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Mesquite, TX – February 24, 2020 - The deep western roots of Mesquite have garnered it the distinction of "Town to Watch" by national publication True West Magazine for its February - March 2020 issue dedicated to the Top Western Towns in the nation. The Official Rodeo Capital of Texas is recognized for showcasing and promoting its place in western heritage and continuing to bring travelers in for an authentic Texas experience.
"The Mesquite Convention and Visitors Bureau is leading efforts to brand Mesquite as a destination of choice by visitors. We are proud of our history and heritage," stated Mayor Bruce Archer. "Growing up in this community, the Mesquite Championship Rodeo has always been a part of my life and the lives of generations of those who have lived and visited Mesquite."
True West Magazine recognized Mesquite for the promotion of western history to all visitors through the historical sites found throughout the City and the Mesquite Championship Rodeo. Criteria for the award includes how cities preserve history through old buildings, museums, and attractions, events, and promotions of historic resources.
"Year in and year out, the community of Mesquite, TX, through programs such as the Mesquite Championship Rodeo, local hospitality, historic preservation, and tourism—demonstrate a deep understanding and pride in their Western history and heritage," said Stuart Rosebrook, Editor of True West Magazine. "The editors of True West Magazine applaud the community-wide effort to keep the Old West alive in Mesquite."
Mesquite’s western history dates as far back as 1873 as it became a new depot town for the Texas and Pacific Railroad and brought the first settlers and bustling business developments to the new Texas town. Residents and visitors can read more about the early settlers of Mesquite, and its contribution to the legendary railroad system at the Texas State Historical Marker found in Downtown Mesquite.
"Mesquite cares about historic preservation and celebrates its deep roots through its local historical sites. Visitors can tour the Opal Lawrence Historical Park and the Florence Ranch Homestead, which are Recorded Texas Historical Landmarks and recognized as Century Family Farms by the Texas Department of Agriculture," said Toyia Pointer, Manager of Historic Preservation. "Mesquite is a rare urban city that still epitomizes the spirit of the old west."
The crown jewel of Mesquite’s western history is the Mesquite Championship Rodeo. The rodeo made its debut in 1958. Recently the Mesquite Championship Rodeo has undergone an evolution, including new owners of the Mesquite Arena and a $2 million renovation. Mesquite’s increased promotion of rodeo season that is traditionally each Saturday from June –August, and the other specialty rodeos held at the Mesquite Arena, including Cowboys of Color and the Hip Hop Cowboys Spring Rodeo, promote the diverse, authentic western sport of rodeo to residents and visitors of Mesquite.