Today is PARK(ing) Day!

What will the streets of Dallas look like on Friday, September 16th? As parking spaces become scarce (in a few select areas), trees and plants may be a shock to the regular commuter; sculptures built from reclaimed materials may even appear absurd. But getting a little closer, you’ll notice a variety of interesting public spaces where once were parked empty vehicles.

In those “reclaimed spaces” you’ll be able to experience the creations of individuals of all backgrounds. Perhaps you’d like to critique the design of a local architect, or visit a pop-up museum of artifacts while the city’s architectural heritage looms overhead. For something a bit more exciting, walk down the sidewalk and watch a game of street soccer while learning how the power of sport can fight homelessness. Or — if you’re in the mood to keep walking — experience the city’s newest (and shortest-lived) trail: the 50-foot “Nano Park.”

Grab a lemonade and enjoy some watercolor painting, or stop by a “reading forest” for a book swap. If entertainment is what you’re looking for, over 30 local musicians and performers will appear on stages all over downtown. Of course, if you just want a place to enjoy the weather, plenty of creative lounges and relaxing gardens will pop up along the sidewalks. You might event bump into downtown residents or office workers and learn a little about the city around you.

This is all part of PARK(ing) Day, which began in San Francisco in 2006 as a social experiment to challenge our perceptions of public space. The annual event calls on citizens to reclaim streets and re-envision them as assets for community-building. The idea has spread around the world, and today PARK installations will pop up as far away as Iran, India, China and New Zealand. Ideas for the transformed spaces are limitless, but all have the goal of bringing people together. What would you put in a parking space?

Friday’s street transformations will only last a few hours, but the experiences made during the event (whether large or small) will affect the city as it continues to mature; the public spaces we envision today could have a lasting effect on the city of tomorrow.

Today in Dallas our city’s residents, businesses, and organizations will come together on common ground — once reserved for auto parking — to form a community. We hope to see you there!

Follow us on Facebook or Twitter (#parkingday #dallas) for the latest news throughout the event!

Thanks to Our Sponsors

The planning group began meeting on July 20th with the idea of bringing PARK(ing) Day to Downtown Dallas. Several meetings later the event has grown to include over 40 PARK installations in three separate districts. While the initial process was begun by downtown residents, countless others stepped up to help make the event a success. We’d like to mention a few of them here:

  • Downtown Dallas, Inc. has worked with the City of Dallas to secure permits and other resources to make it possible for any team to participate.
  • Deep Dallas has organized great local talent for 4 separate performance stages throughout the event.
  • Deep Ellum Outdoor Market and bcWORKSHOP have helped expand and organize the event in Deep Ellum.
  • CityDesign Studio has helped with graphics and printing for the event.
  • The Planning Committee has spent many hours over the past two months thinking of creative ways to increase involvement and build excitement.
  • City Tavern has hosted the planning meetings in a central, convenient location.
  • The Design Research Center will help gather data and information about the event for future reference.
  • Team Better Block will judge the creativity competition and award a unique trophy to the winning team.

In addition to these, our followers and commentators on Facebook have been great in spreading awareness of the event and giving us valuable feedback for this and any future event. Thank You!

PARK(ing) Day Dallas Entertainment

In addition to activities in individual PARKS, Deep Dallas has scheduled a great lineup of local musicians and performers for PARK(ing) Day Dallas. Performances will take place on 4 stages: 3 stages in the Main Street District and 1 stage in Deep Ellum. Come out to watch great local talent! Below is a schedule of Friday’s performances.

(Main Street District: Main Street at Pegasus Plaza)

(Main Street District: Main Street in front of Plush & City Tavern)

(Main Street District: Main Street in front of Roma Express)

  • 11:00 – 12:00 :: Rick Alvarado
  • 12:00 – 1:00 :: Justin Dyer
  • 1:00 – 2:00 :: Robbie Saunders of Tweed EQ
  • 2:00 – 3:00 :: David Lopez
  • 3:00 – 4:00 :: Ann Stover
  • 4:00 – 5:00 :: Tony Rey
  • 5:00 – 6:00 :: Poetry & Performing Arts – Montgomery Sutton, Edie Bakker & Sara Jane King of the Writers Garret
  • 6:00 – 7:00 :: Mike Freiley

(Deep Ellum: Main Street in front of Zen Baking Company)

Winter Clothing Donations

While the rest of us are dreaming about cooler temperatures, The Bridge is preparing for winter. During PARK(ing) Day The Bridge will be collecting donations for the homeless. New or hole-free gloves, hats and scarves (one-size-fits-all) can be dropped off at their PARK in the Main Street District. Visit with volunteers on Main Street between Ervay and Field!

Book Swap in Main Street District

D Magazine will be hosting a book swap in their space! Look for them on Main Street between Field and Akard.

D Magazine, along with Dirt, Half Price Books, and JD’s Tree Service, is having a book swap in front of Dirt on Main Street. Please bring gently used books and magazines and switch them out for some new (to you) books. Also, bring the kids around 5:30 to sit in our forest and listen as storytellers bring books to life.

2011 Participants Announced

We have a wide variety of participants —individuals, businesses, and organizations — for PARK(ing) Day Dallas 2011! Come out to see what each group does to transform their space and how they envision public space in Dallas. “PARK” installations will be focused in three areas around downtown Dallas. If you’re participating outside of these areas please let us know so we can add you to the list. The fun begins at 11:00am Friday!

Main Street District (Main Street between Field & Ervay): 11am–7pm

  • AIA Dallas Committee on the Environment (COTE)
  • Child’s Play
  • CityDesign Studio / City of Dallas Strategic Planning
  • City of Dallas Park & Recreation Department
  • Corgan Associates
  • D Magazine Partners
  • Dallas Center for Architecture
  • Deep Dallas
  • Downtown Residents Council
  • RE
  • Street Soccer Dallas
  • The Bridge
  • The Everyday City
  • The Lemonade Brigade
  • Trinity Strand Trail
  • 1900 Elm Lofts

Deep Ellum (Main Street between Good Latimer and Malcom X): 11am–7pm

  • Aubergine
  • Deep Dallas
  • Deep Ellum Outdoor Market
  • DSGN
  • Fihranka Dance Studio
  • In Accord
  • Inspire Culture
  • Millennium
  • Texas Hydroponics
  • The Graphics Group
  • Zen Baking Company

Arts District (Flora between Pearl and Olive): 11am–8pm

  • Dallas Arts District
  • Earth Day Dallas

Other Participants (outside of focus areas): 

  • The Playhouse Fun Project (Eladio Martinez Learning Center)
  • la terra studio, inc.


Registration Ending Soon

Registration for PARK(ing) Day Dallas is ending soon. If you would like to be involved in the inaugural Dallas event please register on our website by Tuesday, September 13th. After this date we cannot guarantee your team a space. We have received registration for over 30 parks and there is a great lineup of participants and entertainment for the event!

Participant Handbook Now Available

The planning team for PARK(ing) Day has compiled a helpful participant handbook to help teams with their PARK(ing) Day transformations. To view the document, visit our resources page or click below:

PARK(ing) Day Dallas Participant Handbook

Register for PARK(ing) Day Dallas!

Would you like to be part of PARK(ing) Day Dallas? Help make our inaugural event a success by forming a team to create a PARK! Whether you want to host a small space with a few neighbors or create a team-led spectacle for several hours, there’s room for everyone to participate!

Teams and individuals should visit our Registration Page to become involved. After registering, we’ll work with you to secure a PARK(ing) Space in our target areas (Main Street District & Deep Ellum) and connect you with other participants. If you plan on hosting your own PARK(ing) Day event outside of our target areas, let us know so we can connect and promote your event. We’re excited to hear what your team envisions for your space!

PARK(ing) Day Dallas is September 16th!

The inaugural PARK(ing) Day Dallas event will be held on Friday, September 16th. This event will transform on-street parking spaces into “PARK” installations in the downtown area. These transformed spaces will create areas for downtown employees and downtown residents to socialize, be entertained and imagine new uses for public space in the urban environment. The planning team consists of downtown residents, business and local organizations. Follow our website and Facebook page for updates as the date nears. To reserve a spot in one of our target areas, visit our Registration Page beginning August 15th. If you have ideas or suggestions for the event, we’d love to hear them!