Friends of Fair Park, 1121 First Ave., Dallas, TX 75210 (214) 426-3400

Fair Park is Your Economical Holiday Wonderland

Savor the magic of the season more easily and economically than you can elsewhere

Fair Park is pretty magnificent to behold this time of year.

The holiday lights only heighten the already dramatic architecture on display in the Centennial Building, the Automobile Building, the Esplanade and the Hall of State.

But let's face it – lots of places across Dallas and Fort Worth offer some pretty magnificent holiday displays. Why bring your family to Fair Park for a dose of the seasonal spirit?

We're More Pedestrian Friendly

Pedestrian Friendly

I don't know about you, but I find being cramped in a car with the entire family – and chugging along at five miles per hour (if that) – can get real tedious, real fast. And even if you can get out of the car, walking in someone else's neighborhood, or some commercial development, just seems odd.

At Fair Park, you and your loved ones can stroll amid the lights and festivities underway at whatever pace you choose. And, you have legendary architecture to enjoy while you take in Fair Park’s delights.

It's less stressful, more blissful.

We're More Economical

The Tenor at night

Sure, you could spend up to $50 per car (plus gasoline) to view the lights in another part of town. But why, when Fair Park's holiday lights is free. Parking is free (or, for a minimal cost, you can take DART right to our front door).

Admission is free. The holiday extravaganza is free. The only charge you might incur is for concessions and tickets to any entertainment underway at the Music Hall at Fair Park. That leaves a lot of coins in your pocket for gifts for the kids or donations to a cause you hold dear.

As I said, Fair Park is pretty awesome to experience in December. Visiting the park during the holidays has been a Wood family tradition for many years now. I hope you and your family will start a similar tradition in the weeks ahead.

Matt Wood
Executive Director, Friends of Fair Park
1121 First Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75210
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

American sculptor Lawrence Tenney Stevens' Texas statue on the Esplanade

The State Fair Has Ended, But Fair Park's Allure Has Not

The crowds gone, November can be an exquisite time to visit our exquisite venue

A common urban myth is that when the State Fair of Texas comes to a close, there's no real reason to go to Fair Park. But I believe that period between the end of the state fair and the end of the year is one of the BEST times to wander, and wonder, at Fair Park.

Were you one of the many who missed the State Fair of Texas this year due to inclement weather? Consider this my personal invitation to come explore Fair Park in the weeks ahead. Here are a few reasons why you may discover this to be one of your favorite times to visit our National Historic Landmark:


Chi Omega Christmas

Few markets out there better satisfy those hunting for holiday gifts than the market staged at Fair Park each November by the Chi Omega sorority. This unique bazaar features around 200 merchants who are ready to sell you a new shawl for Uncle Paul or a tasty jelly for Cousin Shelly.

Before you buy any Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa or New Year's gift, explore the options brought to you by the Chi Omega sorority who, as a result of last year's market, donated $360,000 to local organizations (Note: All the monies spent at the merchant stalls go to the merchants. Donations stem from event ticket sales, merchant booth fees, donations and underwriting).

Hey, if you come to the market, say hello. My family buys about half of our Christmas presents at this wonderful, worthwhile event. November 14-17, Centennial Hall at Fair Park.


Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello: Paradox of Liberty

Most people know the African-American Museum at Fair Park opened a landmark exhibit this fall titled, "Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello: Paradox of Liberty." It is the first exhibit to present the story of Jefferson and his Monticello plantation from the perspective of Hemings and other slaves owned by the former president.

What most people do not know is that when the exhibit opened in September, not all of its components were in place. Now they are, making for a more compelling and educational experience, even if you saw the exhibition before or during the State Fair.

All the more fascinating: the exhibit offers a wealth of information about Jefferson and Hemings uncovered only recently by researchers and archaeologists. Through December 31. African-American Museum at Fair Park.


Leonhardt Lagoon

When you're elbow-to-elbow with others enjoying our great state fair, it’s tough to savor Fair Park's architecture. Once the fair ends, however, you and your family have a spectacular opportunity to enjoy, almost all to yourselves, what I like to call, 'our backyard.'

Marvel at the Art Deco splendor delivered by the Hall of State and Tower Building, among many other structures at Fair Park. Explore the grounds’ offbeat artworks and landmarks, including a replica of the Statue of Liberty, a statue of a bear given to Dallas by the people of Berlin, Germany, and the restored Woofus, which is part horse, steer, sheep, turkey, pig and duck.

Or, just sit in the landscaped park nestled behind Texas Discovery Gardens and drink in the cool fall weather.

Did you know that (except for when the park is leased for park-wide events), the gates to Fair Park are open from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m. and that admission is free? Just pull your car into one of the parking lots on-site or, better yet, take DART to Fair Park Station and come explore a magnificent venue that's never more walkable and pleasurable than it is in late fall.

I hope to see you somewhere in Fair Park during November.

Matt Wood
Executive Director, Friends of Fair Park
1121 First Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75210
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Interior of Embarcadero Building

The State Fair of Texas

More than just a great, family-friendly entertainment destination

The State Fair of Texas opens Friday, October 2, 2018 and will have something for everyone.

The Fair employees about 6,000 people each year for those in the Dallas area. The economic impact is significant each year, bringing in $410 to $499.9 million with another $59 million outside the park in hotel and restaurant business.

Besides the popular Midway with its rides, games, and souvenir stands, there are the usual and exotic food booths, livestock shows, exhibits, concerts, and the annual Texas vs OU football game in the historic Cotton Bowl stadium.

In its commitment to excellence, the State Fair of Texas focuses on five critical areas: Safety and Security, Cleanliness, Landscaping, Family-Friendliness, and Customer Service.

Last year’s attendance for the 24-day Fair was 2,250,433 visitors

In addition to all of the fun and food, the State Fair of Texas also provides educational and scholarship opportunities for Texas youth. Agricultural programs, Youth Livestock Scholarships, and the Pete Schenkel Scholarships for five DISD and Fair Park area, are all promoted toward students who qualify.

Over the past 4 years, more than $4.7 million has been awarded in new college scholarships.

We hope you will bring your family and friends to the State Fair of Texas this year and participate in all of the opportunities for you, your family, and friends to browse the grounds, visit the eating places, enjoy the rides, see the exhibits, and discover again this great Texas event.

We will be looking for you.

Daniel Huerta
Executive General Manager
City of Dallas
Dallas Park & Recreation Fair Park Administration
3809 Grand Ave.
Dallas, TX 75210
24-hour Information Line: 214-421-9600

The 2018 State Fair of Texas

Thank You for Donating to Friends of Fair Park!

It's nice to know you love Fair Park as much as we do

We're very glad to have your support.

We thank you for donating to Friends of Fair Park! Your backing helps us maintain Fair Park as one of the premier entertainment destinations in North Texas.

In a few days, you will receive an acknowledgment from the Friend of Fair Park with the tax information you will need for your records.

If you have any questions about your contribution, please contact Matt Wood, President, at (214) 426-3400 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thank you, again.

Fair Park mural preserved by the Friends of Fair Park

Thank you, Craig Holcomb!

Friends of Fair Park executive retires after 28 years

Craig Holcomb recently retired as the Executive Director of the Friends of Fair Park. Having served in that capacity since May 8, 1990, Craig provided gifted leadership to the Friends organization fervent advocacy for the Fair Park and the Fair Park campus of museums and attractions to insure the parks success.

During his tenure as Executive Director of Friends of Fair Park, Craig has demonstrated his passion for culture, historic preservation, and making Fair Park a world class park. He has been diligently committed to making Fair Park a year-round destination for families and individuals to enjoy culture, entertainment, health and fitness, and to learn about and appreciate the incredible history of the Park. His deep interest in restoring the art and architecture across the campus, in buildings and spaces that had been original parts of the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition is commendable.

Craig and the Friends created crowd pleasing significant events to Fair Park including the annual Dog Bowl held in historic Cotton Bowl Stadium, the Urban Dash, the patriotic celebration known as Fair Park Fourth, and much more.

We will miss seeing Craig at Fair Park and we thank him for his amazing accomplishments and contributions for the betterment of Fair Park. We know that he will long continue to be an enthusiastic supporter of Fair Park.

We look forward to seeing you here soon, as well.

Daniel Huerta
Executive General Manager
City of Dallas
Dallas Park & Recreation Fair Park Administration
3809 Grand Ave.
Dallas, TX 75210
24-hour Information Line: 214-421-9600

[EDITOR'S NOTE:, Fair Park's monthly e-newsletters, and Fair Park's social media are also programs of the private, non-profit Friends of Fair Park. Craig Holcomb introduced online communication for Fair Park beginning in 2008 to help promote our historic landmark and activities to a wider audience. The Friends of Fair Park board of directors has named Matt Wood to succeed Mr. Holcomb. We look forward to continuing our year-round, park-wide advocacy role.]

Craig Holcomb