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Dallas, Texas
National Historical Landmark

FAIR PARK

by Clint Skinner

28. The Texas Star

Standing north of the Science Place II building is the Texas Star, the tallest ferris wheel in the nation at 212 feet. Buster Brown, a carnival ride entrepreneur, spent over two million dollars for the SDC Corporation to build it. Constructed at the Italian city of Reggio Emilia, the ferris wheel was completed in 1985 and shipped overseas in time for the state fair. It had 44 gondolas which provided a total passenger capacity of 264, causing Buster Brown to make the prediction that it would take between seven and ten years to pay off his investment.
Dallas TX Fair park - The Texas Star
The Texas Star
Photo courtesy Clint Skinner, February 2016

When Buster was killed in an car accident in 1990, his wife Barbara and her brother Mike Sandefur gained ownership of the ferris wheel and continued the tradition of operating the attraction. The future of the wheel remained uncertain during 2012 because the owners did not renew their contract with the state fair. Fearing they no longer had what it took to keep operating the ferris wheel, they advertised their intention to sell it . However, when some of the potential buyers expressed the desire to remove the ride from Fair Park, Barbara and Mark decided to remove their offer then signed a new long-term contract. Upon completion of the agreement, the duo made it clear to the public that the ownership and operation of the Texas Star would remain in the family.


December 5, 2016
© Clint Skinner


FAIR PARK:
Fair Park - Attractions:
1. Fair Park Station
2. Main Entrance
3. Founders Statue
4. Women's Museum
5. DAR House
6. The Texas Vietnam Veterans Memorial
7. Sydney Smith Memorial Fountain
8. Music Hall
9. Fair Park Esplanade
10. Centennial Building
11. Automobile Building
12. Hall of State
13. Tower Building
14. Big Tex Circle
15. Grand Place
16. Old Mill Inn
17. Magnolia Lounge
18. Hall of Religion
19. African American Museum
20. Leonhardt Lagoon
21. Dallas Museum of Natural History
22. Science Place I
23. Children's Aquarium
24. Fair Park Bandshell
25. Texas Discovery Gardens
26. WRR Headquarters
27. Science Place II
28. The Texas Star
29. Cotton Bowl Stadium
30. The Texas Skyway
31. The Embarcadero
32. The Creative Arts Building
33. Food and Fiber Building
34. Pan American Arena
35. The Woofus
36. The Swine Building
37. Briscoe Carpenter Livestock Center
38. Livestock Pavilion and Arena
39. The Horse Barn
40. Fair Park Coliseum
41. Top of Texas Tower


References:
1.Bigtex.com
2.Dallashistory.org
3.Dallas Morning News Archives
4.Fairpark.org
5.Slate, John H. Historic Dallas Parks. Arcadia Publishing, 2010.
6.Tshaonline.org
7.Watermelon-kid.com
8.Wikipedia.org
8.Winters, Willis Cecil. Fair Park. Arcadia Publishing, 2010.

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