A Look Back at a Time When State Fair-Goers Wore Ties to the Midway and Shot the Chute

Back in June, upon the occasion of the release of City Archivist John Slate's Historic Dallas Parks, I mentioned yet another history book was forthcoming from Arcadia Publishing: Willis Winters's Fair Park. At the time there was no release date set, only "closer to the State Fair of Texas," but a copy of the book, written and compiled by Park and Rec's vaunted assistant director, just landed in my mailbox, and I've spent the better part of the last hour flipping through its 144 pages, every one of which contains some revelation. For instance, I had no idea that in 1906 through '08, State Fair directors installed such rides as the Scenic Walkway (1,125 feet long), Shoot the Chutes and The Tickler (a roller coaster, now now).

I've got a call into Winters to talk about the tome, which will be available September 13. At $26.99 it's the priciest book in the Arcadia catalog -- but only because it's coffee-table-sized. Easier to see the Restaurant and Cafe Building, the "monumental facade" along Parry Avenue and all the other long-gone pieces of the park since drowned by Deep Fried Frozen Margaritas.

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