Life Slowly Returns to Fair Park, Now Under New Management. But Where's the Park?

A version of this column first appeared in Robert Wilonsky's Most Dallas Newsletter Ever. Sign up below to subscribe.Monday evening, after the dust and nerves settled downtown, I went to Fair Park for the June board meeting of Fair Park First. That's the nonprofit that the City Council tasked with turning Dallas' 277-acre crown jewel into a lively round-the-clock destination rather than a crumbling afterthought when the State Fair's not peddling corny dogs to tourists from Fairview. A few items on the agenda caught my eye: "Community Park Planning." And: "Update of the Fair Park Master Plan." Also: "Master Plan Neighborhood/Neighborhood Park." After all, planting a park in Fair Park — turning more than 200 acres of cracked concrete into swaths of green grass — was at the top of the pops as far as everyone was concerned during years' worth of meetings with previous councils and South Dallas residents who felt locked out of the gates in more ways than one. The surrounding community shouldn't have to beg for amenities and year-round access to the landmark that devoured their neighborhood.Fair Park First and its for-profit partner Spectra were told, repeatedly: The park — do that first.  Continue reading...

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