TEXARKANA -- It was beginning to look a bit like Christmas at the October meeting of Main Street Texarkana. Discussion ranged around a set of topics as the board assessed things going into the holiday season. Ina McDowell, Main Street executive director ,confirmed that the parade was indeed still going on, 12 Days of Christmas had been selected as the theme and yes, Santa Clause confirmed he was attending.
In additional Yuletide cheer, another downtown landmark will make its appearance on this year's Christmas ornament, this time, the famous Hotel McCartney.
This year's parade will be the 37th downtown Christmas parade.
"We got so far in setting up last year's parade, that even though it was canceled, we are counting it anyway," said McDowell.
Destination Downtown and Downtown Live both ended up taking place on the same Saturday, last Saturday. Though it was not exactly planned that way, the two event complemented each other and the crowd was hopping by the time 7:30 p.m. arrived.
Several new businesses are preparing to open downtown, including David Peavy's The Banana Club, a new coffee shop entitled The Stained Page, as well as a new salon. In addition, Aycock Distributing at 420 W. Broad has been bought, with a planned enterprise there to be announced later.
Texarkana Community Foundation has given Main Street Texarkana a grant of $2,500 for maintaining the downtown planters.
Patterson Troike Foundation has given a $25,000 grant allowing Dark Sky lighting to be installed at East Broad Street, on the Arkansas-side. This method of lighting is said to produce far less light pollution, far less obscuring of the natural night lighting of stars and moon.
"Also, we received an Arkansas Public Art Grant for a 'Love Downtown' mural on the side of Crossties," McDowell said.
Finally, it was announced that an upcoming coffee table style photography art book entitled Upper East Side of Texas, featuring photos of small towns and cultural districts, will feature photos of downtown Texarkana. A publishing date has yet to be announced.