Oldest town in Texas celebrates diverse heritage

A view of downtown Nacogdoches, the oldest town in Texas.

Nacogdoches, the oldest town in Texas, is quite proud of its rich heritage. Having worked for the Convention and Visitors Bureau in Natchitoches, Louisiana, I have a special interest in history and cultural studies. Through Nacogdoches’ architecture, people, food, and in the city’s general way of life it’s easy to see the many different influences.

Sacred Heart Catholic Church held a Multi-Cultural Festival in the town square last weekend to showcase the area’s heritage. People from across the region added their own touch of East Texas’ culture to the melting pot festival. Speaking of melting pot, the best part of the festival was the food.

From savory Hungarian crepes, to curried Indian food, to tradition Mexican cuisine, each booth served up a plate of flavorful goodness. I bought a giant turkey leg from the Knights of Columbus booth. It was incredibly huge, taking me nearly 30 minutes to finish.It was worth it, however. A parade through downtown, lined with flags from across the globe took place on Saturday. Tents all along Main Street featured various crafts and creations.

It took a while making it through all of the neat shops and booths selling everything from potted plants to preserves. Behind the Visitors Center in the square, a stage featured music from a variety of styles and origins.

Sunday morning, a large outdoor Mass gathered a couple hundred parishioners in fellowship. Listening to the worshipful voices resound through downtown was a very moving experience.

My mother, brother, and grandmother came in to town for the Sunday activities, so it was a special weekend for me. We sat under a tent and listened to music and watched a group of ladies who performed a pretty cool step show.

That weekend demonstrated how embracing diversity has helped preserve the unique culture that lives on in Nacogdoches.

The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of KTRE/KLTV-TV or Raycom Media.  They are solely the opinion of the author. All content © Copyright 2009 Lane Luckie

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