City of Cockrell Hill opens new park honoring the late Stevie Ray Vaughan

A new park opens up this weekend in North Texas dedicated to the life and legacy of one of the greatest guitarists of all time: Stevie Ray Vaughan.

The park is in Cockrell Hill, where he started his iconic career.

The sound of blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan is one-of-a-kind.

City leaders had no idea that in 1965, it’s when the future rock and roll Hall of Fame guitarist played his first gig.

In 2014, Mayor Luis Carrera received a late-night phone call from City Administrator Bret Haney who was watching a documentary highlighting Vaughan.  They learned Vaughan, who was born in Oak Cliff, performed his first concert in Cockrell Hill after moving to the Dallas suburb with his family.

"It was at what was called the Hill Theater," Carrera said.

The mayor was in for a bigger surprise. The venue burned down decades ago. And as he drove by the vacant property in the heart of a city that’s only about one square mile, he realized the land was for sale.

Some might say the stars aligned.


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"And they lined up for us big time," Carrera said.

The city purchased the property. It’s taken nearly a decade. But this weekend, it’s opening the Stevie Ray Vaughan Park. It will regularly host live music, food trucks and more all while recognizing one of Texas’ greats.

"I think it just opens up a realm of possibilities," Haney said.

Artist Steve Hunter is finalizing murals, hoping they help people never forget Vaughan, who tragically died in a helicopter crash in 1990.

"Stevie Ray, I mean he died young, but he left a legacy behind, you know?" he said.

Vaughan is recognized throughout Texas. From a statue near Downtown Austin to a memorial honoring him and his brother, Jimmie, in Oak Cliff.

Hunter hopes the park in Cockrell Hill where Vaughan first performed on stage will inspire future generations of Texas musicians.

"That’s kind of the cool thing about this park, I guess," he said. "It’ll introduce a lot of people to it."

Saturday's grand opening will begin at 2 p.m. and go until 9 p.m. It's free to the public and will include live music performers, including Texas Flood, a Stevie Ray Vaughan tribute band.