Lone Star Park Will Host City of Grand Prairie Centennial Event on Saturday, April 25

Winner’s circle presentations by Grand Prairie officials, special ceremonies involving the city’s schools and civic organizations, commemorative 100th anniversary cupcakes and Dollar Day specials for fans in attendance highlight Lone Star Park’s Grand Prairie Centennial Anniversary Event on Saturday, April 25. Lone Star Million Preview Day Dollar Day specials include one-dollar hot dogs, popcorn, soft drinks, beer, programs and admission as well as live music by Breckenridge in the Courtyard of Champions.

The centennial celebration date was selected because the 100th race of the upcoming 2009 Spring Thoroughbred Meet will be run on April 25, when the Grade 3 $300,000 Texas Mile and the $50,000 Grand Prairie Turf Challenge will be among the stakes races run as part of Lone Star Park Million Preview Day. Grand Prairie city officials will participate in special winner’s circle presentations following those two stakes races.

"It’s an honor to help the City of Grand Prairie celebrate its 100th anniversary on one of the most important days of racing at Lone Star Park," said Lone Star Park President Drew Shubeck. "We look forward to hosting this exciting event for the city and its residents."

"We are so thankful Lone Star Park is helping the city celebrate its 100th year of incorporation," said Grand Prairie Mayor Charles England. "And, what better place to recognize 100 years of excellence than at this world class facility?

"Grand Prairie has grown from a town of 1,000 in 1909 to the seventh largest city in the Metroplex at 166,654 in 2009. Along the way we’ve added great residents, businesses and entertainment venues like Lone Star Park. We invite everyone to come on out April 25 for a great day at the races," added Mayor England.

"Lone Star Park has been such a significant part of the past 10 years in Grand Prairie, we felt it only fitting to celebrate the city’s centennial at the track on the day of the 100th race of the season," said Wayne Hanks, Grand Prairie Sports Facilities Corporation Vice President.

Lone Star Park’s Million Preview Day Grand Prairie Centennial Celebration is one of many events that are part of the City of Grand Prairie’s celebration of its 100 years of incorporation in 2009. For more information on the city’s plan to celebrate in 2009, visit www.gptx.org/centennial.

For tickets to Lone Star Park, which will kick off its live Thoroughbred meet on Thursday, April 9, call (972) 263-PONY (7669) or visit LoneStarPark.com.

Grand Prairie was founded in 1863 as Dechman when Alexander McRae Dechman platted 239.5 acres, what is now downtown Grand Prairie. The railroad changed the name to Grand Prairie in 1877 after it was built through town in 1876. The city was incorporated in 1909 with a population near 1,000 to ensure public safety concerns like fire and safe water were addressed.

Major growth occurred in the early 1940s when people moved into town to work for North American Aviation during World War II. By 1950, the city’s population had surged from 1,595 in 1940 to 14,594. In the late 1950s, Grand Prairie’s area went from 16 to 57 square miles through annexations and population in 1960 had doubled to 30,386. In 1966, the Dalworth School System became part of the Grand Prairie Independent School System and in 1967, Grand Prairie was named one of the top seven cleanest cities by Time Magazine. Grand Prairie’s population surpassed 50,000 in 1970.

The city’s first tourism venue, Traders Village, opened in 1973. The Westchester subdivision celebrated its grand opening in 1985, heralded as one of the finest residential developments in southwest Dallas County. In 1990, the Palace of Wax and Ripley’s Believe It Or Not re-opened in its current building after a fire destroyed the Wax Museum in 1988. Lake Joe Pool was completed in 1989 and in 1992, citizens passed a half cent sales tax to build Lone Star Park, which opened in 1997.

In 1999, Grand Prairie was named a fastest growing city for economic development in the Metroplex and citizens passed a quarter cent sales tax to fund parks and recreation projects, ultimately creating a parks system named "best in nation" in 2008 by the National Recreation and Parks Association. In 2000, the first housing development broke ground on the Estes Peninsula of Lake Joe Pool and the city acquired the parks around the lake. In 2001, the city opened Nokia Theater and in 2004 Lone Star Park hosted the 21st running of the Breeders’ Cup. The Airhogs minor league baseball team played their inaugural season in 2008, and the city was named a "best place to live" by Money Magazine, a Playful City USA by Kaboom and won the National Recreation and Parks Association Gold Medal Award for best parks in the nation.

A city of promise, a city of growth, a city of location, Grand Prairie (population 166,654) continues into the future on its path of success as it enters its next 100 years….Dream big, play hard, Grand Prairie.

Lone Star Park’s 2009 Spring Thoroughbred Season will run four days a week every Thursday and Friday at 6:35 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 1:35 p.m. starting on April 9. The Lone Star Million program on Memorial Day will start at 1:35 p.m. and special twilight programs with post-race holiday fireworks on Friday, July 3 and Saturday, July 4 (Lone Stars & Stripes Fireworks Celebration) will commence at 5 p.m. (All times are Central Time). For more information, visit LoneStarPark.com.

Lone Star Park’s 31-day, 2009 Quarter Horse Fall Meeting of Champions will be held from September 25 to November 28.

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