A Postcard of Paris, Texas: Your Guide to an East Texas Jewel

More than 100 miles northeast of Dallas, there is a small town that has a certain one I do not know what.

Paris, Texas, has so much more to offer than a name cache. There are antique shops, local restaurants and a sweet southern charm. People living in the city of East Texas, with about 25,000 inhabitants, call it a very close-knit community.

Looking for a day trip or a weekend getaway? KERA took a quick trip to Paris and has this list of things to check:

Spectators take in the scenery of many historic red brick buildings in central Paris.

Keren Carrión

The Grand, an abandoned cinema in central Paris, congratulates a local couple on their baby on August 14, 2021.

Start your day with a stroll through the city center. If you ask Parisians (that’s what they call themselves in Paris, Texas) what they like most about their hometown, they say it’s the spirit of the community. They point to central Paris as the place where everyone smiles and makes waves while enjoying musical performances, comedy shows, mini-golf and bluegrass jam sessions.

The Culbertson Fountain in Paris, Texas, is a symbol of the rebuilding of Paris after a devastating fire in 1916.

Keren Carrión

The Culbertson Fountain, a marble fountain built to commemorate the 1916 Paris fire, is the centerpiece of central Paris.

The iconic Culbertson Fountain is also located in the center of downtown. The fountain is a symbol of the reconstruction of Paris after a devastating fire in 1916. Around the fountain are historic buildings and architecture from 1916 to 1918. It is a unique focal point and a vivid reminder of how far the city has come.

Explore antique shops. Paris has a large number of collectibles and antique shops. From vintage clothing to fun jewelry to eclectic traps, there seems to be something for everyone. Some of the local favorites include Emporium of the priest, Monique’s antiques i Remember when the collectibles.

A view of a long hallway full of collectibles and vintage finds stacked on the shelves of an antique store.  Postcards with the Eiffel Tower in Paris are sold at all antique stores in Paris, Texas.

Keren Carrión

There are rows of collectible antiques inside the Texas Antique Mall in Paris.

Be sure to visit the Eiffel Tower. It was known as the “second largest Eiffel Tower in the second largest Paris” until Las Vegas won the title in 1999. The city’s famous destination features its southern touch with a bright red cowboy hat. The tower, inaugurated in 1996, was built by 78 Parisian welders who spent approximately 1,000 hours creating it. Today it is the main meeting point for locals and tourists. During the holiday season, LED lights glow red and green, and many use the tower for wedding photos or baby gender revelation parties.

It is located in 2025 S. Col.legial Dr. next to the Love Civic Center i Red River Valley Veterans Memorial.

Take a bike and glide along the Paris Trail. This green space stretches for a little over 3 miles from the city east to the countryside. The paved route follows a beautiful corridor with a shaded canopy, which crosses the bridges next to the old railway tracks. The Paris Trail opens half an hour before dawn and closes half an hour after sunset. It is a great way to stroll and explore picturesque views of the city, including the city center and the Eiffel Tower. It also offers access to a butterfly garden and other parks.

Location: S. Collegiate Dr. Paris, TX 75460

In a cemetery in Paris, Texas, there is a statue that some locals coined the name of Jesus with cowboy boots.

Keren Carrión

Above the tombstone of Willett Babcock in 1828 is a statue of Jesus in cowboy boots, in the Evergreen Cemetery in Paris, Texas.

Look at “Jesus in Cowboy Boots” in the cemetery. In Evergreen Cemetery, where thousands of people are buried, stands a tomb: a statue of a man named Willet Babcock. Many people say that the figure, with his long hair and flowing robe resting on a cross, looks like Jesus is showing off his cowboy boots. Babcock arrived in Paris from Indiana in 1859. He organized the first volunteer fire company in Paris and owned an opera house. It turns out that he also built furniture like Jesus himself.

Location: 560 Evergreen St, Paris, TX 75460

We will always have Paris (Texas)!

Meet the other Paris:

Do you have any advice? Alejandra Martinez is a Report for America body member and writes about the impact of COVID-19 on underserved communities for KERA News. Send Alejandra an email amartinez@kera.org. You can follow Alejandra on Twitter @alereports.

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