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may, 2024

10mayfriFeaturedA Texas Tradition: Inside Willie Nelson's Fourth of July Picnic7:00 pm - 8:00 pm Event Type :Book Presentation

Event Details

Join us in experiencing the magic that Willie Nelson sparked decades ago, a celebration that continues to unite music lovers under the vast Texas sky.

In “Picnic,” Dave Dalton Thomas delves into the heart of an American tradition, chronicling the evolution of the Willie Nelson Fourth of July Picnic, a concept that bloomed in the scorching heat of Central Texas in 1973. Drawing from two decades of meticulous research and personal attendance since 1995, Thomas offers a vibrant tapestry of music, camaraderie, and resilience, examining the event’s inception by a then forty-year-old Willie Nelson. Through interviews, anecdotes, and a detailed look at ten pivotal Picnics, Thomas captures the spirit of persistence against odds, the transformation of a community, and the enduring legacy of a festival that defied expectations, embodying the essence of Texas music and culture.

Dave will be in conversation with Steve Brooks, an artist from Dallas, who became Willie Nelson’s go-to designer in the 1970s and 1980s, crafting iconic concert posters, T-shirts, and logos. Their collaboration began with a poster for Nelson’s 1973 Abbott Homecoming, leading Brooks to contribute significantly to Nelson’s branding and the visual landscape of Texas music. Brooks’ work extended beyond Nelson, earning him recognition as the “Texas T-shirt Czar” for his extensive design contributions across the music industry.

About the author

Dave Dalton Thomas, formerly a journalist for the Austin American-Statesman, has obsessively researched the history of the Willie Nelson Fourth of July Picnic for more than 20 years. With the American-Statesman from 2002 to 2019, Thomas’s reporting and writing have also appeared in the Daily Beast,, Texas Highways, the San Angelo Standard-Times, and other outlets.


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(Friday) 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


The Wild Detectives

314 W 8th St, Oak Cliff, Dallas