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Dallas - Fair Park


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Fair Park in Dallas, home of the State Fair of Texas, is developing plans to add new attractions that would convert the midway into a summer-long attraction. The new attractions would be part of a project called Summer Park Place. The new attractions include:

  • Ground broke on Tuesday on a 1,8000 foot long tram that will carry up to 5,000 riders an hour 73 feet above the midway. It is scheduled to be finished by September 28th, when the State Fair opens.

  • A proposal will be presented on Monday for a 450 tall observation tower that would be completed by 2008. There will be an 8,000 sf museum at the base of the tower that will be located at the east end of the Cotton Bowl.

  • A proposal will be presented next year for a speed boat ride that would carry riders at 60 mph by the midway.

Current plans call for two boats carrying 40 people. Propelled by magnets, the boats will accelerate to 60 mph in four seconds along a 400-foot track, swing around and return. To enhance the experience, the boats will spit fire from their exhaust pipes, emit a heart-pounding rumble and spew a rooster tail of water behind them.

"It will be a fairly short ride, but it will be a pure shot of adrenaline," Mr. McKoy said.

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Another recent article about the new attractions planned for Fair Park.

The tram dubbed "Sky Texas" will have eight poles supporting the guide way. The poles will be painted white to reflect different color lights that will shine on them. The gondolas will also be outlined in LED rope lights and will have a vinyl wrap. A final design for the wrap has yet to be decided.

The observation tower, called Centennial Tower, will be 450 feet tall which is twice the height of the Texas Star Ferris wheel. The tower design resembles the Space Needle. The will be a total of 9,000 sf of observation area on two levels at the top of the tower. One of the levels will be enclosed and and air conditioned could host banquets or other events. The museum at the base of the tower will commemorate the 1936 Texas Centennial that lead to the creation of Fair Park. The steel structure of the tower will be capable of displaying pyrotechnic and light shows at night during the State Fair.

Other projects are being studied too.

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The State Fair of Texas has recently acquired a collection of memorabilia from a private collector of items from the 1936 Texas Centennial that was held at Fair Park. It was purchased from Mr. Charles Kavanaugh, who collected over 3,000 items from the event over the last 30 years. The collection will some day be housed in a visitors center that will be built at the base of the planned 450 foot tall observation tower.

Although the exposition celebrated the state's 100th anniversary, it was, in effect, a world's fair, he said.

"It was a big promotional thing that announced to the world that Dallas is here and that we're worthy," Mr. Olson said.

The event took place over 178 days at Fair Park, eventually bringing in more than 6 million visitors.

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