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Fair Park Aiming For Year-Round Events

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - When North Texans think of Fair Park in Dallas, the State Fair is likely to come to mind.

After that, many locals seem to draw a blank. “I haven’t been there [ because I don’t hear a whole lot about anything going on, so I just don’t go,” said Dallas resident, Katie Pablo.

Fellow Dallas resident Carissa Armstrong agrees. “I really don’t hear of any other events going on there, besides the fair,” Armstrong added.

Dallas councilman Dwaine Caraway wants to change Fair Park’s image of being a one-trick pony, by utilizing the fairgrounds year-round. “A lot of money leaves the city of Dallas because there’s nothing to do,” explained Caraway.

The State Fair is Fair Park’s biggest draw. It attracts 3,000,000 people every year. The next biggest draw is Earth Day Dallas which brings in about 75,000 visitors. The North Texas Irish Festival draws about 73,000.

Fair Park executives say the latter two are great festivals, but they want to go after larger events that last three, even four days long.

They also realize the events need to be promoted. “I think unless you come to the events, you don’t really know what’s taking place,” said Fair Park G.M., Daniel Huerta.

Huerta says plans are in the works for the new “Summer Adventure.” The three-month long event will feature amusement rides, cooling pools, food vendors, and a 500-foot observation tower called the Top Of Texas. Summer Adventure kicks off in May of 2013 and will remain open through August.

Other events set for Fair Park include, “Holiday Lights” which is scheduled to open in December, 2014. The “Cotton Bowl Spectacular” laser light show will open in June of 2015.

Councilman Caraway has suggested bringing in a marketing director to get the word out, but so far, that has yet to happen.

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