I moved to Texarkana over six years ago from Northern Virginia. Over the last six years I have watched this tiny town, in the middle of nowhere, not only become my new home, but I’ve watched it blossom. I am the first to admit that when my husband drove us around downtown for the first time, my first thought was, “I probably shouldn’t come down here alone.” Buildings were vacant, windows were covered. For all intents and purposes, it didn’t sit right with me. Six years later however, it’s a completely different story. Businesses have boomed, buildings have been repaired and brought back to their once former glory, and so many changes such as the continuous Entertainment District have been approved for city use. So why do so many still get that uneasy feeling about the downtown area? History.
Historically, the downtown area of Texarkana has been viewed as being involved with courts, criminals, and jail. However, just like other small towns around the United States, it’s common to find your local jail, court house, and a few vagrants in the heart of any downtown city. Our local City Officials, along with business owners and construction crews, have been working diligently over the last six years to bring Downtown Texarkana back to life. Not just for our community, but for visitors from around the world to enjoy.
Local law enforcement have stepped up their game too. By patrolling the area more diligently, and taking the time to stop and sit with visitors downtown. You’re more likely to find a police officer stopping to visit with the youth and community members visiting downtown, than to watch them bring someone into the Bi-State.
I write this article not to force you to go downtown, but rather as a way to encourage others, who like me, got that nervous feeling. As a person who grew up outside of Washington, D.C., I am still more scared to get off the metro in the heart of D.C., than to take a ten minute stroll in Downtown Texarkana. Sometimes you just have to throw caution to the wind and give it a chance. I can promise, you won’t be disappointed.
Over the next few weeks, TXKToday will highlighting different aspects of our Downtown boom. TXKToday will be exploring new businesses, food trucks, events, and so much more, to not only support our local growth, but to continue to encourage others to check out its progress. Stay safe out there Texarkana.