Fair Park is gearing up for the Texas State Fair by filling up the 400,000-gallon Esplanade Fountain, meant to be a focal point of the attraction. The city spent about $12 million to restore the fountain and is planning an ostentatious water and lights show, dubbed the "Illumination Sensation," over the 700-foot-long reflecting pool.
The show will include liquid fire fountains that shoot flames into the sky, and computer-generated graphics that will project onto screens, synchronized to an "energetic soundtrack." "Pyrotechnic displays will explode from the roofs of nearby exhibit buildings" as well, the city promises.
The city got funding from Mattress Firm to sponsor the show - which will run all 24 days of the fair - but it can't afford to keep water in the pool year-round. That would cost $400,000 a year the city can't front right now, although it is entertaining naming rights and sponsorships.
Esplanade fountain dates back to the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition, but lies dormant most of the time.
This YouTube video offers a computer-generated visual of what the show will look like.
Holly LaFon has written for various local publications including D Magazine and Examiner.