Real. Texas. Partnerships.
Special Events


Mesquite Parks and Recreation special events are virtually year round. More than 45,000 people attend special events each year … from the city’s signature event, the Real. Texas. Festival. to the perennial local favorite, the Daddy-Daughter Dance.

MP&R special events can provide prolonged exposure for partners through measured media advertising mentions, as well as on site displays.

Age demographics for city special events literally run the gamut … from ages 2-82. The average yearly income range for most special events falls in the $55,000-$85,000 range. Ethnicity for special events is predominantly Caucasian with a growing Hispanic sector.

Special Events partnerships can provide corporate branding on event inventory such as concert stages, entire areas (children’s area, vendor area, etc.), individual attractions (pony rides, carnival Ferris Wheel, etc.). It is also possible to be the presenting sponsor of the entire event … such as Christmas in the Park presented by Dallas Regional Medical Center or the Daddy Daughter Dance presented by First State Bank.

And, in the case of the Real. Texas. Festival., partners are eligible for attractive hospitality benefits such as general admission tickets, VIP passes, preferred parking and even backstage meet and greet passes for entertainers.

Special Events at a Glance

Real. Texas. Festival. – last weekend in April

Attendance – 25,000
Attractions – All Texas music concert series, Mesquite Pro Rodeo Series performances, Cowboys and Chrome Car Show, Taste of Mesquite Barbecue Competition, Talley Amusements Carnival.
Description – The festival is the city’s signature festival event. It is a regional entertainment draw as more than 60 percent of festival attendees responding to event surveys report not having a Mesquite zip code.
Headliners in the festival’s five-year history have included Blake Shelton, Los Lonely Boys, Cross Canadian Ragweed and Eli Young Band. The festival features the Mayors Food Drive that has generated almost 10,000 pounds of food for local food pantries, and has made its mark as a tremendous entertainment value. One admission price gets attendees into the venue, a seat at the rodeo, all attractions and concerts, parking, and free admission for kids 12-under.

Christmas in the Park – first weekend in December

Attendance – 12,000
Attractions – Letters to and pictures with Santa, live nativity scene, parade of lights, local school, church and community group entertainers, hayride and children’s areas, free hot chocolate.
Description – The city’s oldest festival, celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2011. It is almost a 100 percent locally attended event and includes an opening lighting ceremony that officially ushers in the Christmas season for the community. Attendees are able to roast marshmallows at a giant bonfire, as well as take advantage of several photo opportunities.

Haunted Camp Out – third weekend in October

Attendance – 1,500
Attractions – Haunted nature trail, costume contest, camp site decorating contest.
Description – The event takes place a Rorie-Galloway Day Camp and features a campout for families. Attendance is 100 percent local for the most part and may include a “zombie” paintball shooting gallery for 2011.

Daddy Daughter Dance – first or second Friday in February

Attendance – 1,500
Attractions – Door prizes, photo opportunities
Description – One of the most beloved special events for the parks and recreation department, the Daddy Daughter Dance provides dads to spend “date night” with their daughters and create memories that last a lifetime. There are two sessions – one for dads and their daughters ages 4-8 and one for dads and their daughters ages 9-12.

Mother Son Dance – First Friday in April

Attendance – 500
Attractions – Door prizes, photo opportunities
Description – The counterpart of the Daddy Daughter Dance, featuring the same format – except for mothers and sons. Currently, there is only one session.

Breakfast with the Bunny – second weekend in April

Attendance – 1,200
Attractions – Easter egg hunt, children’s activities, food, photo opportunities with the Easter Bunny
Description – The city’s traditional Easter egg hunt for the small children. Attendance for this event is also virtually 100 percent local and the demographic is younger as it involves young families with small children.

Doggie Splash Day – second or third weekend in August

Attendance – 500
Attractions – Various pet agility contests, pet costume contests, etc.
Description – One of the city’s swimming facilities goes to the dogs … literally. Pet owners are encouraged to bring their dogs to the pool for a day of contests and fun. Attendance at this event is 100 percent local as well.

Movies in the Park – monthly May through August

Attendance – 1,500
Attractions – Family-friendly movies shown drive-in style and food.
Description – Each month through the summer, Mesquite Parks and Recreation staff establish a mobile drive-in style theater in one of the city’s parks. The location for the movies rotates, culminating in August with a back to school affair at City Lake Aquatic Center. The movie becomes the “dive-in” movie and be viewed from the pool itself. Attendance does have some regional appeal as there are residents from neighboring cities who will attend, but the vast majority of attendees are local residents.


There are many options for marketing and promotional opportunities in Mesquite Parks and Recreation special events. Partners can be the presenting sponsor of one event or a grouping of events – depending on what their individual business and branding initiatives may be. The Real. Texas. Festival. and Christmas in the Park are the City’s two most significant events and they can be used as bookends to a year-round marketing platform that includes special events and one-on-one interfacing with potential customers through on-site displays.

Some of the marketing opportunities associated with on-site displays and vending at Mesquite special events include:

  • Product or service exclusivity (a way to lock out the competition)
  • Ability to conduct on site surveying and database development
  • Contest, give-aways
  • On-site sales rights
  • Ability to bring pass through rights and benefits to third party sponsors as long as they don’t violate any existing event or city exclusivities
  • On site signage in high profile areas (stages, gates and entry features, attractions, etc.)
  • In the cast of the Real. Texas. Festival., partners can be included on measured media advertising. The festival is promoted through $400,000 of advertising and promotion and qualifying partners could be included in television ads, outdoor billboards, radio spots and print ads,
  • Median signage promoting the event placed in highly traveled intersections prior to Real. Texas. Festival., as well as other forms of promotional material for all events (posters, fliers, etc.)

Partnerships involving the special events and other opportunities can be developed on request. For any or all questions regarding partnerships with the City of Mesquite Parks and Recreation Department, or the City of Mesquite proper, contact Daren Watkins, special events coordinator via e-mail at or phone, 972-216-6499