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Fort Worth Flashback: Downtown parade celebrated Casa’s curtain going up

Posted July 27, 2014

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After Dallas was selected to be the site of the official Texas Centennial Celebration in 1936, Amon G. Carter began making plans for a celebration in Fort Worth.

Several acres of a nearby cow pasture were to become a midway of exhibits, sideshows, a Wild West show and a musical circus. At the center of the complex was a large outdoor amphitheater and restaurant called Casa Mañana, “The House of Tomorrow.”

Carter hired Broadway producer Billy Rose to produce the “Show of Shows” for Fort Worth. In just a few weeks, the cow pasture was transformed into Casa Mañana, housing the world’s largest revolving stage and accommodating 4,000 guests. A large moat surrounded the stage and fountains projected a wall of water, which doubled as the stage curtain.

For the first time, Broadway magic graced Fort Worth.

To celebrate the addition of Casa to Fort Worth’s cultural lineup, a July 1937 downtown parade was held. This entry, from the Majestic Theater, hails the city as The Amusement Center of the Southwest.

The Fort Worth Library has approximately 10,000 items pertaining to the history of Fort Worth and Tarrant County. These items include city and county government documents, newspapers, directories, cemetery association records, maps as well as popular and scholarly books written by local authors or about local subjects. To learn more, call 817-392-7740 or email the Genealogy, History and Archives Section.

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