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Tuesday, September 27, 2022
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MLK Food Park Heads to Fair Park

City, Lifestyle

Kristina Byrd enjoys a Bang Bang Chicken Sandwich from Cat Tail food truck at the launching of the MLK Food Park in Dallas on April 9, 2021. | Image by Shelby Tauber, The Dallas Morning News

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The MLK Food Park is returning to South Dallas with a new location.

Fair Park will host the popular pop-up festival this summer, showcasing a wide range of food truck vendors serving non-vegan and vegan foods, crafts, small business owners, music, and live entertainment.

“We were presented with an opportunity to utilize space inside Fair Park with more green space, accessibility to needed infrastructure sources such as utilities, and the opportunity to operate in a semi-permanent space,” said Desiree Powell, executive director of the urban-planning firm Do Right By The Streets (DRBTS). “This is a foundational step towards creating a permanent space for the MLK Food Park and expanding the vision to offer a safe space in South Dallas.”

The upcoming dates for the food park pop-up will be June 26, July 10, July 24, and July 31, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“It’s like a big block party for the family,” said Powell, also one of the MLK Food Park organizers.

The MLK Food Park offers another placemaking opportunity that supports South Dallas businesses and builds more relationships with the neighborhood, according to Alyssa Arnold, director of strategic initiatives at the booster organization Fair Park First.

“We are bringing fresh food, fresh air, and fun here to Fair Park through the MLK Food Park,” said Deonna McGary, communications director for Fair Park and Cotton Bowl Stadium.

With the assistance of Better Block, DRBTS, and other neighborhood partners, the MLK Food Park first opened as a pilot in April 2021. 

The event was held in an empty lot turned community gathering place. It featured public art, greenery, flowerbeds, and a children’s play area. Organizers intended to create an incubator-like environment highlighting local business owners, southern Dallas food artisans, and food trucks. It was located near Cedar Crest Bridge on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.

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