Heritage Celebration makes for fun weekend
Friday and Saturday, April 22-23, were busy days in downtown Garland as it was the venue for festivities including the Bankhead Highway 100th birthday celebration, Garland’s 125th birthday celebration, the Wheels of Hope Car Show and the city’s Heritage Celebration. It began at lunchtime Friday afternoon with a parade of vintage cars coming to downtown Garland to enjoy a BBQ lunch and give attendees a chance to view the antique cars.
A brief history of the city was provided by Mayor Douglas Athas to kick off the birthday party. He was joined by Council Members Anita Goebel and Tim Campbell as well as Mayor Pro Tem B.J. Williams. State Representatives Angie Chen Button (Dist. 112), Cindy Burkett (Dist. 101) and Kenneth Sheets (Dist.107) presented a resolution as did State Senator Bob Hall (Dist. 2). U.S. Representative Pete Sessions (TX-32) also spoke and wished the city a happy birthday. Lifetime Garland resident and historian Mike Hayslip also addressed the crowd.
April 18, 1891, was the official date of the city’s incorporation. Garland began as two towns, Duck Creek and Embree. In 1886, two railroad lines put depots in the area and a dispute about where to put the local post office arose. It was eventually placed between the two communities which combined into Garland. The city is named after Augustus Hill Garland.
Home to 235,000 residents, Garland is now the 12th largest city in Texas and the 87th largest in the nation. Honors received include: One of the top 100 U.S. cities in which to live, one of the top cities for working parents, in top 10 for best midsize cities to purchase a home, one of the 10 safest cities in the U.S. Additionally, Garland was recently named the eighth best run city in the country.
“Garland is where things are made – products, careers, opportunities are made here,” Athas said.
The state and national dignitaries addressed the crowd and congratulated the city on its 125th birthday.
The Heritage Celebration also included Friday’s debut of a documentary called “Saving Magic 11th Street” as well as entertaining lecturers. There were children’s activities including face painting and bounce houses, live music and museum tours. The Bankhead Highway exhibit was unveiled at the Landmark Museum.
Attendees enjoyed an opportunity to visit with city employees from various departments and participate in a scavenger hunt for 14 Garland themed buttons.
Free movies, vintage home tours and downtown walking tours were available as well.
Saturday’s Wheels of Hope Car Show drew a large crowd of vintage vehicle fans. The number of cars on display doubled from last year’s show and the proceeds of the event benefited Garland’s Hope Clinic.