Dallas is a major city in the state of Texas and is the largest urban center of the fourth most populous metropolitan area in the United States. The city proper ranks ninth in the U.S. and third in Texas after Houston and San Antonio. The city’s prominence arose from its historical importance as a center for the oil and cotton industries, and its position along numerous railroad lines. The bulk of the city is in Dallas County, of which it is the county seat; however, sections of the city are located in Collin, Denton, Kaufman, and Rockwall counties. Located in North Texas, Dallas is the main core of the largest metropolitan area in the South and the largest inland metropolitan area in the United States that lacks any navigable link to the sea. Dallas and nearby Fort Worth were developed due to the construction of major railroad lines through the area allowing access to cotton, cattle, and later oil in North and East Texas.
The most notable event held in Dallas is the State Fair of Texas, which has been held annually at Fair Park since 1886. The fair is a massive event, bringing in an estimated $350 million to the city’s economy annually. The Red River Shootout, which pits the University of Texas at Austin against The University of Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl also brings significant crowds to the city. The city also hosts the State Fair Classic and Heart of Dallas Bowl at the Cotton Bowl. Other well-known festivals in the area include several Cinco de Mayo celebrations hosted by the city’s large Mexican American population, and Saint Patrick’s Day parade along Lower Greenville Avenue, Juneteenth festivities, Taste of Dallas, the Deep Ellum Arts Festival, the Greek Food Festival of Dallas, the annual Halloween event “The Wake” featuring lots of local art and music, and two annual events on Halloween include; a Halloween parade on Cedar Springs Road and a “Zombie Walk” held in Downtown Dallas in the Arts District.
Dallas maintains and operates 406 parks on 21,000 acres of parkland. The city’s parks contain 17 separate lakes, including White Rock and Bachman lakes, spanning a total of 4,400 acres. In addition, Dallas is traversed by 61.6 miles (99.1 km) of biking and jogging trails, including the Katy Trail, and is home to 47 community and neighborhood recreation centers, 276 sports fields, 60 swimming pools, 232 playgrounds, 173 basketball courts, 112 volleyball courts, 126 play slabs, 258 neighborhood tennis courts, 258 picnic areas, six 18-hole golf courses, two driving ranges, and 477 athletic fields. Dallas’ flagship park is Fair Park. Built in 1936 for the Worlds Fair and the Texas Centennial Exposition, Fair Park is the world’s largest collection of Art Deco exhibit buildings, art, and sculptures; Fair Park is also home to the State Fair of Texas, the largest state fair in the United States.
Dallas has many hospitals and a number of medical research facilities within its city limits. One major research center is the Dallas Medical District with the UT Southwestern Medical Center in the Stemmons Corridor, along with the affiliated UT Southwestern Medical School. The health care complex includes within its bounds Parkland Memorial Hospital, Children’s Medical Center, William P. Clements University Hospital (formerly St. Paul University Hospital), and the Zale Lipshy University Hospital.
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