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Free Holiday Festival at Fair Park, Free Admission to Museums

Coinciding with the White Rock Marathon Health & Fitness Expo, free holiday festival to also feature arts and crafts at Santa’s Workshop, holiday foods, puppet shows and entertainment, the official City of Dallas tree-lighting, and more

Featuring 10 fun-filled hours of water-dancing, craft-making, gift-buying, tree-lighting, fireworks-flying, good ol’ seasonal glee, MetroPCS Fair Park Holiday will be rocking from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Saturday, December 4, at Fair Park inside the Centennial Building and outdoors surrounding the Esplanade Fountain. What’s more, the historic landmark will welcome the nationally renowned Dallas White Rock Marathon to its new home December 3 – 5, giving Fair Park goers the chance to double their fun at the free White Rock Marathon Health & Fitness Expo, open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday in the Automobile Building, or participate in the 5K Mayor’s Race and Fun Run beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday. (Registration for 5K race is $15 or $30 for families up to five; free for Dallas ISD students and teachers.)

Free and open to the public, MetroPCS Fair Park Holiday will feature a medley of merriment including a fireworks finale from the rooftops, the official City of Dallas tree-lighting ceremony, kids crafts, a shopping bazaar, holiday-themed entertainment and foods, family-fun activities, Bellagio-style “dancing water” shows at the Esplanade Fountain synchronized to music at the top of every hour (from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.), plus free visits to Fair Park’s eight museums.

With free museum admission from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., guests will get to appreciate much of what Fair Park has to offer with visits to the newly-opened Texas Museum of Automotive History (grand opening November 20), African American Museum, the recently renovated Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park, Museum of Nature & Science, Museum of the American Railroad, Texas Discovery Gardens, Hall of State, and The Women’s Museum. (Please note: Free admission does not apply to all special exhibits, IMAX® films and other offerings. See schedule below for specific museum hours and further information.)

Inside the Centennial Building, children and adults will flock to Santa’s Workshop for free arts and crafts activities, such as ornament making, do-it-yourself gift wrapping and cookie decorating, to name a few. A variety of free entertainment will be on tap including a performance by the Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s Junior Dance Academy (11 – 11:45 a.m.), a puppet show by Le Theatre de Marionette (noon – 1 p.m.), the Chuck Anderson Quartet (1:30 – 2:30 p.m.) and a special performance of “Giggle, Giggle, Quack” by the Dallas Children’s Theater (3 – 4 p.m.). In addition, there will be ongoing acts by various dance academies and performing arts groups.

Also inside, gift-seekers will find an assortment of quality merchandise, holiday décor, unique gift ideas and tasty treats at The 500, Inc. Holiday Gift Market, with musical entertainment by Latin guitarist Joe Trevino (10:30 – 11:30 a.m.), classical guitarist Stacy Arnold (noon – 1 p.m.), Latin guitarist Guillermo Serpes (1:30 – 2:30 p.m.), saxophonist Chuck Anderson (3 – 4 p.m.), and steel drummer Derrick Logozzo (4:15 – 5: 15 p.m.). Other activities will include face painting, air brush tattoos, caricature artists and more (fee will apply.)classical and Latin guitarists, saxophonists and steel drummers. Other activities will include face painting, air brush tattoos, caricature artists and more (fee will apply).

At 5:15 p.m., the Dallas Wind Symphony Quartet will take the stage outdoors for an hour-long performance, followed by the official City of Dallas tree-lighting ceremony at 6:15 p.m., hosted by 98.7 KLUV’s Jody Dean, and a spectacular 10-minute fireworks finale from the rooftops of the Automobile and Centennial buildings! When it’s all said and done, thousands of sparkling LED lights surrounding the Esplanade Fountain will still shine throughout the holiday season.

Concessions will be sold including Fletcher’s corny dogs, pizza, barbecue, hamburgers, Frito® pie, chili, healthy snacks and wraps, holiday beverages, gourmet coffees, hot chocolate, plus holiday sweets such as cinnamon rolls, funnel cake sticks, fried cheese cake, and charros.

Admission is free. The City of Dallas charges $10 to park within the gates of Fair Park, or visitors can ride DART’s Green Line to the Fair Park Station.

MetroPCS Fair Park Holiday is hosted by Friends of Fair Park, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. In addition to presenting sponsor MetroPCS, other sponsors include Rogers-O’Brien Construction; State Farm Insurance; Statewide Remodeling; The 500, Inc.; and The Kroger Co. The event is presented in part by the City of Dallas. Local media partners are WFAA Channel 8, Univision 23, Time Warner Cable, Al Dia, 98.7 KLUV, 103.7 Lite FM, 97.9 FM The Beat, K-Soul 94.5 FM, 1270 AM La Voz del Pueblo and La Kalle 107.9.

For more information, call the Fair Park Information Line at 214-421-9600 or go to

About Friends of Fair Park

The purpose of Friends of Fair Park is to promote the year-round use of Fair Park; to support the Fair Park Museums; to preserve the buildings, art, sculpture, and related artifacts of the 1936 Texas Centennial.

About Fair Park

Fair Park, a cultural and entertainment center, is a division of the Dallas Park and Recreation Department. Located two miles east of downtown Dallas, Fair Park is home to eight museums and six performance facilities/organizations, including the Dallas Summer Musicals/Music Hall, Center, Dallas Wind Symphony/Band Shell, African American Museum, Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park, The Women’s Museum, Dallas Historical Society/Hall of State, State, Texas Museum of Automotive History, Texas Discovery Gardens, Museum of Nature & Science, Museum of the American Railroad and Cotton Bowl Stadium. This National Historic Landmark has the largest collection of 1930s Art Deco exposition style architecture in the world and is located on 277 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds. Special features include the Leonhardt Lagoon, Texas Vietnam Memorial and the Smith Fountain. For more information, call the Fair Park Information Line at 214-421-9600 or visit

About the MetroPCS Dallas White Rock Marathon

The MetroPCS Dallas White Rock Marathon is a three-day, world class event with proceeds benefiting Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. The Hyatt Regency Dallas serves as the Host Hotel and location of the Saturday night Pre-Race pasta Dinner. The race takes place the next day in Fair Park with the first wave start at 8 a.m. The 5K Mayor’s Race and Fun Run takes place in Fair Park at 9 a.m. Saturday morning. Structured as a low-key family event, the Mayor’s 5K is the perfect opportunity to get in one last easy run and enjoy the activities within Fair Park the day before the marathon.

The 41st running of the MetroPCS Dallas White Rock Marathon features approximately 40 bands and 25 aid stations along the scenic course, with a post-race party after the finish. The 26.2-mile certified marathon course begins and ends within Fair Park. Along the course the runners pass through the Downtown Dallas Arts District, the scenic wooded Turtle Creek area, prestigious Highland Park, around White Rock Lake, through beautiful Lakewood and down the Swiss Avenue historical district. Participants can register for the marathon, half-marathon, five-person relay, corporate relay and Mayor’s 5K Fun Run. Registration fees range from $15 for the Mayor’s 5K race to $125 for the marathon and $375 for VIP marathon, For details and to sign up, go to the official website at

MetroPCS Fair Park Holiday Museum Activities

NOTE: All eight Fair Park museums will offer FREE ADMISSION Saturday, December 4, and Sunday, December 5, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. See below for details on special exhibits and/or activities.

The African American Museum will present” Facing The Rising Sun – Freedman’s Cemetery,” “Omowale – A Son’s Return” and GEMS: AAW Permanent Collection.

The newly-renovated Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park will feature special “sea creature” ambassadors (costumed characters) and additional animal feeding demonstrations during the festive holiday weekend. Admission is free of charge for the “Oceans of Adventure” exhibit.

Museum of the American Railroad

Hall of State will offer extended hours on Saturday, December 4, from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., and on Sunday, December 5, from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The Museum of Nature & Science will offer free admission to its Children’s Museum, Nature Building and Science Building. NOTE: A fee is required for the following special exhibits: “Dinosaurs Unearthed”; two IMAX® films including “Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure” and “Bugs! A Rainforest Adventure”; and five planetarium shows including “Universe,” “Wonders of the Universe,” “Texas Night Sky,” “Secrets of the Sun” and “Cosmic Safari.”

Admission for “Dinosaurs Unearthed” is $5 for non-members, $3 for MNS members, and free for children under 2. IMAX® shows are $7 for adults 18-61 (member adults $6); $6 for seniors 62+ and students 12-17 (member seniors and students $5); $6 for children 2-11 (member children $5), and free for children under 2. Planetarium tickets are $3.50 for non-member adults, students, seniors and children 2-11; $2.50 for member adults, students, seniors and children ages 2-11; and free for children under 2.

Grand opening November 20, 2010! The Texas Museum of Automotive History will provide attendees with an overview of the history of the automobile from 1901 to 1984 and will showcase the interaction between racing and commercial car development during that period.

The Texas Discovery Gardens will present a holiday weekend party on December 4-5 with free garden and butterfly house admission as well as family activities. Highlights will include a Butterfly Release Talk in the Conservatory at noon; The Good Humor Band featuring comedian George Mecca and musician Bill Martin performing light-hearted humorous seasonal music from 1 – 3 p.m.; and children’s crafts and ornament making (including butterfly rings, origami butterflies and birdfeed ornaments) from 12:30 – 4 p.m. A Master Composter Certification Course also will be offered from 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. for $50 (non-members) and $40 (members).

The Women’s Museum will offer crafts including holiday figure cut-outs, reindeer hat crafts and apple cinnamon ornament crafts. In addition to Saturday, crafts and other activities will be planned for Thursday, December 2, Friday, December 3, and Sunday, December 5.

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