The candy-themed pop-up called Candytopia is about to make its DFW debut, and you can bet your cowboy hat it's going to come loaded with Texas stereotypes.
The installation will open on April 5 in the former TreeHouse space at 8021 Walnut Hill Ln. at The Hill, the mixed-use retail and restaurant development at Walnut Hill Lane and US 75 in Dallas.
Candytopia was born in 2018 in Santa Monica, followed by runs in San Francisco, New York, Atlanta, and Minneapolis. The marshmallowy mini-theme park features more than a dozen rooms with larger-than-life interactive art installations and sensory experiences.
According to Jackie Sorkin, global candy artist/Candytopia co-founder — which her PR people emphasize is her full title — the Dallas installation will reprise some of the most popular attractions from past locations, along with new elements inspired by local culture and landmarks unique to the city.
"We'll have Western flair, sports team love, and of course, we had to tackle some big Texas icons, too," Sorkin says.
In other words, something on the Dallas Cowboys, something on the State Fair of Texas, and something with cowboy boots.
The installation has numerous rooms and "experiences," along with bowls of samples to take such as candy bracelets and Pixie Stix. There are vibrant sculptures made entirely of candy, plus colorful, interactive tableaus that provide backdrops for photo opps galore.
Environments include everything from the confetti room, featuring flying unicorn pigs that "fart" confetti, to a "marshmallow pit" made of faux marshmallows — basically a pool of "marshmallows" you jump into and submerge yourself.
While the candy aspect gives it a kiddy vibe, there's artistry that targets adults, with candy paintings of the Mona Lisa, Van Gogh's The Starry Night, and pop cultural touchstones such as Prince and a portrait of Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka.
Candytopia chose Dallas because of its location in the South, Sorkin says.
"We want to spread candy love across the USA and are doing so quickly," she says. "We love the South and are currently experiencing such a fabulous run with our Atlanta location in Buckhead. Texas just seemed like the right fit for our next stop. We know everything is bigger here, and we are BIG dreamers with wildly sweet new creations made just for the Dallas audience."
Sorkin says she's always been into sweets. "I was obsessed with Willy Wonka as a kid and watched the movie every day after school," she says. "I loved candy, chocolate, treats, and sweets. This is truly my dream job now."
They use hundreds of different types of candy throughout Candytopia. "We source it from all over the United States as well as internationally," she says. "We utilize incredible candy confectioners from around the globe."
And the lifespan of sugar survives from one city to the next.
"We like to think of ourselves as the new traveling circus," she says. "We break down and pack up over a dozen semi-trucks and move to our next secret location."