To Our State Fair of Texas Family and Friends,
With approximately six months until Big Tex takes his place for the 129th State Fair of Texas in the heart of Fair Park, arrangements are being made for another spectacular exposition. As members of the State Fair family, I felt the need to reach out to you regarding recent media reports related to the Fair and Fair Park.
These reports discuss the future of the National Historic Landmark and our home, Fair Park – and our place in it. I encourage each of you to read the recent articles published by The Dallas Morning News on DallasNews.com. We have voiced our support of the plan presented by the Fair Park Task Force that was commissioned by Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, in 2014. The group behind this other proposed plan featured in the articles is requesting the community’s input, and we feel, as loyal patrons of the State Fair of Texas and Fair Park, that includes you. We are fortunate to have the greatest guests and fans of the State Fair of Texas. Each of you have your annual Fair traditions and memorable moments with family and friends – pictures in front of Big Tex, a favorite Fair food, walking through the largest new car auto show in the Southwest or the grounds to admire the world’s largest collection of 1930’s Art Deco exposition buildings, competing in Creative Arts competitions, visiting and competing in Livestock events, enjoying the thrills of Midway games and rides, shopping with local vendors or watching some of your favorite artists on the Main Stage and legendary football rivalries in historic Cotton Bowl Stadium.
Dallas and Fair Park have been our home for 129 years, and we want that tradition to continue. Each year, the State Fair of Texas leases historic Fair Park from the City of Dallas, and works with Fair Park administration and museums throughout the grounds to create one of the greatest events in North America for people from all over to enjoy. The group behind the other proposal claim that the State Fair has complete control over the grounds for a four month period and that prohibits the park from holding other events. There couldn’t be anything further from the truth. In 2014 alone, the city was able to book 91 events during the lease window of the State Fair. We do everything possible to accommodate the city during this time so that events can continue to bring life to the park.
The State Fair of Texas is a private, non-profit organization and is one of the largest annual events in the country, helps create seasonal jobs for more than 6,000 people and is estimated to have an economic impact of more than $600 million on North Texas.
The Fair currently operates in 277 acres. This proposal relegates the State Fair of Texas to one-third of that space in a corner of the park with no infrastructure for operations. This would discontinue use of the historic buildings, like the Centennial, the Automobile, the Pan-Am Arena, the Creative Arts Building, the Music Hall, the Embarcadero, the Women’s Museum Building, the Esplanade, Marine Corps Square, the Tower Building and Big Tex Circle. This proposal would effectively end the 129-year tradition of the State Fair of Texas in Dallas.
There is no doubt that Fair Park itself and the surrounding neighborhood can be improved. The State Fair would like to be a part of this and we have expressed that to the community leaders in our dialogue concerning how we can make an impact beyond the millions of dollars we have historically put back into Fair Park and the hundreds of scholarships we provide to deserving youth. We strongly believe the best solution is to allow the Fair Park Task Force recommendations every opportunity to succeed while preserving the historic park. We believe this is far more desirable than taking a public, National Historic Landmark and turning it into a development.
This is YOUR Fair. We ask that you please make your opinion known after you read the below articles.
Today, March 26, 2015:
Earlier this week:
- Proposal calls for a radical redo of Fair Park — and the State Fair of Texas’ place in it
- Mayor Rawlings on proposed redo of Fair Park: ‘The cart’s a little before the horse on this’
Thank you for all of your support. We look forward to this year’s Fair, themed “Passport to Texas” and to continuing the tradition of the State Fair of Texas in our home, Fair Park.
Mitchell Glieber, President
State Fair of Texas