Raleigh, N.C. — Tethered hot air balloon rides and a Ferris wheel will allow visitors to see the Dorothea Dix Campus from a new perspective on Saturday. Destination Dix is a free festival featuring live music, children's activities and more.
The day-long festival will also include food vendors and beer and wine. With Saturday's high temperature expected to be near 100 degrees, organizers have incorporated shaded areas and misting tents into the event. Some children's events will also be water-based.
Fourteen bands will play three stages throughout the day.
All activities are free, but cash will be needed for food and beverage purchases and to purchase items from the 100 vendors on-site.
There is no parking on-site. Festival-goers will be able to take one of 40 buses that will run in a continuous loop from downtown Raleigh and N.C. State's Centennial Campus. All parking decks in downtown Raleigh and N.C. State Centennial Campus will be free on Saturday.
An event that nods to the past and looks to the future
The event also will serve as a celebration of the one year anniversary of the property's purchase by the City of Raleigh. Last July, the city closed on a $52 million deal for 308 acres of the campus with the intent to turn it into a destination park.
"The event will help welcome the city to its newest park," Raleigh senior planner Kate Pearce said.
The Dorothea Dix campus was home to the state's central mental health hospital for more than a century, but closed in 2012. The past of the land isn't forgotten as Saturday's event will also kick off an oral history project chronicling the stories of those who have connections with the hospital. NC Health News will be interviewing people who lived and worked at the hospital, in addition to family members of patients.
The goal is to "understand the lives that lived on the hill," Pearce said.
Future events to collect oral histories are planned.
Where to park on Saturday
also check out the city's interactive parking map)
In downtown Raleigh
Red Hat Amphitheater Shuttle Stop (Lenoir Street between Dawson and McDowell) serves these parking decks:
- Performing Arts Deck (128 W. South Street)
- Wake County Parking Deck (216 W Cabarrus Street)
- Municipal Parking Deck (201 W. Morgan Street)
Cabarrus Street Shuttle Stop (Cabarrus Street between Wilmington and Blount) serves this parking deck:
- City Center Deck (429 S. Wilmington Street)
Capital Area Shuttle Stop (Wilmington Street just north of Morgan next to NC Department of Transportation building) serves these parking decks:
- Moore Square Deck (233 S. Wilmington Street)
- Wilmington Station Deck (117 S. Wilmington Street)
- Main Campus - Coliseum Deck and Shuttle Stop (201 Jeter Drive)
- Venture Deck and Shuttle Stop (2400 Research Drive)
- Partners Way Deck and Shuttle Stop (851 Partners Way)
- Oval Drive Surface Lots and Shuttle Stop
Note: Capitol Broadcasting is a proud supporter of Destination Dix.