Arlington has enjoyed a colorful past that dates back to 5,000 B.C., when the Caddo Indians occupied the land. Incorporated in 1884, the city began to experience dramatic growth in the 1950s when the population rose from 8,000 to 45,000. In the years to follow, Arlington would gain a reputation as an aggressive business center, regional sports and family entertainment destination, and the home of a major college within the University of Texas system.
The city of Arlington is located halfway between Ft. Worth and Dallas along the I-30 in Tarrant County. North Arlington is generally defined as everything north of Division Street. Arlington is home to major names in the retail, service, and manufacturing industries and is a major tourist destination.
Students in the city are served by the Arlington Independent School District. The district is comprised of 77 schools. Institutions of higher learning include the University of Texas at Arlington, Tarrant County Junior College, and Texas Christian University.
The University of Texas at Arlington is a 100-year-old, comprehensive research, teaching and public service institution. It is the second largest component of the world-renowned University of Texas System and the sixth largest university in Texas. A modern 390-acre campus a few blocks from downtown Arlington offers easy access to museums, concerts, ballet, theater, family recreation, professional sports and other interests.
The River Legacy Living Science Center offers educational programs for students of all ages, as well as special family activities and presentations that help fulfill the educational goal of the center?to provide quality education on biodiversity, ecology and the environment in order to foster an appreciation for the natural world and a better understanding of one's place in it. Strategically located on nearly 1,000 acres of natural habitat, the center's exhibits, programs and activities encourage the appreciation of natural resources while emphasizing the importance of preservation and restoration for years to come.
Residents in the city participate in a number of community events including the city's Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration. The celebration typically includes three days of activities, including musical performances and special guest speakers, focusing on the life and message of Dr. King. An essay and artwork contest for students is held in conjunction with the event.
Other events include the Cardboard Boat Regatta sponsored by River Legacy Parks. Teams explore the inherent characteristics of cardboard while being creative in meeting the challenges of staying afloat. The city celebrates Independence Day every year with festivities including a Fourth of July parade and other activities. In the fall, Trinity River Awareness Day is held with volunteers walking along the banks of the Trinity River at River Legacy Park and picking up trash and debris.
One of the highlights of the year is the annual Celebration of Lights featuring a tree lighting, family activities and entertainment including live music, strolling minstrels, free carriage rides, free pictures with Santa, face-painting and more. In addition, the holiday lights in the Arlington neighborhood of Interlochen are known throughout the Metroplex as a stunning display.
With an available workforce of more than 309,000 people, 96 square miles of major industrial corridors and 27 million square feet of industrial space, the city of Arlington is among the fastest-growing areas in the region. The city is the third largest in North Texas, seventh largest in the state and 56th largest in the nation. Arlington's rapid growth even outpaces that of its closest neighbors, Dallas and Fort Worth.
Arlington has seen extensive development of the Entertainment District clustered along Interstate 30. Attractions include the new AT&T Stadium where the Dallas Cowboys play; Six Flags Over Texas, a theme park that draws three million visitors annually; Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, America's premier water theme park; The Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, home to Texas Rangers Baseball Club; and a host of museums, parks and shopping facilities. The Arlington Convention Center is located in the heart of Arlington's entertainment district.
Arlington Parks and Recreation maintains and operates more than 3,800 acres of parkland, which include Lake Arlington, five multi-purpose recreation centers, two senior recreation centers, three softball complexes, one soccer complex, five swimming pools, an award-winning 12-court tennis center, and four golf courses. Both Richard Simpson Park and Bowman Springs Park are located at the 2,250-acre Lake Arlington. Boating and fishing are available.
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