True to its own particular, relaxed style of life, Fort Worth was a late participant in the city festival field. For years, Tyler has held its Rose Festival; San Antonio, its Fiesta; El Paso, its Charro Days, and Austin, its Aqua Festival. Houston and Dallas have long since become too large and polymorphic to dabble in such diversions, although Dallas’ State Fair and Houston’s Livestock Show and Rodeo might be considered entrants.
What finally succeeded in getting Fort Worth’s attention was the US Army Corps of Engineers. With its usual deft touch, the Corps completed its flood control project on the Trinity River, leaving the banks barren and hideously landscaped with Tarrant County rocks and dirt.
This spectre moved the good ladies of the Junior League to action. Powerful members such as Mrs. J. Lee Johnson and Polly Phillips organized the streams and valleys committee to work toward preserving what was left of the natural river areas.
They brought in nationally-known San Francisco landscape architect Laurence Halprin to map out a master plan of the area. Money was raised for trees (more than 4000 have been planted), bike trails, recreational facilities, and other beautification measures to eradicate the eyesore and offer citizens another way to spend their leisure time in Fort Worth besides going to art museums.
To aid in the fund raising, the Trinity River Festival or Mayfest ’73 was held last year in Trinity Park and was literally a smashing success, complete with weak tornado and equatorial downpour. Profits from the soggy hoopla were used to install underground electrical wiring and lighting for the park and a grist mill in the Log Cabin Village.
Mayfest ’74 is planned for May 4 and 5 with the four sponsoring groups praying for sunshine. Adults and kids over six pay a dollar.