Easter in the Park's Back On Easter Sunday in Lee Park (Complete With Pooch Parade!)

Last month we noted that the Turtle Creek Association had bumped up the long-running Easter in the Park from April 24 to April 17 and cut from the schedule of events the beloved Pooch Parade, not to mention an appearance by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. The reason: The TCA wanted to make the event more "kid-friendly," which many in the gay community took as "a slap in the face," as Oak Lawn resident Mike Walker told Patrick Michels last month.

Turns out, Chris Heinbaugh in Mayor Dwaine Caraway's office stepped in to calm the waters -- which is why we just received a release from the Cedar Springs Merchants Association announcing that Easter in the Park is indeed on for April 24 at Lee Park, complete with the Pooch Parade and the DSO after all. The announcement follows. The TCA's week-earlier event remains as well: Creek Craze, which will indeed be geared toward the wee ones.

Heinbaugh tells Unfair Park that since TCA "had already gone down the road with Creek Craze," it became an issue of finding the funds for Easter in the Park. He says several sponsors stepped up, among them Kroger, Park Place Volvo and MetroPCS, and that whatever cost shortfall remains will be made up by concession sales at Lee Park on the 24th.

"We felt it was important everyone kind of come together on this and keep these things together, especially when we realized the TCA was moving forward with their more kid-focused event," he says. "The reality was, you were going to get thousands of people there on Easter Sunday, and you have to make sure all those pieces are there -- concessions, port-a-potties and so on -- or it would be a disaster. ...

"Some folks were initially concerned at the use of 'family-friendly.' I also get that it's difficult to explain to your kids why the Easter Bunny's passed out on the lawn doing Jell-O shots. Finding a day when we can push the kids' events and do Easter-egg decorating was good. And now I hope we end up with a good pair of events that we can move forward with and it becomes a win-win for everyone."



DALLAS, TEXAS - The Cedar Springs Merchants Association is pleased to announce that Easter in the Park and the Kroger Pooch Parade will be held on Easter, Sunday, April 24, 2011. This annual event is sure to be the best yet.

The Dallas Symphony's program offers 12 selections which will include a waltz and polka from Johann Strauss, Jr; Promenade from Shall We Dance by George Gershwin; Easter Parade by Irving Berlin and Tchaikovsky's well-know "Waltz of the Flowers" from The Nutcracker.

"Easter in the Park is one of our beloved outdoor performance traditions," said Cynthia Hinojose, director of community engagement with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. "It's important to the Symphony to bring classical music to members of the community in free public venues."

"Easter in the Park is one of our favorite outdoor traditions at Lee Park and Arlington Hall," said John Williams, president and CEO of Lee Park & Arlington Hall Conservancy. "We celebrate the creativity and love for our four-legged friends during the Pooch Parade and then relax for an afternoon with beautiful music."

Last year more than 100 dogs participated in the Pooch Parade on Easter Sunday. Parade coordinator, The Petropolitan, is preparing for another year of pampered pups to be dressed up by, and sometimes with, their owners in their Easter finest.

Local comedian and entertainer Paul J. Williams will emcee the pooch parade. The Special Guest Grand Marshal will be announced next week. The judges include Dallas City Council Members, Angela Hunt and Pauline Medrono.

Special thanks to the City of Dallas Mayor's Office, the Turtle Creek Association and the Lee Park Conservancy for the continued support and partnership. Be sure to attend both Easter events, Creek Craze on April 17, 2011 and Easter in the Park on April 24, 2011.

Schedule of Events

11:00 AM Pooch Parade Registration Opens ($10.00 per pet / cash)

12:00 PM Food & Beverage Vendors Open

1:00 PM Pooch Parade Begins with Special Guest Emcee Paul J. Williams

3:00 PM Dallas Symphony Performs

5:00 PM Food & Beverage Vendors Close

6:30 PM Easter Bonnet Contests begin at select Cedar Springs Clubs

(A list will be at Lee Park with times and locations)

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