Thousands show up for Dallas Mayor's Back-to-School Fair




Posted on August 4, 2011 at 9:36 AM

Updated Thursday, Aug 4 at 1:03 PM

DALLAS - Thursday’s extreme heat caused serious concern for the thousands who attended The Mayors Back-To-School Fair in Fair Park.

As of noon, at least three people were treated for the heat. Fortunately their conditions never reached serious a more serious status. No one was taken to the hospital according to paramedics with Dallas Fire-Rescue.

Hundreds of Dallas families in need began lining up for the event starting at 2:30 a.m.

Jessica McKnight arrived at that time with her four children to become the first in line for the second year in a row.

McKnight said she came prepared for the heat, carrying a cooler full of water, juice and other cold beverages. As she told News 8, she was grateful temperatures reached only 91-degrees during her wait.

When doors opened at 8 a.m., Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings welcomed the crowd inside.

The cool air conditioning welcomed most of all for the hundreds who waited up to five and a half hours for the opportunity to load up on much-needed back to school supplies for free.

Due to the extreme heat, organizers put more safety measures in place this year. Monster water coolers are set up to dole out cups of water as needed. Also, 60 volunteers are handing out water as they go up and down the lines.

Paramedics were also in the area, driving small carts loaded with emergency medical supplies. They were prepared to shuttle people to one of two ambulances stationed at the event as needed.

By noon lines seemed shorter than the same time last year. Organizers said they believe turn out may be lighter due to the extreme heat .They also believe the lines were shorter because of a better crowd control system in place this year to move the crowds more quickly.

The event runs until 3 p.m. Thursday.

To take advantage of free school supplies, immunizations and haircuts, attendees must present a photo ID, proof of residency and proof of income.