Free Festival Celebrating Dorothea Dix as Future Park

Destination Dix mapA free festival will welcome family and friends to celebrate the Dorothea Dix Campus near downtown Raleigh and its planned transition to a park.  The daylong event will take place on Saturday, July 23, 2016, and will feature tethered hot air balloon rides, a Ferris wheel, food vendors, live music, children’s activities and more.

CBC President & CEO Jim Goodmon is the President of the Board of Directors for the Dix Park Conservancy.  The organization is partnering with the City of Raleigh on the big event.

The City of Raleigh finalized the contract to purchase the Dix property in May 2015, and the Council of State then voted unanimously to approve the state’s sale of the 308-acre campus to Raleigh on the same day.

The area will become a green area for the city, becoming a park rather than a location for more commercial development.  The transformation will take several years.

“I think we’re going to have a great destination park,” Goodmon told WRAL.com. “Part of the fun is getting everybody together to figure out what that is.”

The free event will also celebrate the history of Dorothea Dix.  The campus was home to the state’s mental health hospital for more than a century, but closed in 2012.  The past of the land isn’t forgotten as Saturday’s festival will also kick off an oral history project chronicling the stories of those who have connections with the hospital, in addition to family members of patients.

Find an interactive map of the festival with details about parking (no parking will be available on site, but shuttles will run) and more:

Thanks to WRAL Out & About’s Kathy Hanrahan for contributions to this capcom story and to WRAL.com for these capcom photos.  Thanks to Corp’s Loretta Harper-Arnold for this capcom video, which was created by FOX 50’s Marc Derro.

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