MegaFest Exclusive Interview: VisitDallas Talks Art, Culture, Diversity
Bishop T.D. Jakes and his team are so excited to have MegaFest returning to the city of Dallas again for a third year! In partnership with VisitDallas, MegaFest is giving you, the readers, a chance to learn more about the vibrant city of Dallas, with this exclusive VisitDallas interview.
The Potter’s House / MegaFest: Hello there! My name is Shanda Henley, SEO copywriter / editor for The Potter’s House digital marketing team in Dallas, TX. Please feel free to let everyone know who you are and how long you’ve been in your role at VisitDallas.
VisitDallas: My name is Cheryl Richards, senior vice president / chief diversity and inclusion officer. I have been in this role for 4 1/2 years, but I have been with this incredible organization for 29 1/2 years.
Now that we’ve gotten the introductions out of the way, let’s dive right into the interview.
The Potter’s House / MegaFest: For those who may not know, what exactly is VisitDallas?
VisitDallas: VisitDallas is the official sales and marketing organization for the city. Our mission is to favorably impact the Dallas economy through travel and tourism.
The Potter’s House / MegaFest: As Bishop T.D. Jakes proudly stated during the MegaFest press conference at the Omni Hotel, “Dallas means so much to me. I have my wife here; we’ve raised our children in this city; and I’ve buried my parents here.” In your opinion, what makes Dallas a prime city for families?
VisitDallas: Dallas is definitely a family-friendly destination. Let’s start with all the things there are to see and do here, including museums, attractions, historical sites, parks, entertainment districts, shopping centers, professional sports teams, restaurants, and more. The spirit and the southern hospitality of the people that live, work, and play here are contagious and continues to attract newcomers each and every year.
The Potter’s House / MegaFest: Since 2004, MegaFest has attracted thousands of visitors from across the world, including South America, South Africa, China, and Australia, among others. From a cultural perspective, when visitors come to Dallas, what cultural experiences can they expect from the city? Are there any specific museums or restaurants that would enrich the visitor’s experience?
VisitDallas: Dallas is a city rich in culture and diversity. Many people don’t realize it until they are actually in the city and see what all Dallas has to offer, from the African American Museum, Holocaust Museum, Latino Cultural Center, Dallas Museum of Art, to public art, festivals, and culturally diverse entertainment districts that span across the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
The Potter’s House / MegaFest: With so many cultural sights and sounds to experience, visiting Dallas is definitely worth the trip. Most people associate the term “melting pot” with cities like New York City. However, over the years, the city of Dallas has grown to attract people from all ethnicities and nationalities. In your opinion, what has attributed to Dallas becoming more culturally diverse?
VisitDallas: The people. Dallas is also a melting pot of cultures, traditions, and values. Our city was built on the big ideas and the “can-do spirit” of our residents. The innovation that stems from the diversity of our people has created the great city that Dallas is today. And did I mention Moving Cities: Dallas? Check it out while you are in the city at NorthPark Center.
The Potter’s House / MegaFest: Currently, the city of Dallas is ranked as the ninth largest city in the nation and the third largest city in Texas. What do you think has contributed to the city’s growing population?
VisitDallas: Our city is diverse and rich in culture offering a comfortable cost of living, employment opportunities, and corporate headquarters relocating to our city.
The Potter’s House / MegaFest: With over a million people residing in the city, having a reliable and robust transportation system is essential. However, many people may not be aware of the various options available to them to get to their destinations using DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit). What are some ways that visitors can maximize their transportation options while visiting Dallas?
VisitDallas: My favorite question. Go to DART.org/MegaFest. This is your road map to getting around Dallas. Also, the McKinney Avenue Trolley to numerous Dallas entries is a must-ride while in town.
The Potter’s House / MegaFest: It can be a daunting task to keep up with all of the latest attractions throughout the city. If you could recommend one attraction that visitors must experience, what would that attraction be and why?
VisitDallas: That’s not fair. There are so many great attractions that visitors must experience. I would recommend visitors purchase the Dallas CityPASS at CityPASS.com. One price….six venues.
The Potter’s House / MegaFest: MegaFest prides itself on being an entertainment experience for the entire family. For those attending MegaFest with “little ones” in tow, what are some attractions that they should see?
VisitDallas: Families don’t want to miss one of the best zoos in the country. That is the Dallas Zoo. Little ones will be able to create experience after experience.
The Potter’s House / MegaFest: Since this summer will mark MegaFest’s third time in the city of Dallas, it’s probably safe to say that local restaurants and retailers are expecting a significant boost in foot traffic for this summer’s event. What can visitors do in preparing to navigate through the city?
VisitDallas: Book before you go to the following. Download the DART GoPass app and purchase the Dallas CityPASS. Both essentials for navigating the city.
The Potter’s House / MegaFest: Lastly, although all of the MegaFest attendees must return to their respective homes across the world, we would love for everyone to stay in Dallas. However, as the adage states – “all good things must come to an end.” If you could have visitors walk away from Dallas with one sentiment, what would that sentiment be?
VisitDallas: Wow!!! Big Things Do Happen Here!
The Potter’s House / MegaFest: Thank you, Cheryl Richards, for speaking with me today. It has been a pleasure getting acquainted with you and the VisitDallas organization. On behalf of The Potter’s House and the MegaFest team, we look forward to partnering with VisitDallas in the coming years.
Friends, we’re ready for you to visit our great city this summer. So, register for MegaFest today – and we’ll see you soon!