Fair Park was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1986. Fair Park covers 277-acres just east of downtown Dallas. Its cultural, historical and entertainment venues play host to visitors from around the world every day of the year. The park opened in 1886 with what was called the Dallas State Fair. Several structures, including the Centennial Building and Cotton Bowl Stadium, made their debut on the grounds between 1900 and 1930. From nail-biting football games to touring one of our many museums and everything in between, visitors come year-round to explore Fair Park. There are a variety of food and beverage options available inside and outside of Fair Park. Explore all the wonders of Fair Park through a breathtaking birds-eye view on the Texas Skyway. Hop on one of these gondolas for a 1,800-foot ride around the Midway, and views that you won’t find anywhere else. The Texas Star is an iconic piece of Fair Park. During the State Fair of Texas, riders can enjoy breathtaking views reaching up to 20 stories high.
But Fair Park really became a part of the nation’s consciousness in 1936, when state leaders chose it to host a world’s fair commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Texas Republic. Texas’ history, economy, flora and fauna were highlighted in the buildings, statues, and murals designed for the event. Architects and artists came from all over the world to design a variety of elements that would establish the unique Art Deco throughout Fair Park. Today, Fair Park stands as the only intact and unaltered pre-1950s world fair site in the United States. Between the art deco and architecture, the history, and the events, Fair Park reflects an all-in-one, unique destination to visit for all. Home of the State Fair of Texas and the world’s largest collection of art deco exhibit buildings, the 277-acre complex hosts more than 1,200 activities every year. From festivals and concerts to sporting and gardening activities, Fair Park has somethings for everyone. On nearby Exposition and Parry avenues, across from the light rail station, a cluster of bars and restaurants bring nights to life for a little post-park adventure.
Since its roots began in 1886, Fair Park has evolved into one of the world’s premier destinations engulfed with timeless history and landscape. Home to Texas-sized fun, the State Fair of Texas brings together people from all over the state and nation to experience all things Texas. Try the newest local treats and assorted fried food concoctions, and don’t forget to take a selfie with Big Tex! From the largest car show in the Southwest, the Texas Auto Show, to the Red River Showdown, a football game rivalry between Texas and Oklahoma, the State Fair of Texas has something for everyone. Fair Park receives the prestigious National Trust for Historic Preservation Honor Award for the revitalization and restoration for the site. Between 2003 and 2009, other restoration projects are completed, including the long-overdue restoration of the Esplanade reflecting basin, which includes a sound, light, and water show fountain.