There’s a T-Rex Walking Down The Street

There’s a T-Rex Walking Down The Street

by Steve Gamel

Last month, Lake Dallas resident Dalles Wielenga put on a family event in front of The Original Joey O’s in Corinth. Similar events are put on all the time by companies and local businesses looking to spur community involvement and foot traffic, but this one didn’t have the traditional rides and games you’re used to.

“People were on their phones saying, ‘There’s a dinosaur walking down 2181! You have to come see this,’” Wielenga said with a laugh. “There were people in their cars stopped at the light taking pictures. I’m just glad I didn’t cause an accident.”

Allow us to introduce you to DSW Productions/Jurassic Events, a new division of Wielenga’s Lake Dallas-based production company. It features a mechanical Tyrannosaurus Rex that walks, roars, and is so lifelike that Denton County residents are falling head over heels for it and business owners are searching for excuses to have it in front of their store.

Wielenga’s man-operated baby T-Rex can get up to 9-feet tall and is approximately 13 feet in length (from head to tail). And keep in mind this is NOT a costume. We’re talking about a movie-quality dinosaur versatile enough to cater to the average consumer for everything from kids’ birthdays to grand openings and various other social or corporate events.

So when Wielenga unveiled his “toy” in front of Joey O’s in March, it was no surprise that it was such a scene-stealer. “It’s random, isn’t it? And you’re right. But it looks like the community is warming up to it,” Wielenga said. “We did one event, and the Mayor of Lake Dallas showed up and was literally there all day long interacting with the people and the dinosaur. I love being in the community and meeting people. It’s my passion. This dinosaur gives me a way to do that.”

Wielenga’s out-of-the-box idea adds even more flavor to his existing production company. DSW Productions specializes in high-quality photography and videography for weddings, sporting events, major competition events, and more. Wielenga’s passion is capturing moments in people’s lives that make them smile and sometimes cry. In his words, “Each client I work with is a story and a door into another life and adventure.”

Three years ago, he came across several comical dinosaur videos on YouTube where people were pranking innocent victims. The pranks were harmless and very popular, which made Wielenga wonder if he could formulate a similar concept and use it on a kid-friendly level. “Those dinosaurs were larger, so I wondered why can’t I take the same concept and break it down to cater to the average consumer in the community?” Wielenga said.

Since that first event in March, DSW Productions/Jurassic Events has spread like wildfire and plans are to eventually add more dinosaurs to the mix (can you say Raptors?). DSW was there for the grand opening of Legacy Boxing Gym in Lake Dallas on March 24 and has also been asked to do a similar event for another local business. The Lake Dallas Police Department, Liberation Coffee, and the Palestine Police Department have also expressed interest.

“I love to see people’s faces warm up when they see the T-Rex, and I have to say thank you to Lake Dallas Mayor Michael Barnhart and his wife, Suzanne. Without them, we wouldn’t have generated as much traction as we have,” Wielenga said. “I am incredibly thankful for all the support we have received.”

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