call 972-252-2787 to get your tickets. Concerts occur at the Irving Arts Center’s Carpenter Hall.

Victoria Hwang, of Coppell, TX, first picked up the violin in preschool. Now in 9th grade at Coppell High School, she continues to play, developing her musical technique and artistry. Over the years, she has taken part in various orchestras and ensembles. In Florida, she won her first solo violin state title in 2009. After moving to California in 2012, she performed with the Reverie Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Conejo Valley Youth Orchestra, and continued to compete and win multiple competitions in solo, duet, and quartet categories. Following another move to Texas in 2015, she performed with the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra. Now a member of the Lone Star Youth Orchestra, she is one of the winners of the Lone Star Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition. She really enjoys her musical experience under the enthusiastic direction of Maestro Pearce.

Life Safety Park provides Coppell with educational, operational facilities

A ribbon cutting ceremony officially signaled the opening of Life Safety Park, Coppell’s newest education facility, on Saturday, Jan. 28. The park, a brand new educational facility in Main Street Coppell, is designed to teach children how to stay safe in a number of situations including during severe weather, a fire or while driving a vehicle.

“[Children] will learn all aspects of life safety, growing up and beyond,” park manager Jamie Perkins said. “It’s not just fire safety, but pedestrian safety, motor vehicle safety, bicycle safety. They’ll learn all different aspects of what it’s going to take to remain safe as they grow into the community.”

The main feature of Life Safety Park is a miniature city, complete with its own fire station, in which children will be able to explore, ride bikes, and even drive around so they can learn how to stay safe in traffic.

“We’ve built a miniature city for [children] to walk around and learn what to recognize and what to look for,” Perkins said. “We’re starting with just the smaller kids, but this is also a facility that can grow as we develop our curriculum. It can grow with the middle school kids and high school kids.”

The park also features a museum and will offer classrooms and meeting places that can be rented for public use.

In addition to education and meeting facilities, Life Safety Park also serves as Coppell’s official emergency operations center. In the event of an emergency, city departments will now be able to meet at the park and enact an emergency response, which will allow for quicker, organized feedback.

Coppell Chief of Police Mac Tristan explained how this new facility benefits the city of Coppell.

“When a major event occurs, whether it’s man-made or weather-related, the quicker public safety can come together and respond to that event, the more likelihood you save lives,” Tristan said. “There have been instances, and sadly, we have learned from prior instances, where this person doesn’t know what “this” person is doing, this department doesn’t know what “this” department is doing, and that lack of communications causes a delay in response to that emergency. With what we do here, we have the ability to work from every station: police, fire, traffic, public works, you name it. Every city department comes together for one event.”

At the ceremony, Chief Tristan, along with Fire Department Chief Kevin Richardson, City Manager Clay Phillips, and Mayor Karen Hunt, came forward to speak about the park and to formally cut the ribbon.

The fire department also held a retirement ceremony for one of their oldest fire engines, Engine No. 41, which will now be permanently on display at Life Safety Park. Following the ceremony, children were allowed to play at the park and take part in a number of games and activities. Police, firemen and EMS workers were also on hand, teaching the children about safety and letting the kids explore their various vehicles.

Along with the many families and first responders, a number of city council and city officials were in attendance at Saturday’s ceremony, including Mayor Pro Tem Wes Mays. He said the park has been in development for several years.

“Some of our existing members who were actually on the fire department and in city offices started brainstorming about how to create an environment that actually saves lives before emergencies happen,” Mays said. “That’s the important and really wonderful thing about Life Safety Park. It teaches life skills to people about how to prevent accidents and what to do in case there is an accident. I see this as just a wonderful benefit for our citizens and especially for the generations to come.”

Police Chief Mac Tristan agrees that education is the best way to prevent both accidents and crimes from occurring.

“You can respond to a crime that has been committed,” Tristan said. “You can take that report, you can follow up, but how do we prevent that crime from being committed? The best way to do that is to educate our community, the public, to not become victims of crime.”

Chris Jackson unlocks mysteries of urban wildlife

Photo: Author and wildlife photographer Chris Jackson leads a discussion on urban wildlife at the Biodiversity Education Center. /Photo by Joe Snell

Chris Jackson always had a hard time answering why he enjoyed urban wildlife. It was one of those things, he said, where you just know when you know. Speaking to a room full of wildlife enthusiasts at the Biodiversity Education Center on Jan. 21, the author and expert on all things animals credited adventure and mystery as two reasons he fell in love with the craft.

In one example, Jackson recalled being baffled when he stumbled upon a pair of two box turtle skeletons next to each other near Lewisville. Sightings of the skeletons have become increasingly rare in recent years and the mystery of the scene intrigued him.

“When I was a boy, any time I went outdoors I would find one of those things,” Jackson said. “But in the intervening decades, something has happened and their numbers have dropped off. To find two skeletons side by side really had me scratching my head. It made me wonder what the story could be. I still, even to this day, don’t have a good answer for that.”

The discussion, titled “Wildlife in your backyard,” was part of a larger monthly lecture series sponsored by the Friends of Coppell Nature Park. Jackson specifically likes observing animals in urban environments because it is readily accessible and the animals are conditioned to being closer to humans.

“I talk to a lot of people who go out in the country and won’t see wildlife,” Jackson said. “In the city, the wildlife is accessible and tolerant. It’s used to people being around, so it gives you a little bit extra tolerance from the animal. You can get a little bit closer and they’ll ignore you for a little bit longer.”

Taking a picture of wildlife is inherently challenging, he said, and any advantage a photographer can gain is helpful. A former software engineer, 12 years ago Jackson decided he wanted to add website development to his resume. He spent a few weeks putting together an early version of the DFW Urban Wildlife website, a site dedicated to documenting urban animal life in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Soon after creating the website, Jackson dusted off his old Pentax-K-1000 35mm camera he used in college and more aggressively pursued nature photography. His early results, he admits, were not stellar; but he became immediately hooked.

“For years I harbored an unexpressed interest in photography and writing,” Jackson said. “I needed a venue. Now my primary objective is just to observe and hopefully see something new. If I get to see something interesting, some new behavior or maybe an animal that I haven’t seen frequently or an animal in a new place, I get real excited. Now if I can document it in a photograph, that’s even better.”

The Biodiversity Education Center is a green constructed, net zero building, receiving power from 96 solar panels and includes a cistern that captures over 9,000 gallons of rain water. The center sits on 66 acres at the Coppell Nature Park and is consistently used by Friends of Coppell Nature Park (FCNP), a group that acts as a bridge between outdoor enthusiasts and the larger nature park. FCNP, a 501c3 organization, hosts a number of different activities in the area.

“We put on different lecture series, do trail maintenance, and have events throughout the year [including] the lecture series,” FCNP board member Pamela Graham said. “We have hundreds and hundreds of volunteers that help us maintain. We also work closely with the school districts.”

The nature park, Jackson said, is a perfect location for anyone looking to begin wildlife photography and stressed four elements all newcomers should keep in mind when first starting: a subject to shoot, a place to go, a camera, and a reason to engage. The biggest mistake Jackson noticed in new animal photographers is not having enough patience.

“Just like with so many other pursuits, wildlife photography requires a certain level of dedication to master,” he said. “Developing a proficiency with wildlife photography is a journey, and I think sometimes beginners are not patient enough with themselves. You have to give yourself a chance to grow and learn over what — for some of us — can be a long period of time.”

Jackson documents a lot of his findings on iNaturalist, a website that encourages users to share wildlife pictures and engage in discussion about each of their findings. The discussion, he said, is the most important part to helping us realize the impact these animals have on our lives.

“Everything that makes us enjoy stories and books and movies can be found by observing wildlife,” Jackson said. “It’s the real thing. Try to put yourself in the place of some of these animals and the struggles they have to go through and how everything is on the line for them all the time. They don’t have doctors. They don’t have 911 they can call. There’s really a lot to admire about what they can do.”

Coppell High School Band wins 24th consecutive UIL Marching Sweepstakes Award

Photo: The Coppell High School Band performs their 2016 show “Now I see” at the Region 31 UIL Marching Contest. /Photo by Susan Edgley

By Susan Edgley


With marching season in full swing, the Coppell High School Band has been competing in back to back marching contests in October, earning trophies and glowing reviews.

In Region 31 UIL Marching Contest held at Pennington Field on Oct. 18, Coppell achieved a Division I rating, earning a 24th consecutive UIL Marching Sweepstakes Award. As a result, Coppell will advance to the area contest which will be held on Oct. 29.

At the Plano East Marching Invitational (PEMI) preliminary round, held at John Clark Stadium on Oct. 15, Coppell won the 6A caption awards for best Winds and Guard, and placed 2nd in Class 6A. Coppell went on to win 2nd place overall in the finals competition, and achieved the highest point total for Guard.

“The students’ level of confidence and the will to succeed are definitely showing on the field,” said Adrian Caswell, Associate Director of Bands. “They are making a shift from worrying about making a mistake to believing in themselves and performing their best. Rehearsals, repetitions, and gaining positive affirmations are contributing to their momentum.”

Color Guard Director, Matthew Rummel, is proud of the Coppell Guard and the hard work and dedication that led to the PEMI6A Guard win in prelims and the overall win in finals.

“While winning is never our objective, it is a great vote of confidence that our students are on the right track,” Rummel said. “There was fierce competition that night with a few of the best guards in the state. To be compared to them in any way is a gigantic accomplishment for Coppell. It was a team effort and couldn’t have come to fruition without the support of the band directors, parents, and band booster association.”

Coppell’s 2016 marching show, “Now I See,” is both musically and visually compelling. Audiences have responded with enthusiastic praise and applause. Musical selections include “Amazing Grace” by John Newton, “Savannah River Holiday” by Ron Nelson, “It Is Well With My Soul” by Phillip Bliss, “107 Steps” by Bjork, and “Finale from the Organ Symphony” by Camille Saint-Saens.

The show title “Now I See” is based on the last line of Newton’s “Amazing Grace: I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now, I see.

Our perception of the world is our reality, but can different circumstances alter that perception?” Rummel asked.

Coppell’s marching program this year is comprised of four movements. Movement I, “Rose-Colored”, is a reference to seeing the world through rose-colored glasses.

“Everything from the colors to the choice we made in our music selection demonstrates a world that is rosy and bright,” Rummel said.

Movement II, “Windows to the Soul”, allows an inner reflection through the phrase, eyes are the windows to the soul.

“We went with an emotional hymn, “It Is Well With My Soul”, based on the music of Phillip Bliss,” Rummel said.

Movement III, “Blinded”, references not only physical blindness, but other things people blind themselves from that allow perception to lead to a different reality, than what it may actually be.

“The music selection is a departure for Coppell from the norm of what is musically programmed,” Rummel said. “It is meant to be shocking, and in the case of one musical note on the score, a little grotesquely loud. The colors are muted and accented with numbers to reference a person counting their steps through life. This contrasts dramatically with the finale.”

Movement IV, “Now I See,” is the finale. The lenses in the back of the large glasses will fall away and vibrant blue eyes will appear.

“For me personally,” Rummel said, “I was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s saying, ‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world.’ One can see the world through rose-colored glasses, or be blinded by hate and fear, but in the end, we can all be the change we want to see and do our part to make the world a better place.”

Oak Fest brings families and community closer together

A festive spirit flowed through the grounds of Wagon Wheel Park as the 10th annual Oak Fest drew hundreds of people to an open market which featured face painters, food vendors and music, to celebrate Coppell.

“We have bounce houses with zip lines,” Kami McGee, special events coordinator said. “The band is Limelight. They are actually a spinoff of Emerald City, and they have come to a lot of our events throughout the years.”

Held on Saturday, Oct. 15, the festival is one of 16 planned events scheduled to take place in the city of Coppell during 2016.

Children flocked to an array of offerings including bounce houses, train rides, and an opportunity to see Professor Branius with his wild and wacky science show.

With construction going on at the Andrew Brown Park East, Oak Fest 2016 was scaled down vendor-wise and moved to an alternative venue located off Freeport Parkway.

“It’s typically held over the east where most of the trees actually are, but since we are under construction and redoing the park temporarily, we are having it over here this year,” McGee said. “It’s a night to get the family together, the community together and just kind of have fun and enjoy each other. The weather is always beautiful in October.”

McGee who has been responsible for planning Oak Fest for the past six years said that many of the vendors who participated are vendors who have participated in past events.

“A lot of them are repeat vendors who come to a lot of our events and get to know the community pretty well,” McGee said. “They actually start to know the kids really well, because they come to almost every event. Some of the kids want to be here because they get to see “Mrs. Jaylen,” you know, so it’s really neat in building that relationship.”

Coppell resident Leslie McAhren, who has been an attendee of Oak Fest for years, said that the relocation of the event came as no surprise.

“We’ve been coming to Oak Fest for years as it’s usually behind our house, but they closed the park so now it’s here,” McAhren said. “They are doing a lot of renovations to the park. The new park makes this event even better, because they are putting a nicer pavilion in and a stage and a lot more grass space for things like this.”

McAhren also added that she looks forward to the event every year.

“The time of the year is great,” she said. “I think it’s great, because it brings families together, and people you know together; and you get to see a lot of people and bring the community together. It’s something to look forward to in the community.’

Although the year is coming to a close McGee has many other events planned for the final months of this year and events to continue to encourage community involvement.

“The goal of each [event] is to bring the community together and provide an opportunity throughout the entire year for everyone to come out, even an opportunity for the businesses of Coppell or organizations to come out and represent themselves in general to the community, what they have to offer,” McGee said.

Upcoming Events – Save the Date!

Annual Wildflower

October 15, 9 a.m.

Keep Coppell Beautiful will hold the annual Wildflower Seeding. Gather your family, friends, scout troop, and neighbors and come to Moore Road Park to participate in beautifying Coppell! There is no cost to participate in the Wildflower Seeding and pre-registration is not required. Participants are asked to arrive promptly at 9 a.m. at Moore Road Park join in the fun as it is a short event that wraps up quickly.

Teen Driver Safety Fair

October 15, 1 - 4 PM

Teens and their families will receive practical tips and tools to develop safe driving habits at this free, educational event presented at Lively Pointe Youth Center by AAA Texas. Activities will include interactive exhibits and games, vehicle simulators, vendor booths, guest speakers, informational videos and free goodie bags. Light refreshments will be served. Free and open to the public. All ages are welcome to attend.

Oak Fest

October 15, 5-9 p.m.

The City of Coppell’s Oak Fest returns with fun for the whole family! Live music will be provided by local favorite party band, Limelight. Limelight’s high-energy show mixes decades of classics with today’s hits, a combination sure to get the crowd on their feet. Professor Brainius will be back to entertain audiences young and old with his wild and wacky science show. Kids can also enjoy train rides, inflatable zip lines, face painting, balloon animals, a photo booth, and more. A variety of foods will be available for anyone looking to indulge festival favorites!

Due to park reconstruction at Andrew Brown Park East, Oak Fest will take place at Wagon Wheel Park, located at 345 Freeport Pkwy. Parking is available at the park, as well as along Creekview Dr. and Ruby Rd.

Blanket Drive

October 18, 5 to 9 p.m.

Members of the Coppell Football Team invite the community to join them for a blanket drive benefitting Austin Street Center at Chipotle Mexican Grill. Chipotle is located at 104 S. Denton Tap Road at Sandy Lake. Prior to Oct. 18th, blankets can be dropped off at Frost Bank in Coppell, Coppell Town Hall and at the Coppell High School field house where collection boxes are located.

Chipotle is hosting a give back night for Coppell Football donating a portion of the evening’s receipts to benefit the needs of the team. In turn, the football team wanted to give back to others.

Players will be collecting new or gently used twin size and extra-long twin size blankets. The center hands out blankets 365 days a year.

Illuminate Irving

October 18, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Irving Family Advocacy Center will host Illuminate Irving, a free event designed for the entire community that will offer a night of hope and healing for victims of domestic violence. Illuminate Irving will honor those who have been victimized, as well as friends and families of those touched by this pervasive crime. The goal for the event is dual purposed: awareness and education for the community, and support and healing for victims.

The event will take place at 200 E. Las Colinas Blvd., along Irving’s Mandalay Canal. Victims and their families will launch lanterns on the canal’s waters each bearing the name of a person whose life has been impacted by domestic violence.

Young Survival Coalition

October 20, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The North Central DFW Area Young Survival Coalition Face 2 Face network is having a meeting at Lifestream Health Centre & Med Spa at 705 Main Street in Coppell, Texas 75019. For more information, visit YSC-Breast-Cancer-Survivors-Meetup/.

Big Dogs Big Deals Adoption Event

Through October 31

In honor of Adopt a Shelter Dog month, Irving Animal Services is offering all large dogs – 40 pounds and larger – for a discounted adoption fee of only $25. Normally, the adoption fees range from $70 to $100.

Adopters must be at least 18 years of age and have a valid form of identification.

Animals being adopted will be:
Up-to-date on vaccinations, including rabies if the animal is over four months of age.

Spayed or neutered or $50 voucher towards spay / neuter (depending on surgery availability).

Given a general dewormer and flea prevention .

Microchipped and registered with 24PetWatch.

Heartworm tested (dogs over six months of age).

Coppell celebrates Mardi Gras a little early

Photo: Festive colors of a New Orleans tradition fill the Square in Old Town Coppell. /Photo by Vaughn-zel Lloyd

Hundreds of people crowded the Square in Old Town Coppell to celebrate a New Orleans tradition, Mardi Gras, typically celebrated in February or March.

Featuring live entertainment from the N’awlins Gumbo Kings, face painting, arts and crafts, an interactive fountain and playground for the children and most importantly a plethora of Cajun dishes, Mardi Gras in the Fall was a collaboration between the city of Coppell and Dodie’s.

“It’s just an opportunity to come together,” KamiMcgee special events coordinator said. “Our whole motto is to build communities. We make our goal to create opportunities for families to come out and spend time together. We are hoping that this becomes an annual event, because it’s really unique and it’s different.”

Part of the Mardi Gras tradition is the Cajun cuisine. Dodie’s, which specializes in this particular cuisine, provided jambalaya, étouffée, gumbo, boudin balls, chicken sandwiches and beignets. Frost Cupcakery provided cupcakes.

“The food in particular was a big draw, because I’m from Louisiana,” Coppell resident Gee Douglas said. “When I saw it was a Mardi Gras theme, I had to come check it out and see how they was going to portray us. I wanted to make sure that they did it right. “

This event marked the first time the city of Coppell allowed the selling of beer and wine in the Old Town Square.

“This is the first time we’ve had beer and wine in the city park,” Coppell City Council member Cliff Long said. “We had to pass an ordinance to get that accomplished and it has worked out fine. We had drinks at an event a couple of years ago, and they had to build a fence and put people in the cage for everybody that was drinking.”

Douglas, who moved to Coppell three months ago, commended the city for having events like Mardi Gras in the Fall.

“I do think it’s good for the community just to bring people out and get them together, especially with everything that’s going on in the world now,” Douglas said. “We see people from different walks of life come together in one place and be civilized, and you know I think it’s a reflection of the community. If you can bring people together and have no issues, I think it says something about people that are living here and that this is a good place to be.”

According to Long it’s important to have events like this, because the turnover rate in the city of Coppell is high.

“Coppell has a high turnover rate, but we’re about built out and maxed out, which is about 40,000,” Long said. “Unless something changes, we won’t have more [people] than that. There are a lot of mid level executives that get transferred around the country, but we want to make sure that the ones here have something to do. “

Long also mentioned that the city has plans to continue to enhance the Old Town Square where the Mardi Gras event was hosted. The square is highlighted by an architectural design that resembles a subdivision that was built in the mid 1930’s.

“This space used to be just soccer fields,” Long said. “This all began six or seven years ago. They came in with the design to mix the businesses, restaurants, office buildings and the row houses before they started building. The city has plans to add a theater, and a coffee house with a roaster ranch.