Probably the deepest impact Dallas has had on the lexicon of pop culture (save for greatest of the Kennedy tragedies) was the ever-popular TV show of the same name. A mere two years after its debut, 83 million people sat in front of TVs to find out “Who shot J.R.?”
The remaining members of the original cast are coming together to celebrate both the legacy of the show and the city it’s based on in honor of Dallas’ 40th anniversary.
“We knew this year was a big year for the show, so it’s also a big year for Dallas, and it was important that we mark the occasion,” Frank Librio, chief marketing officer for Visit Dallas, says. “As our President and CEO Philip Jones has pointed out, the show’s important as a piece of iconic pop culture history and in shaping international perceptions of the city, so it’s only right we worked together to create an engaging weekend for the fans to enjoy the city.”
The Dallas 40th Year Reunion will be at Southfork Ranch in Parker on Friday and the Longhorn Ballroom on Saturday. The former served as the Ewing family mansion, and the latter, one of the most historic venues in Dallas, was the setting for the shows’ iconic barroom brawls.
Original castmates Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray, Charlene Tilton and Steve Kanaly will join in on meet-and-greet fan parties at both locations. The day at Southfork will include a tour of the Ewing mansion complete with show memorabilia, such as the infamous gun that shot J.R., as well as prizes for the best Ewing costumes.
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“We are excited to welcome the cast back to Dallas,” Librio says. “I know they are excited to come back and see Dallas in 2018. Linda always mentions in interviews that every time she comes back, she’s amazed at what’s new, and we agree. Dallas is always evolving. We have visitors coming from about 40 states in the U.S. and eight different countries, so people are traveling far to take part in this celebration.”
While getting the chance to drink a beer with Bobby Ewing at his favorite haunt or slap a romantic/business rival into the pool at Southfork may sound like a dream come true, there’s an even bigger treat planned for Dallas superfans. Four guests will be able to book one-night stays at the Ewing mansion in what’s billed as a once-in-a-lifetime event.
The rooms will be available to book April 2 on a first-come, first-served basis. A night of Dallas-centric fun is in store for the four guests. Bobby, Lucy and J.R.’s bedrooms will be available for guests to play out their favorite Patrick Duffy fantasies, but they're merely an ancillary part of the experience. An eerily meta screening of the first two seasons of Dallas in the Ewing living room, a private tour of the ranch and a home-cooked breakfast on the Ewing patio will round out the evening.
“Events are never easy, but our partners at Southfork Ranch and the talent themselves have been great ... to pull this together,” Librio says. “We knew fans who loved the show would want a chance to visit famous Southfork Ranch, so we’re looking forward to them getting to explore it with the stars.”