Deep Ellum Community Arts Fair Return – cialisdfr
Deep Ellum Community Arts Fair Return
Deep Ellum Community Arts Fair Return

The Deep Ellum Community Arts Fair is back for a second year, providing the biggest pre-blackout party in Dallas.

Dallas Express spoke with Briony Lee, president of the Deep Ellum Community Association, about the community’s rich history and what we can expect this year after the fair’s successful debut last year.

Deep Ellum is “the most dynamic entertainment district in Dallas today,” Lee said. “It’s home to over 30 live music venues, some of the city’s best restaurants and more murals than any other neighborhood in the city.”

“There’s something to discover around every corner,” Lee added.

Speaking about Deep Ellum’s evolution into a creative hub, Lee explained that Deep Ellum was originally “more of a residential neighborhood … in a separate city in east Dallas. It wasn’t until 1890 that Deep Ellum officially became part of the city of Dallas.

Lee continued to explain to Dallas Express that Deep Ellum is more of a mix of residential and industrial, and it wasn’t until “probably about 100 years ago that it became known as Theater Row.” Theater Row, Lee explained, stretched “from Deep Ellum down to what is now the Majestic.”

By the 1920s, Deep Ellum was becoming known for its rich blues music.

Speaking about the cultural phenomenon of Deep Ellum, Lee said, “Deep Ellum is on the map, not only locally, but globally, because it’s part of the history of building the blues and the legacy of the blues that we know today.”

“You stand in Deep Ellum and you can see that the arts are alive and well in the city of Dallas,” Lee said DX.

When asked about the success of last year’s inaugural Deep Ellum Community Art Fair (DECAF), Lee said, “There were a lot of moving parts and some really hard-working volunteers that made it happen.”

She explained that while she led the event, “it was certainly not a one-man effort. It was a monumental public elevator.”

Last year’s fair attracted nearly 80,000 visitors over three days. When asked if the organizers had expected such a large turnout, she quipped: “It’s really hard to say what we’re expecting because we haven’t done it before. We expected a good turnout, but this number of 80,000 was bigger and more exciting than we expected.”

Residents and visitors alike can kick off the total solar eclipse festivities by heading to Deep Ellum for the second annual DECAF. The fair will be held from April 5 to 7 on Crowdus Street from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The visit is free and open to all ages.

“The goal of this event is to bring people to Deep Ellum, and one of our goals is to bring people to the existing physical bars and restaurants,” Lee said DX.

Lee explained that they are “partnering with the bars” on Crowdus Street and “some of them will have little beer gardens on their patios to help build on the commerce and culture that already exists in Deep Ellum.”

When asked to name some of her top spots and supporters on the historic Deep Ellum footprint, she replied, “My favorite is St. Pete’s Dancing Marlin, which is a Deep Ellum institution.”

St. Pete’s Dancing Marlin has been around for more than two decades and boasts hardwood floors, a 42-foot wooden bar with more than 50 brands of bottled beer, 15 draft beers and premium wines, according to its website.

“Then there’s a newer bar, Will Call, and they’re also big supporters of the local music scene and DECAF,” Lee added.

DECAF will have roaming circus performers and three outdoor stages with live music. Music will be provided by local musicians including Desi 5, Bull By The Horn and more.

Art is the main focus of the fair, with “over 100 fine and decorative artists spanning all mediums,” Lee said, ranging from painters to photographers to jewelers and tanners.

“This event is really focused on art and artists, all of whom are local or regional artists, 75 percent of them from the greater Dallas area,” Lee said DX. “Anyone who participates in this event must demonstrate a significant connection to the Deep Ellum neighborhood.”

“That means some of them live in the neighborhood or are adjacent to it, display artwork elsewhere in the neighborhood, or have murals in the neighborhood,” Lee explained. “Some of them have a significant connection to the neighborhood through childhood memories, night walks on the town or having lived in the area.”

This year’s fair is expected to attract at least as many visitors as last year, and most likely more. However, Lee recommends people use the DART to avoid traffic problems.

“Deep Ellum is about two blocks from two different DART stations,” Lee said. “It’s really easy to get off the train and walk a few blocks to participate in the event.”

“This event is organized by local people for local people,” stressed Lee DX. “All staff and volunteers put their time into this event because they believe in promoting the arts and community in Deep Ellum. This event was created and created for the community by the community.”

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