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John Crawford: MegaFest Means Mega Crowds—and $41 Million Economic Impact

John Crawford
John Crawford

The City of Dallas, Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau, Dallas Police Department, Downtown Dallas Inc. DART, and other organizations are preparing for mega crowds this coming weekend during MegaFest 2013—held in Dallas for the first time. Coming on the heels 50,000 attendees visiting the city for the Mary Kay convention—celebrating 50 years—MegaFest is the next big convention in Dallas.

In case you haven’t noticed the television commercials, billboards, bus wraps, and radio ads recently, Dallas is getting ready for tens of thousands of visitors as the host city for MegaFest 2013. The world’s largest family festival, MegaFest attracts around 100,000 attendees during the three-day event.

Several star-studded events are planned as a part of the conference, including the filming of an episode of Oprah Winfrey’s popular OWN network series Oprah’s Lifeclass, on Thursday, August 29 at American Airlines Center; a comedy show with David Mann and Michael Jr.; and the “Woman of Purpose” concert featuring Jennifer Hudson, Babyface, Brandy, and more.

Expect heavy crowds in downtown Dallas and on DART throughout the conference, as participants attend classes and special events, as well as shop, dine, and play throughout the city. But be patient: According to Phillip Jones, president and CEO of the Dallas CVB, the three-day event will create a $41 million economic impact to the area. MegaFest officials say they have secured more than 1,900 volunteers, and major sponsors like Coca-Cola, Starbucks, American Airlines, Wells Fargo, McDonalds, and many more.

The Downtown Safety Patrol, DPD, and DART Police will have additional presence on walking routes and at various event venues. The DDI Clean Team will also run extended hours and have additional team members on hand. These enhanced services will be focused on areas where pedestrian and event traffic is expected to be the greatest.

DART is gearing up for the event and providing supplemental rail and bus service throughout the weekend. It’s adding light rail and Trinity Railway Express trains, rolling out more buses, planning detours, and extending the frequency and operating hours of its bus and rail network to accommodate the throngs. (Click here for details.)

DART will also deploy hundreds of staff from all parts of the organization to 13 stations from 7 a.m. to midnight on August 29 and 30, and from 7:00 a.m. to noon on August 31, to help customers purchase passes and make their transit connections.

Big things really are happening in Dallas. This is a team effort, and Downtown Dallas is committed to help the city make a good impression with visitors during this significant event. Our appreciation goes out to all of the organizations that are working so hard to make this so successful, event organizers and others will want to come back year after year.

John Crawford.

Note: Keep listening to “Pulse of the City,” a weekly radio program devoted to current events, with a special focus on issues and opportunities associated with North Texas and downtown Dallas. The hit show has a new time slot on Sundays at 10 a.m. The weekly KRLD 1080 AM program is moderated by Matt Thomas, and co-hosted by yours truly. “Pulse of the City” can also be heard on demand.

John F. Crawford is president and CEO of Downtown Dallas Inc. Contact him at crawford@downtowndallas.org.

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