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 of Waxahachie 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 of Waxahachie. In early June, the trees begin to bloom, and by the 4th of July, they are in full bloom, adding vibrant shades of color to our city landscaping.

Since then, the parade has grown into an actual festival that has included a fireworks show and the naming of an annual Crape Myrtle Queen among other activities.

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

Nancy Hightower

Waxahachie

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