Fair Park

Nonprofit Plans to Upgrade Fair Park with Help from George, Laura Bush and Others

The first phase of the upgrade is projected to cost $85 million and will make the park a beautiful destination year-round

NBC 5 News

Fair Park First, a nonprofit responsible for the stewardship and maintenance of Fair Park, launches a new campaign to upgrade the home of the State Fair of Texas with the help of George and Laura Bush, and two other prominent Texas couples.

"In true Texan spirit, a restored and revitalized Fair Park will serve as a beacon of unity to all Texans and the world," Fair Park First Executive Director Brian Luallen said. 

George W. Bush and Laura Bush will serve as the Honorary Chairs, while Ambassador Ron Kirk and his wife Matrice, along with Margo Ramirez Keyes and Jim Keyes, will serve as the Unity Co-Chairs.

The campaign, "Fair Park, Your Park" launches into phase 1, raising $85 million in the next five years. The sum will be used for the 20-year Master Plan Update which includes maintaining and enhancing the park's educational, entertainment, and cultural activities and making more room for large green spaces, fountains, splash parks, and natural Texas landscape.

Dallas County officials approved the Master Plan designated to make the park desirable and accessible year-round and put the "park" back in Fair Park.

Detailed plans include an 11-acre Community Park, converting 400,000-square-feet of concrete and blacktop parking into 17-acres of expanded green space and a 1.3-acre Gateway Park.

"The goal is to re-activate Fair Park and create a vibrant, catalytic hub of activity that will inspire positive economic activity in the area," executive campaign council chair and unity co-chair Margo Ramirez Keyes said. 

The 277-acre National Historic Landmark is home to many activities such as the State Fair of Texas, the Cotton Bowl, Music Hall concerts, etc. but much of the area is in need of renovation.

Biederman Redevelopment Ventures and Rise360 Consulting will help to raise the $85 million it will take to make that happen.

"Jewels like Fair Park are gathering places that connect people from all walks of life," Fair Park First president Darren L. James said. "Parks shape our community and culture and bring us together."

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