(credit: KTVT/KTXA)

(credit: KTVT/KTXA)

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Downtown Dallas is going to be busy this weekend. MegaFest begins Thursday, with events planned at the Dallas Convention Center and the American Airlines Center, about a mile apart from each other. The family-friendly festival brings together some big names and thousands of attendees.

In fact, about 50,000 people are expected to attend the multi-day event in downtown Dallas, which is going to impact the local economy in a big way. Dallas officials estimate that all of those visitors will help bring in about $40 million for the city. This marks the first time that Dallas will host the star-studded, faith-based event.

MegaFest kicks off at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday morning and continues on Friday and Saturday. And the festival really is as massive as its name implies. The three-day event features seminars, concerts, a film festival and more. Several big name speakers are scheduled to appear, like Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Hudson and Cedric the Entertainer.

“I’m so excited,” said attendee Yolanda Smith. “I can’t explain how excited I am.”

Tickets to MegaFest cost $75 with some events requiring a separate admission ticket.

Event organizers said that MegaFest has a lot to offer, and people should walk away feeling empowered and inspired.

With so many visitors converging on the downtown area, DART has added more trains and a special route that will carry riders to and from the Dallas Convention Center and the American Airlines Center. That route will leave every few minutes. “We are increasing bus service. We are increasing rail service. We are adding additional capacity on our rail line,” stated DART spokesman Mark Ball. “We are creating a 24-bus shuttle between the venues, since the bus line does not directly connect those two venues.”

Also, some 300 DART workers will be in downtown Dallas over the next three days to help visitors determine where they need to go and the best way to get there.

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