GROESBECK, Texas – The City of Groesbeck is having a special celebration starting Thursday night to mark 150 years of history and community.
“If it had not been for the railroad, we wouldn’t be here. So we have to give the credit to the railroad,” Groesbeck Chamber of Commerce Director Larry Smith, Sr. said.
Smith and Tom Hawkins, who is also a Director with the Chamber of Commerce, says this is why they are celebrating 150 years with a Heritage Festival. The city is actually named after a railroad employee – Abraham Groesbeeck.
“It was Groesbeeck, but the post office changed it to ‘beck’ in 1900 because it was easier to spell, I guess!,” Hawkins said.
From then until now, Groesbeck has developed with businesses, a school district and parks – drawing tourism to historic sites and attractions.
“Our slogan for the community is ‘The Friendly City,’ and that’s what we’ve always known about Groesbeck,” Smith said.
Smith and Hawkins say you can’t talk about the community without remembering its history – like the Groesbeck Red Brick which was used to pave streets and build homes and businesses in the 1900’s. They found a way to create a permanent display with the bricks in time for the celebration.
“There are 19 planters up and down highway 14,” Smith said. “We wanted them on the highway, where our visitors that pass by can see them.”
Smith says the Heritage Festival this weekend should draw several thousand people – visitors and locals.
The celebration kicks off with a carnival and lasts until Sunday.
Groesbeck Managing Editor Jennifer Paul is looking forward to the crowd this event will bring.
“I think it’s going to be a great opportunity for people to come out and learn about the history of Groesbeck,” Paul said. “Just celebrate what the city is celebrating with their 150th anniversary.”
Paul says the Groesbeck Journal will host an open house Friday for people to look at the old equipment used to publish newspapers.
There will also be a parade, dog agility demonstration, and a chance for people to learn about longhorns – which is a staple in Groesbeck’s history.
Larry Smith, II – owner of the award-winning steer “Lakota” – will be there for people to meet and take pictures.
Smith and Hawkins hope this festival is a time for the community to come together by remembering the history while working towards an even better future.
“We just want people to learn more about it, enjoy being here, and perhaps come back,” Hawkins said.
To learn more about the scheduled events and times, you can visit the Groesbeck Chamber website.