By Stacey Leasca
January 14, 2019
dibrova/Getty Images

If you’ve paid a visit to Dallas over the last 50 years, odds are you’ve seen the “waterfall billboard.”

Along the Dallas' Stemmons Freeway sits one of the greatest advertising hooks of all time, and one of the city’s most iconic sites. But, what’s up with this waterfall billboard anyway? Here’s everything you need to know about how this truly unique Dallas landmark came to be.

How exactly did this billboard come to be?

The waterfall billboard was constructed in 1962 for San Antonio’s Pearl Brewing Co. It was the brainchild of the Dallas advertising firm Tracy-Locke. At the time, it was acclaimed as “the biggest beer sign in the U.S.,” according to The Dallas News. It was built to look just like a mountain spring and now pumps about 1.5 million gallons of water per day. It was constructed using bails of hay that were then sprayed with gunite, a form of concrete, The Dallas News explained.

What does it advertise?

Originally, the cascading billboard advertised Pearl Beer, but over the years it has also displayed ads for other beverages including Absolut and even became the home of a Salem cigarette ad, according to the Look Up blog. For the last 20 years, the billboard has been home to MillerCoors, which set up a permanent residency.

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What kind of shenanigans happen at the waterfall?

This is perhaps the best part of the sign. According to several news outlets, including The Dallas News, the billboard has played host to plenty of pranks. Over the years college students have hosted skinny dipping parties. It has been dyed red and orange innumerable times for Texas-OU weekend. It’s also often turned into a soapy mess thanks to pranksters dumping soap down the waterfall.

How is the waterfall being protected?

Here’s the best part: In 2008, the city of Dallas designated the board an "Extraordinarily Significant Sign," That means the site will now be protected by the city and was even given a facelift by Rock-Scapes to up the realness factor of the faux rocks. This way, visitors and locals alike are sure to enjoy the landmark for years to come, and maybe be inspired to grab a cold one when they get home.

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