State Fair of Texas Entrance Gates close at 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 19-DISD Secondary School Night

Go early. Stay late. Ride DART.

“Fair Day” is a long-held tradition in Dallas. The Dallas Independent School District closes its schools so that students and staff may attend the State Fair of Texas.

This year, DISD Secondary School Fair Day is Friday, Oct. 19. Families and students going to the fair should note that the State Fair will close the pedestrian admission gates at 8:30 p.m. that day. This means if you are attending the State Fair on Oct. 19, you need to arrive at Fair Park before 8:30 p.m.

Exhibit buildings will close at 9 p.m. The State Fair’s official closing time is 10 p.m.

State Fair visitors can ride the DART Rail Green Line to two stations – Fair Park Station, located the main entrance to the fairgrounds, and MLK, Jr. Station, located close to the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard entrance (Gate 6).

Get $2 off the price of State Fair admission when you buy your 2018 State Fair of Texas tickets on DART’s GoPass® app. GoPass is also the easiest way to buy your transit passes.

Learn more about taking DART to the State Fair of Texas at DART.org/StateFair.

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DART: Your Ride This Weekend

It’s the last weekend of the State Fair of Texas, and rumors have it the sun may even make a cameo. Most forecasts are calling for skies to clear sometime Saturday, and for sunny (enough) weather on Sunday. That’s just in time for a weekend with several DARTable outdoor events, as well as cultural offerings and a bona fide geek fest.

Friday, Oct. 19

Dallas Arts District Block Party packs a lot of cool stuff into the streets of downtown Dallas, starting at 6 p.m. It keeps going until midnight, with food trucks, local brews, family-friendly games, pop-ups and performances. The event dovetails perfectly with ‘til Midnight at the Nasher, the free monthly late-night event at the sculpture center, where you can take in the artsy stylings of the band Exploded View at 8 p.m., and catch a screening of Monster Squad at 9:15 p.m.

Late Nights at the Dallas Museum of Art also will be going on, with tours, music, talks and art activities. Additionally, the Crow Museum of Asian Art will be reopening after a brief time away.

You can get to it all on the D-Link, the M-Line Trolley, or by taking a short walk from Pearl/Arts District or St. Paul stations — all four DART Rail lines serve both these stations. At Pearl/Arts District, you can connect to the D-Link.

Irving Concert Series brings the Latin-themed CANTA Rhythm & Brass to Whistlestop Plaza, near Downtown Irving/Heritage Crossing station on the Trinity Railway Express (TRE). Food trucks are at the show, which runs from 7 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. In the event the weather doesn’t want to cooperate, the concert will take place at the Heritage Senior Center a block or two up W. 2nd Street.

Friday, Oct. 19, and Saturday, Oct. 20

Steinfest is an Oktoberfest-style event in the Downtown Plano Arts District celebrating great beer, food and German culture. Get ready to polka in the streets! There will be live music, an artists’ village, classic Oktoberfest competitions, a wiener dog fashion show and much more. The free, family-friendly event happens on Friday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. in Haggard Park – right next to the Red Line’s Downtown Plano Station.

Friday, Oct. 19 through Sunday, Oct. 21

Dallas Fan Days gives you three whole days to geek out on comics, speculative fiction (we think that means fantasy and sci-fi), and creative cosplay. You’ll get the chance to meet your favorite artists and writers, see thousands of amazing costumes, and get autographs and take photos with celebrities. The popular event takes place in Las Colinas at the Irving Convention Center. Be sure to wear your Batman costume on the Orange Line to Irving Convention Center Station. (Tell’em the Batmobile’s in the shop.) Send us a picture of yourself in costume on DART, and we’ll post it here on the blog!

Saturday, Oct. 20

Jaston Williams in Clear to Partly Crazy is a one-man show by the man best known as one half of Greater Tuna. He will cover topics familiar to most Texans – cheerleading, tornadoes, crazy relatives – and bring his trademark, campy humor to each. The show takes place at the Eisemann Center, mere steps from Galatyn Park Station on the Red Line. This romp through all things Texan does contain some mature content.

Sunday, Oct. 21

Steel Magnolias is a funny, classic, and very Southern portrait of female friendship. Today’s 2 p.m. matinee is the last performance of the Dallas Theater Center’s production of the play, which takes place in a small-town beauty parlor in Louisiana. Catch it at the Wyly Theatre in the Dallas Arts District. From Pearl/Arts District Station (served by all four DART Rail lines), you can either walk or catch the D-Link.

Where are you going on DART this weekend? Let us know in the comments.

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DART Partners with Union Gospel Mission to Help Rebuild Lives

For almost 70 years, Union Gospel Mission has served those most in need in the city of Dallas.

We’re happy to announce that nine UGM Dallas disciples were recently hired by Hallcon, a DART contractor, and given a chance to regain financial independence as mainline train cleaners.

“DART and UGM have built a strong relationship over the course of more than two decades based on our shared goals of being fully involved in the communities we serve and improving the quality of life for north Texas residents,” said Gary Thomas, DART President/Executive Director.

Their employment was achieved after they completed a discipleship program at UGM Dallas where they have progressed in the mission’s job skills program and have excelled in their faith-based life recovery classes.

“We are excited about our partnership with DART and the wonderful opportunity for our clients to earn a steady income as part of their path to rebuilding their lives. After completing their life skills and job readiness training, they are enjoying their new jobs and DART is helping to make this possible,” stated Bruce Butler, CEO of Union Gospel Mission Dallas. “With community partners like DART, together we can end homelessness one person at a time.”

After undergoing training from DART and Hallcon, the UGM disciples were offered salaried positions with the opportunity to receive benefits after the standard 90 days on the job. “We are thrilled to announce one individual has already been promoted and received a raise,” commented Mr. Butler.

Learn more about DART and Union Gospel Mission working together:

 

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DART to the State Fair Football Showdown Oct. 20

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Southern University

In its inaugural year, the Jaguars of Southern University and Tigers from Texas Southern University will travel to Dallas for the State Fair Football Showdown Oct. 20. DART riders expect larger crowds. If you are traveling to Dallas for the game, be sure and read our Game Day Survival Guide.

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What’s Next for the Dallas Streetcar?

You probably already know about DART’s bus and train services, but have you taken a ride on the fast and fun Dallas Streetcar?  DART operates the streetcar for the City of Dallas. The Dallas Streetcar takes North Texas’ mobility options to the next level, providing more opportunities for residents and visitors alike.

Check out the top 3 things you should know about the Dallas Streetcar:

1. It’s convenient:
The Dallas Streetcar extends 2.4 miles from Union Station to the Bishop Arts District and is free to ride. It operates every 20 minutes between 5:30 am and midnight, 7 days a week.

2. It’s connected:
The Dallas Streetcar connects residents and visitors to Dallas attractions including the Convention Center, Ferris Plaza, Lake Cliff Park, Methodist Dallas Medical Center, Bishop Arts District, and restaurants including El Fenix, Jonathon’s Oak Cliff and Spiral Diner. It also connects to DART rail and bus services, as well as the Trinity Railway Express (TRE) commuter rail.

3. It’s innovative:
The Dallas Streetcar is the first project in the United States to use wireless traction power utilizing an onboard stored energy system as the streetcars cross the Houston Street Viaduct bridge.

What’s next for the Dallas Streetcar? Get excited for your future commute, because DART is working with the City of Dallas on the proposed Dallas Streetcar Central Link. This expansion project will:

  • Provide a seamless connection between the Bishop Arts District and the Dallas Arts District through the central core of downtown Dallas;
  • Service the 10,000 residents and 180,000 jobs within a quarter mile of its route; and
  • Link the Dallas Streetcar line to the M-Line Trolley.

For more information on the Dallas Streetcar or any of DART’s services, please visit the website at: www.DART.org

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Six Safety Tips for Dallas Bike Ride

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Dallas Bike Ride

Dallas Bike Ride, the city’s biggest car-free bike ride, is Nov. 3, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Even though there will be no vehicles on the roadways, participants should exercise good bike riding habits.

Here are six tips for making it a safe 20-mile ride:

  1. Tune-up your bike before the ride – make sure you inflate tires properly; tighten brakes, and ensure the chain is running smoothly.
  2. Protect your head – wear a helmet.
  3. Don’t get distracted – avoid wearing headphones or talking on phone while riding.
  4. Ride safe – keep both hands on the handlebars (except when signaling for a turn) and feet on pedals.
  5. Stay alert – be aware of any obstacles in your path.
  6. Cyclists riding with kids – have them ride in front of you, not behind.

The bike ride begins at Dallas City Hall. The best way to get there is on DART. Take the Red, Blue, Orange or Green line into downtown Dallas and get off at Akard Station. It’s a short bike ride from there.

Remember, the center section of each rail vehicle has low floors that are level with the platform – perfect bringing on your bicycle.

Make sure you have downloaded DART’s GoPass® app. It takes the hassle out of buying a transit pass. The app is free, and you can download it from either the App Store or Google Play store.

Learn more at dallasbikeride.com.

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Faces of DART: Union Gospel Mission

We’ve showcased a lot of Faces of DART who’s daily lives are impacted by transit. Today, we’re taking a closer look at how DART and Union Gospel Mission work together, to help North Texans who are homeless gain access to the support services they need.

The Union Gospel Mission has served the local community since 1949 with its goal of ending homelessness one person at a time. As Union Gospel Mission’s CEO Bruce J. Butler makes clear: public transit helps transform lives by providing a critical way for people to get to work, interact with the community, and get the help they need.

DART’s rail and other transit services are about more than increasing mobility: DART is a critical part of the North Texas community, providing men, women and children who are homeless access to Union Gospel Mission’s shelter and services.

According to Bruce, the guests of Union Gospel Mission rely on DART transit to get to and from their jobs and around the community, and without it, their lives would be more difficult. Not only that, but he believes that the partnership between Union Gospel Mission and DART is critical in giving people hope, and showing people that Union Gospel Mission, DART, and the community have not given up on them.

More than just increasing mobility, DART is helping homeless North Texans access the shelter and support services they need to transform their lives. That’s the power of public transit.

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Wanted: Student Artists

143-024-0918 Student Art Facebook

Young artist, it’s your time to shine.

Kindergarten through 12th grade students who live in or near DART’s 13-city service area can now submit entries for the 2019 DART Student Art Contest capturing the theme: “My Next Stop Is ____.”

Deadline for early entries is Nov. 30, and the final deadline is Jan. 25.

The contest offers an opportunity for area schoolkids to share their experiences, flex their creative muscles, and consider DART’s impact on their communities.

Winner’s artwork will be displayed at the Dallas Museum of Art, Love Field Airport, the Courtyard Theater in Plano and on DART’s website, DART.org. That’s a lot of exposure!

Visit DART.org/artcontest to get more information and to download an entry form.

#DARTstudentart

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Make the Ride to Deep Fried on DART

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State Fair of Texas

This is the final week of the fair and DART is your ride to fried foods, rides, entertainment, attractions and more!

This year’s fair features the usual suspects — with more than 100 free attractions, 70 Midway rides and endless activities — but the 2018 edition features some new faces, too.

One of the hardest-hitting new attractions happens this weekend at the Cotton Bowl. The State Fair Football Showdown closes out this year’s slate of games, pitting Texas Southern University against Southern University. You won’t want to miss the battle between the Tigers and the Jaguars!

What else is new? Home on the Range brings together two popular attractions inside the Coliseum — the re-designed Little Hands on the Farm farm-to-market activity for little ones and the Children’s Barnyard petting zoo. Also, in the spirit of the fair’s 2018 theme “Celebrating Texas Innovation,” the Hall of State has a new exhibit of the same name, which examines some of the Lone Star State’s greatest inventions and innovations of all time. Meanwhile, the all-new Livestock Birthing barn showcases the miracle of life, highlighting the agricultural importance of breeding livestock and its role in our everyday lives.

This year, the fair also has new daily shows such as the Team BIG AIR! Basketball Slam Dunk Show at Chevrolet Park Plaza, featuring high-flying acrobatics and jaw-dropping hoop skills. Of course, there are lots of new food items to try, too. Be sure to check out this year’s Big Tex Choice Award winners, including the Cotton Candy Taco and Arroz Con Leche, a sweet crispy rice dish. Or, head over to the Midway to try the new rides, including the Haunted Castle and Airmaxx.

Getting to Fair Park on DART is simple. If you need a refresher, check out this page. Also, DART staff will be at key stations on the final weekend to help you buy tickets and make your connections. Finally, remember to save $2 on fair admission by purchasing your ticket through the GoPass® app.

Ready to DART to Big Tex? Check out the fair’s daily schedule so you can make the most out of your visit!

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More Than a Mask: Mexican Grill Unites Flavor, Culture and Wrestling

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Enter the ring that is Maskaras Mexican Grill in Dallas and find home-made dishes and remnants of lucha libre, or professional wrestling, icons like El Santo, Blue Demon, Mil Máscaras, El Rayo de Jalisco, Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara.

Masks and memorabilia of these famous Mexican wrestlers fill the restaurant and connect visitors to a part of Mexican culture that owner, Rodolfo Jimenez, said links back to his childhood.

Jimenez grew up in Guadalajara, Mexico. When he was 8 years old, his older brother took him to a wrestling match in his hometown where one of the wrestlers gave Jimenez his mask. Jimenez’s collection grew from there.

“Lucha libre is the heritage of the Mexican culture to the world,” Jimenez, who co-owns the restaurant with his wife Zulma Hernandez, said. “Every mask [in the restaurant] tells you a story.”

Maskaras Mexican Grill functions as a museum because of the value of each mask in the restaurant. Some masks date decades in the past, such as one from the world-famous Mexican wrestler El Santo, which dates to the 1930’s.

You can find the restaurant near Illinois Station and just a short walk from the Route 453 Hampton at Kiest bus stop.

When visitors enter the restaurant for the first time, their facial expressions say it all. Customers often take pictures and ask questions. They end up with a curiosity about how wrestling is a part of the Mexican culture, Jimenez said.

People often ask to buy the masks, but they are not for sale because of their historic value.

Mexican customers tell Jimenez that the masks take them back to their childhood. In addition, they tell Jimenez that the restaurant’s food reminds them of their mothers’ cooking.

If you crave Tex-Mex cuisine, this is not the place for you. The grill prides itself on staying true to the authentic flavors and dishes of Mexico as well as using locally-grown ingredients.

The restaurant offers lunch, dinner, drinks and dishes like the fried whole fish or the spicy shrimp burrito, which connects Dallas locals to the true tastes of Mexico.

#DARTcelebratesheritage

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