The Festival Park project took 10 years to put together and cost approximately $11 million to build. This includes time and money spent on cleanup, land acquisition, and the demolition of what was formerly in the park.
Totaling nearly 14 acres, Festival Park includes Festival Park Plaza, a retail and commercial office building. The concert area/entertainment complex located at the north side of the park is about 4 acres and holds several thousand people. The concert area features a permanent restroom facility, concession stand, and a 2700 square foot stage with a professional lighting grid and control room to attract top-notch talent. Backstage holds two individual dressing room areas and a large group dressing room, perfect for the entertainment lineup the Fayetteville Dogwood Festival attracts.
Festival Park has its own share of unique history:
Former inhabitants included the old USO building, which burned down in 2002. The building hosted dances during World War II and was one of the largest USO centers in the world. Another part of the land was home to MGP (Manufactured Gas Plant), which provided gas to downtown Fayetteville for nearly a century.
Lots of cleanup had to happen before the park was ready to begin construction. More than 33,000 tons of soil had to be removed from the former MGP site, as well as two large gas holders measuring 30 feet in diameter by 20 feet tall. The contaminated land had to undergo thermal treatment before any construction could begin.
Festival Park is located along Ray Ave. in between Rowan Street and Maiden Lane in the heart of Downtown Fayetteville.