Letter: Crape Myrtle Capital of Texas

Waxahachie Daily Light

Do you ever wonder why our parade in Waxahachie is called the Crape Myrtle Fourth of July Parade? A group of women, members of Gardeners limited, chose a committee to help beautify the city in 1992. The committee became the Crape Myrtle Council and consisted of Neil Blankenbeckler, Susie Braden, Renda Hickerson, Jane Hamilton, Ora Bell Larkin, Evelyn Pitts, Beth Price, Shirley Singleton, and Shirley Williams.

Mrs. Singleton had a tree farm in Meridian, Texas, and furnished crape myrtle trees for the council to plant at their individual homes in Waxahachie. Many other citizens  also planted the trees in their yards, and the city planted them in public areas. Businesses also used the trees to enhance their landscaping. The city planted trees for its citizens, when asked.

In 1997, the council was successful in getting State Rep. Jim Pitts to help pass a bill that designated Waxahachie as the Crape Myrtle Capital of Texas. As time passed, the trees flourished in the city. In early June, the trees begin to bloom and by July 4, they are in full bloom, adding vibrant shades of color to our landscaping. Since then, the parade has grown into an actual festival that includes a fireworks show, the naming of an annual Crape Myrtle Queen and a city gathering in Getzendaner Park complete with hot dogs, games and other activities.

Please join us Saturday (July 3) to help our city continue to support our heritage and our beautiful crape myrtles. Take an opportunity to drive around and you will better understand how we came to be called the Crape Myrtle Capital of Texas.

Nancy Hightower/Waxahachie