It’s sure to be Raleigh’s biggest summer party ever. July 23 marks the one-year date of the City of Raleigh’s purchase of the Dorothea Dix campus from the state of North Carolina, and everyone’s invited to the free #DestinationDix celebration.

Hundreds of people have explored the property in the past few weeks on tours led by Dix Park Project Manager Kate Pearce, but this will be the first opportunity for many Raleighites to truly appreciate the massive 308-acre space.

#DestinationDix offers plenty to explore between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.:

  • three live music stages showcasing 14 bands
  • The PIT Pig Pickin’
  • 25 food trucks
  • beer garden and wine bar
  • Ferris wheel, tethered hot air balloon and other rides
  • family-friendly activities
  • water zone
  • magicians, aerialists and street performers
  • shade and misting tents1

Admission and activities are all free but you’ll need money for food (or the wine and beer tents) and if you want to buy any crafts from local vendors or a Destination Dix t-shirt. Parking is not available onsite but free shuttles run from downtown Raleigh and NC State between 9:45 a.m. and the end of the event. Biking is also encouraged.

“Dix is a special place and we wanted to throw a special party to celebrate the possibilities of the future,” Pearce said. “There will be something for everyone, young to old, just like the park itself as it grows into an amenity for all of Raleigh to enjoy.”

The City of Raleigh, in partnership with Dix Park Conservancy, is starting to “plan the plan” this summer.  It’s a community-wide effort; 415 people applied to serve on the 45-member Dorothea Dix Park Master Plan Advisory Committee. Pearce and her team are reviewing the applications and will soon submit recommendations to the City Council, and the planning process kicks off in 2017.

Even though the park will be around for decades (or longer!), don’t wait to get a sneak peek of Raleigh’s new big, bold space. Councilman Bonner Gaylord said it best: “This is an event you don’t want to miss!”

  1. In case it’s a sizzling summer day; here’s hoping Mother Nature accepted the invite and shows up in a good mood, but even if it showers the show will go on
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