Raleigh announces plans for Dix Park

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Mayor Nancy McFarlane

Thursday, the city of Raleigh announced a new family-friendly community festival at Dorothea Dix Park.

The July 23 event will celebrate the one-year anniversary of the city's purchase of the property.

Local Bands such as Bombadil and Chatham County Line will perform on two stages. There will be food, a kid's area, and even a Ferris wheel from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Mayor Nancy McFarlane said the Dix Park Conservancy has already raised about $3 million to put on the event and make it free to the public. The mayor said there's easily room for thousands of people on the old mental hospital campus.

Raleigh residents ABC11 spoke with Thursday said they are looking forward to the event.

"I think it's a good idea. I mean anything that you have for people to give them an outlet something different, especially community, family. I think it's a real good idea," said resident William Sims.

"Even before it was a park I used to go over there with my dog and hang out so that's awesome. I think that'd be great. I think it's the perfect place for a park and I haven't heard about the community festival but I love all the little things Raleigh throws," said Bhriel Perniciaro.

Mayor McFarlane said her vision for the more than 300-acre park near downtown that was purchased for $52 million is to turn it into a world-class destination park.

"You want it to be a park like no place else so it's not your normal swing set and swimming pool. It's something that no one else has," she explained.

As for what the city will ultimately do with the rest of the land, the Mayor says that still hasn't been determined.

No parking will be allowed at the park during the festival. The city will provide free shuttles from various areas, including downtown.

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