Texas Travel

City Spotlight: Paris

By Joshua Baethge 11.6.17

When you think of Paris, do you think of the Champs Elysées and the Louvre, or do you think of the Crape Myrtle City of Texas? This town may not be the famed City of Light, but it still has plenty to offer travelers looking for an in-state holiday adventure.

In springtime, Paris is filled with hundreds of blooms of the official state shrub (yes, that is a thing, and Texas has two of them). While the fall and winter months are lacking in the state-endorsed-shrubbery department, the holiday season may still be the best time to visit this charming town affectionately known as the “second largest Paris in the world.”

Deck the Halls

Holiday celebrations begin Nov. 11 with the Downtown Open House and Christmas Tree Lighting. The historic town square is decked out in Christmas decorations. Local merchants pull out all the stops to make the afternoon a special one for visitors from near and far. Vendors line the streets offering cotton candy, hotdogs, and kettle corn. Local choirs perform throughout the day, getting festivalgoers into the holiday spirit. By midafternoon, there’s a good chance of seeing Santa and his reindeer strolling through the streets.

Crowds start to grow around sunset in anticipation of the main event: The annual lighting of the town’s 30-foot Christmas tree inspires young and old, Parisians and visitors, alike, as everyone celebrates the official start of another holiday season.

A December visit could be rewarded with Christmas in Fair Park. Located in the Lamar County Fairgrounds less than 2 miles from the downtown square, the community festival features dozens of vendors showcasing arts and crafts and culinary delights. There are plenty of activities for the kiddos, including the chance to talk to Santa and take a picture with him.

Parade Through Paris

Paris’ Downtown Christmas Parade on Dec. 2 features local floats that follow a route around the county courthouse and the town square.

The following weekend offers Wassail Fest, a celebration of the medieval English tradition of wassailing. It involves the consumption of a hot mulled cider. The ritual was believed to ensure a good harvest for the following year. In Paris, 15 local outposts will compete to determine whose wassail is best.

Finally, no trip to Paris is complete without a stop at the town’s Eiffel Tower.  It may not be as tall as its European counterpart, but it boasts one thing that you won’t see in France — a cowboy hat on top. 

Take advantage of Texas Farm Bureau member exclusive discounts on hotels and car rentals as you prepare to have a safe, happy holiday. 

© 2017 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance