north of the Science
Place II building is the Texas Star, the tallest ferris wheel
in the nation at 212 feet. Buster Brown, a carnival ride entrepreneur,
spent over two million dollars for the SDC Corporation to build it.
Constructed at the Italian city of Reggio Emilia, the ferris wheel
was completed in 1985 and shipped overseas in time for the state fair.
It had 44 gondolas which provided a total passenger capacity of 264,
causing Buster Brown to make the prediction that it would take between
seven and ten years to pay off his investment.
| The Texas Star
Photo courtesy Clint Skinner, February 2016
was killed in an car accident in 1990, his wife Barbara and her
brother Mike Sandefur gained ownership of the ferris wheel and continued
the tradition of operating the attraction. The future of the wheel
remained uncertain during 2012 because the owners did not renew
their contract with the state fair. Fearing they no longer had what
it took to keep operating the ferris wheel, they advertised their
intention to sell it . However, when some of the potential buyers
expressed the desire to remove the ride from Fair
Park, Barbara and Mark decided to remove their offer then signed
a new long-term contract. Upon completion of the agreement, the
duo made it clear to the public that the ownership and operation
of the Texas Star would remain in the family.
December 5, 2016
© Clint Skinner
3.Dallas Morning News Archives
5.Slate, John H. Historic Dallas Parks. Arcadia Publishing, 2010.
8.Winters, Willis Cecil. Fair Park. Arcadia Publishing, 2010.