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Originally built for the Centennial of the founding of the Republic of Texas the Dallas site of the Centennial Exposition became the location for the annual Texas State Fair, the Biggest State Fair in the United States. The Texas State Fairgrounds is a sprawling area of museums and exhibition halls, statues, barns, science exhibits, great roller blading, the Western Hemisphere's tallest Ferris Wheel, the famed Cotton Bowl, a blue lagoon....and the Confederate Statue of Liberty...scroll down for photos and info about Dallas Fair Park and the Texas State Fairgrounds.

Click here for a map with directions to Fair Park & the Texas State Fairgrounds

Visit our Eyes on Texas Blog to make a comment or share info about Fair Park

2014 STATE FAIR OF TEXAS
September 26 - October 19

Texas State Fairgrounds Statue of Liberty in Texas   click a thumbnail to view a photo 

 

The  November sun darkens the Statue of Liberty and causes the flag to glow. The Texas Statue of Liberty stands near the Texas Hall of State east of the Centennial Buildings.

The new Texas SkyWay Gondola ride ready for the 2007 Texas State Fair. The new Texas SkyWay. The gondolas have an art deco look matching the art deco look of many of Fair Park's pavilions.

Go here for more photos of the State Fair and the Texas Skyway, including video.

Fair Park Ferris Wheel in Dallas at the Texas State Fairgrounds

Fair Park's Texas Star, billed as the largest Ferris Wheel in the Western Hemisphere, or maybe just in North America, the size of the wheel seems to depend on what Texas source you are looking at. But, whatever the status of the Texas Star may be in the international rankings of Ferris Wheels, there is no disputing the fact that this is one big wheel.

another view of the Dallas Fair Park Ferris Wheel at the Texas State Fairgrounds Here the Texas Star appears about to roll over the Science Place Planetarium.

 

Fair Park's Science Place Planetarium is the only public planetarium in Dallas. The planetarium runs a variety of shows and has live feeds of current NASA space missions.
and still another Ferris Wheel view at the Texas State Fairgrounds The Texas Star is too big to get the full wheel in a photo when the photographer is standing right below it.

Go here for more photos of the Texas Star

Click here for video of the Texas Star in motion

Click here for a map with directions to Fair Park & the Texas State Fairgrounds

Texas Star Ferris Wheel Gondola at the Texas State Fairgrounds Here we see one of the little gondolas strapped to the Texas Star. It appears that 5 or 6 people could sit inside.
Dallas Fair Park lagoon at the Texas State Fairgrounds. A blue lagoon called Leonhardt Lagoon is surrounded by Fair Park places; like the Dallas Aquarium, the Science Center, the Cotton Bowl, the Natural History Museum and others. Leonhardt Lagoon is an interactive sort of place, with usable artwork you walk over to navigate the waterway.
Dallas Aquarium at Fair Park, not to be confused with Dallas World Aquarium in downtown Dallas, opened as part of the 1936 Texas Centennial. The Aquarium has thousands of water animals, both saltwater and freshwater fish, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates. You can see a 6 foot long gar fish. Gar fish live in Texas lakes. Once you see one you may never get in a lake again. You can also see a 5 foot long electric eel and a snapping turtle weighing over 135 pounds.

Admission: $4.00 Adults and children (ages 12 and up) $3.00 Children (ages 3 to 11) Free Children (age 2 and under) 

Ride the DART RED or BLUE LINE to City Place Station, Union Station. Then catch the bus to Fair Park.

Once you get to Fair Park the Aquarium is easy to find. Just make note of the lagoon you see in these photos and the Texas Star Ferris Wheel. The Ferris Wheel casts a shadow on the Aquarium building.

another view of the Dallas Fair Park lagoon Leonhardt Lagoon has the look of something from the Flintstone's town of Bedrock combined with the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles. 
turtles in the Dallas Fair Park lagoon at the Texas State Fairgrounds. The route over Leonhardt Lagoon is a tangled maze of cement artwork walkways.

Visiting the 2007 Texas State Fair we were surprised to discover Leonhardt Lagoon uglified with chain link fencing. The fencing seemed to serve the purpose of blocking access to the walkways you see in these photos. To protect the turtles? To protect people? We don't know. What we do know is the fencing has turned a beautiful attraction into something far less attractive. This makes 2 surprise chain link fence incidents in the past 2 months. 

Chained link fence marring beauty of Leonhardt Lagoon at the Texas State Fairgrounds Dallas Fair Park.
Another look at the chain link fence blocking parts of Leonhardt Lagoon at Dallas Fair Park's Texas State Fairgrounds.
Click here for a map with directions to Fair Park & the Texas State Fairgrounds
Turtles in the Dallas Fair Park lagoon Hordes of turtles infest Leonhardt Lagoon. They are very territorial. 
and even more turtles in the Dallas Fair Park lagoon Groups of turtles battle from both ends of this part of the Leonhardt Lagoon artwork.
and a turtle closeup in the Dallas Fair Park lagoon This turtle would not give up his spot. The rest of his tribe ran into the water when the photographer got close. But not this guy. 
 Dallas Fair ParkLeonhardt Lagoon elephant outside the Dallas Museum of Natural History.

A huge elephant outside the Natural History Museum, looks over Leonhardt Lagoon, guarding the turtles. And possibly stomping on litterers.

The Dallas Museum of Natural History began as part of the 1936 Texas Centennial. The museum actively participates in archeology projects, participating in discoveries such as the excavation of Sauropod dinosaur fossils from Big Bend. The museum has over 200,000 items including artifacts, ecofacts, entomology, vertebrate and invertebrate paleontology, malacology, ichthyology, herpetology, ornithology, and mammalogy specimens. The museum has a large collection of Texas birds plus over 300 trophy and game specimens. Exhibits include 4 diorama halls with 50 dioramas of Texas wildlife using specimens form the Museum's collections. Other exhibits are Ocean Dallas, Ice Age Dallas, Paleo Prep Lab, Texas Dinosaurs Hall, Live Animal Room and the Verizon Technology Center.

Click here to watch video of our visit to the Texas State Fair

The Cotton Bowl in Dallas Fair Park's Texas State Fairground viewed from Leonhardt Lagoon.

Here we see that the Cotton Bowl is rather close to the turtle-infested, elephant-guarded Leonhardt Lagoon.

Science Place in Dallas Fair Park This is the Science Place, looking at it through the trees from the vantage point of standing on the artwork in Leonhardt Lagoon. 
Dallas Fair Park Science Place

Another view of the Science Place. Odd name. Dallas Science Center sounds better. Or North Texas Science Center.

Dallas Fair Park Hall of State

The Texas Hall of State was built for the 1936 Texas Centennial to serve as a shrine to Texas history. It is the home of the Dallas Historical Society. Exhibits are open to the public free of charge Monday through Saturday, 9 am - 5 pm and Sunday, 1 pm - 5 pm.

given to Dallas by the people of Berlin, a bear sitting by the Hall of State at the Texas State Fairgrounds at Dallas Fair Park. The plaque below this statue of a bear says it was given to the people of Dallas by the people of Berlin, in 1970. No further explanation. In 1970 the current Berlin in Germany was known as either West Berlin, West Germany, or East Berlin, East Germany. Maybe there's a town in Texas named Berlin that gave Dallas this metal bear.
Dallas Fair Park fountains by Texas State Fair pavilions built in the art deco style.

What appears to be the center of the Texas State Fairgrounds. A collection of buildings built for the Centennial Exposition in the Art Deco style. A reflecting pool runs between the rows of buildings.

One of the Art Deco pavilions at Dallas Fair Park, site of the Texas State Fair. One of the Art Deco Centennial buildings. These buildings are now used as exhibition halls.
Dallas Fair Park Women's Museum

The Women's Museum. Seems like reverse sexism. Where is the Men's Museum? And what is that statue out front?

Click here for a map with directions to Fair Park & the Texas State Fairgrounds

Statue of a Woman in front of the Women's Museum at Dallas Fair Park.

Well. The statue in front of the Women's Museum does appear to be a woman. She seems to be wearing only a tiny little swatch of cloth across her mid-section. Her ample bosom is completely exposed to the elements. And the elements must be cold. Maybe this statue is some sort of homage to the over 4000 woman who work in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex Gentlemen's Entertainment industry. As strippers. Meanwhile a few miles north of Dallas another Texas town is a bit more modest.

The Women's Museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian. The museum uses the latest technology  and interactive media in its exhibits and programs to enlighten visitors as to the role of women in the shaping of America's history. The Women's Museum is open Tuesday - Sunday (closed Mondays). Admission: Adults $5.00, Senior Citizens & Students 13 - 18, $4.00, Students 5 - 12, $3.00, Under 5, Free.
Dallas Fair Park Viet Nam War Memorial

The lady who looks down from the Women's Museum looks upon the Texas Viet Nam War Memorial. Many Texans died in Viet Nam. Did any other state lose more? California? Relatives leave notes on the memorial. And put flags next to the names. It's a very poignant spot. Somewhat on the order of the Murrah Memorial in Oklahoma City.

Dallas Fair Park has a lot of fountains

The Viet Nam Memorial is next to the grassy field you see here with a fountain. The building behind the fountain is the Music Hall. From this side the fountain looks like a giant crawfish. But from the other side it turns out to be a couple people with an eagle over them. The fountain was built in the early 1900s.

just another view of Dallas Fair Park

One of the entries to Fair Park. This one goes by the Old Mill Inn, a restaurant which is open year round. You can drive throughout Fair Park, except during events. Fair Park is huge. But it would seem that it would be a nicer place if cars were not allowed and the roads were turned into pedestrian friendly walkways.

an interesting entry into the Cotton Bowl

This disturbing sign is on the earthen slope which helps form the western side of the Cotton Bowl, near the backside of the Hall of State. It seemed a very odd warning. Almost like an invitation. But the lid was too difficult to pry off. So it remains a mystery as to the exact nature of this dangerous confined space. Sans crowbar we'll just have to enter the Cotton Bowl using more conventional means.

inside the Cotton Bowl at Dallas Fair Park.

A view of the famous bowl from the mid-section. It is a very beat up venue. It was to be replaced or remodeled if Dallas won its Olympic bid. The Cotton Bowl appears frayed and torn enough to warrant major surgery with or without a major event being an impetus. The Cotton Bowl is old enough to qualify for historic building status. Like the Alamo.

on the field in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas Fair Park

On the Cotton Bowl playfield. Concerts are held in here as often as sporting events. A major football game, something called the Battle of the Red River, takes place during the Texas State Fair. The Red River is what separates Texas from Oklahoma. 

Dallas Fair Park Texas State Fair coupon ticket booths in storage

Here we see where the army of coupon booths retires after the State Fair. The State Fair version of the notorious ticket method is better than most, as you'd see if you enlarged this photo. You can actually buy a single coupon. And the coupons are 10 for $5.00, not the usual 9 for $5.00. And you can use last year's leftover coupons. Except for the year that the leftover tickets went missing. We've been told the coupon method is used in a lot of Texas events because it is difficult to find a sufficient number of workers who can make change. 

Click here for a map with directions to Fair Park & the Texas State Fairgrounds

Dallas | Dealey Plaza | JFK 2003 | Dallas Farmers Market | Fair Park in Dallas    
Pioneer Plaza | Dallas Cowboy Stadium Scandal | White Rock Lake Park | Texas State Fair
World's Most Unique McDonald's

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