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State Fair of Texas
Each fall the State Fair of Texas comes alive in Fair Park. I love that time of year when the huge ferris wheel starts moving! It's home to the Texas/OU game, midway rides, corn dogs, fried snicker bars, and more. It's for families, girls, men, farmers, anyone really! I love it!! Some of the fun things to do: petting zoo, feeding the animals, concerts, craft fair shopping, bird show, rides, games, eating!
Now, because it falls in September and October people from outside of Texas might think...it gets cool, right? WRONG! It is summer until January here so please make sure to dress accordingly!
They have also started lining up famous country singers to perform on the weekends. So, take a look at the calendar, pick a day where one of your favorite singers is performing and come enjoy a great time!
*Plenty of alcohol is served!! So you can make a night of it. Great for a date, too :)
*Make sure to look into your transportation there. If you make a day for it I would recommend taking a bus. If you are just going at night for a few hours you might look into parking closer to the attractions.
If you like music theatre then check out the musical playing at the time with Dallas Summer Musicals. It makes a great couple of hours out of the sun. You can find their schedule at www.dallassummermusicals.org
- Family Travel
Ok, so the fairpark is fairly difficult to navigate if you don't know the area. I actually drove on walkways! My mistake, however, the architecture and art around the fairpark is like treasure hunting, there is something unique around every corner.
Our trip there included going to the BodyWorlds exhibit. It was great, educational and exciting! The gift shop for the exhibit was wonderful too. Again, I love to shop if you haven't noticed. However, the cafe...horrible...the food was great but I could have eaten at a five star restaurant for what they charged for vending machine food.
- Family Travel
- Museum Visits
- Arts and Culture
Sydney Smith Memorial Fountain
The Sydney Smith Memorial Fountain sits outside the Music Hall in Fair Park. Sydney Smith was a long-time Secretary of the State Fair Association. Captain Smith was a Confederate veteran who fought during the Civil War and served 4 years in Company D. He died in 1912 at the age of 73 and is buried at Greenwoods Cemetery. The memorial was unveiled on October 14 in 1916 by his granddaughter. The statue is sculptured by a Dallas artist Clyde Gitner Chandler. It consists of 4 female figures which symbolise the characteristics of Texas - 'Mountain' is seated, 'Prairie' at her knee, 'Gulf' reclines and the winged 'Gulf Clouds'. At the time of this photo, the fountain was not operating.
The Tower Building is a focal point of the Centennial Exposition of Fair Park. It was formally called the Federal Building and was designed in 1936 by Dahl. In 1999 this 40,000sqft exhibition hall underwent restoration. The interior rotunda has 4 murals in each corner which represent the four compass regions of America. The ceiling is decorated with stenciling and floor is patterned. All the original furniture still remains in the room.
The bas relief on the front of the building were designed by Julian Garnsey and tells the story of the history of Texas.
From the terracotta looking paths you can see some unusual little bridges in the main lagoon where you can see the odd turtle or two sunning themselves. A regular pathway under shady trees connects both ends of the lagoon.
Texas Discovery Gardens
The Texas Discovery Gardens sit on 7.5 acres in the Fair Park grounds. Like most of the buildings in Fair Park, the gardens building is Art Deco style and has been designated as a National Historic Landmark
There are various areas to walk around and view. First just off the main building is the Tropical Conservatory
Open : Tues - Sat 10am - 5pm, Sundays 1 - 5pm. Closed Mondays. Admission is Free on Tuesdays.
The Gardens were built for the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition in Fair Park and had the first public conservatory in the Southwestern United States.
At the back of the property is the Grand Alley. A long pathway on either side leading down to a circular pond and found and a sculptured raised garden.
The Esplanade runs almost from the Parry Street entrance up to the Hall of State. There is a collection of art deco buildings which line either side of The Esplanade which were built for the Centennial Exposition. Usually down the centre is a reflecting pool. You will see Dallas downtown buildings in the backdrop.
Centennial Building Sculptures
Down the Esplanade, the Centennial and Automobile Buildings are flanked by sculptures (3 on each side) which represent the six nations that once ruled Texas.
The three sculptures in front of the Centennial Building represent Texas, Confederacy and Spain. They were designed by Lawrence Tenney Stevens
The Automobile Building Statues
The 3 statues which stand in from of the Automobile Building represent France, Mexico and the United States. These were sculpted by Raoul Jossett. The remaining three, which stand in front of the Automobile Building, represent Mexico, France and the United States and were sculpted by Raoul Josett.
Dallas Aquarium Education Center
The Aquarium educational opportunities for all ages to be able to see and learn more about the feeding and habitats of some of the species featured at the Aquarium. Various programs have been developed depending on age groups.
The Dallas Firefighters Museum
The Firefighters Museum has been set up in the 1907 No.5 Hook and Ladder Company Station right opposite Fair Park. They have a great collection of old fire equipment, clothing and fire trucks which includes 'Old Tige', a 1884 horse-drawn steam pumper and a 1936 ladder truck. All the displays record the history of fire fighting which span about 100 years. There is also more modern day equipment on display.
The museum is staffed by retired firefighters Wednesday through Saturday from 9-4. There is also a gift shop.
Fair Park is home to the State Fair of Texas, which is runs for about 3 weeks in Autumn and attracts more than 3.6 million visitors annually. When the fair is not on, the 277 acre area serves as a popular city park. The grounds also house 8 museums and the largest collection of cultural facilities in Dallas and the largest collection of 1930’s art deco style architecture in the United States.
More in my Travelogues.
Hall of State
The Hall of State is described as a majestic shrine depicting the history of Texas from its pioneer days through to around 1936. The building is a another beautiful example of art deco which you see around Fair Park and this particular building was built in 1936.
The Womens Museum
The Womens Museum is the nation's first comprehensive women's museum and it opened in conjunction with the State Fair 2000. It features a 30 foot electronic quilt (multi-media wall), mentor phones, morphing imagery, myth maze (glass labyrinth), listening wall, futuristic theatre and exhibits on loan from the Smithsonian Institution.
This building was originally built in 1910 as Dallas' first coliseum - cattle auctions were held by day and at night Operas were performed.
More in my Travelogue.
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