Five stories that have North Texas talking: acrobatic cats are in town, a big fundraiser is coming back to Dallas, celebrating afterschool programs with art, and more.
- Talk about the cat’s meow. They push carts, ride skateboards and roll barrels. They ring bells, turn on lights and walk tight ropes. They jump through hoops. And they’re cats! The Amazing Acro-Cats perform starting at 7 tonight at Stage West Theater in Fort Worth. Can’t get there? Don’t fret, my pet. They also perform at 7 p.m. Friday and again at 1, 4 and 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. (Purr-fect.) Purchase tickets here. The show features the Rock Cats, an all-cat band. The group has performed across the country. “The purr-forming purr-sonalities have as much fun as their audience,” the Acro-Cats website says. Most of the cats have been adopted from shelters. Scroll down for some amazing videos of the cool cats in action.
- Big fundraiser coming back to Dallas: Bill Lively, who was the fundraising force behind the AT&T Performing Arts Center, is leaving National Geographic. He had joined the National Geographic Society to lead a major fundraising campaign. The effort was successful, so Lively is headed back to Dallas, The Dallas Morning News reports. He plans to “work for favorite causes in Dallas” and Colorado, The News said. Lively has raised lots of money for many groups. His National Geographic bio notes that he was the director of SMU’s campaign that raised more than $550 million. He was the founding president of the AT&T Performing Arts Center that raised more than $340 million to build the center’s Winspear Opera House, Wyly Theatre, Strauss Amphitheatre and Sammons Park. From 2009 through 2011, Lively was president and CEO of the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee. He also helped engineer the first comprehensive campaign for the University of North Texas System.
- Celebrating afterschool program with art: Visit the Fort Worth Stockyards this afternoon and be entertained by the chalk art creations of children participating in the Lights On! Afterschool Sidewalk Art Celebration. It’s happening at 3 p.m. Thursday at the Exchange Building at 103 E. Exchange Ave. Lights On! is a national celebration to call attention to afterschool programs for children. Students will create artwork that represents what they enjoy most about Fort Worth After School. There will be student entertainment including a Mariachi band from North Side High School.
- Majority Of Texas Fast-Food Workers Rely On Public Assistance: Fifty-nine percent of front-line fast-food workers in Texas rely on public assistance programs such as food stamps and Medicaid to support their families, according to a report released this week. “The report is a bit shocking,” one of its authors told the Texas Tribune. Texas had the seventh-largest percentage of front-line fast-food workers on public assistance among the 24 states included in the report. Louisiana had the highest, 73 percent. One fast-food worker who makes $7.75 an hour told the Tribune that it’s a struggle providing support for her seven children. “Without the food stamps, I don’t know how I would eat sometimes,” she said.
- NASCAR is bringing home the bacon: Want some bacon beer milkshake with your NASCAR? Get ready for the Shake ‘n Bacon Brew beer milkshake at the Texas Motor Speedway. The frothy beverage includes six ounces of Rahr & Sons Ugly Pug Black Lager, six ounces of Blue Bell vanilla ice cream and two ounces of bacon-infused maple syrup. It’s all mixed in a blender. Then it’s topped off with three ounces of whipped cream and bacon crumbles. Don’t drink beer? A Shirley Temple version is available, served with root beer. The drink makes its debut at the Fort Worth facility from Halloween through Nov. 3 during the AAA Texas 500 NASCAR tripleheader race weekend. Shake ‘n Bacon Brew joins a growing list of bacon-themed items, including Hawg Heaven bacon cotton candy, Bacon Martini, Smokin’ Hubcaps (or brisket on a glazed donut), a macaroni and cheese hot dog and chocolate-covered Pit Stop Popcorn.
OK, here are those cool cat videos that we promised. (You’re welcome):