| Press Release: July 15,
Texas is Home to Numerous "capitals"AUSTIN, Texas (July
15, 1998) --
FOR MORE INFORMATION: 936-0534
The Lone Star state can boast of being home to numerous capitals ranging from
the "Alligator Capital of
Texas" to the "Vetch Capital of the World," state
lawmakers learned today.
The designations – often adopted by individual cities and towns -- have
sometimes been bestowed by Texas lawmakers to give special recognition for
communities in their districts.
Tuesday, tourism officials from the Texas Department of Economic Development
joined local tourism supporters who testified before the House Committee on
State, Federal and International Relations on the benefits and uses of the
"We want to do everything we can to advance economic development," said
State Rep. Bob Hunter, R-Abilene, who chairs the House State, Federal &
International Relations Committee. ``One way we can do that is with state
designations so Texas cities and communities can work to attract tourism and
business and industry to their locations."
"Texans like to brag about their communities," said Tracey
for The Texas Department of Economic Development Tourism Division. "And these
self-billed capital designations only add to our legend."
But McDaniel said the designations also spur tourism in individual towns and
throughout the state. "Since Burnet was named ‘Bluebonnet
Capital' in 1981,
tourism has increased 20 percent in the town," she said. "After Caldwell
captured attention for its delicious kolaches, tourism increased 100 percent.
These success stories can be seen all across the state."
Tourism supporters told lawmakers it was especially useful in attracting
tourists to rural areas. They spoke to a subcommittee on Tourism and Official
State Symbols and Resolutions chaired by State Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie.
Other members of the subcommittee at the Tuesday meeting were State Reps. Gene
Seaman, R-Corpus Christi, Buddy West, R-Odessa and Norma Chavez, D-El Paso.
The Texas Legislature has designated at least four Texas towns official
capitals because of distinctive aspects of their communities. Baird was named
the "Antique Capital of West Texas;" Burnet was designated
of Texas;" Caldwell was given the title "Kolache Capital of
Texas;" and Elgin
was named "Sausage Capital of Texas." But many cities have come up with
designations of their own. In addition to Elgin's link to sausage, the city also
bills itself as the "Brick Capital of Texas."
-MORE- A delegation from Waxahachie testified about that city's success
attracting tourists using their official designation of the "Crape Myrtle
Capital of Texas."
Other towns that tip their Stetsons to unique designations include: Anahuac -
"Alligator Capital of
Texas" where there are more alligators than people; Cuero
- "Turkey Capital of Texas;" Georgetown - "Red Poppy Capital of Texas;"
Stratford - "The Pheasant Capital of
Texas;" Port Arthur - "Cajun Capital of
Southeast Texas;" Rocksprings - "Angora Capital of Texas;" and Floresville -
"Peanut Capital of
Texas." Native daughter Lillian Richard, the model for Aunt
Jemima, put Hawkins on the map as the "Pancake Capital of Texas."
And, in keeping with the Lone Star state's penchant for boastful bombast,
some towns capitalize on global monikers. Lubbock, hub of the High Plains,
boasts of two distinctions - "Chrysanthemum Capital of the
World" and "Cotton
Capital of the World" while the state's capital city, Austin, claims to be the
"Live Music Capital of the
Bandera lassoes a lasting impression as the "Cowboy Capital of the
and McAllen kicks up its heels as the "Square Dance Capital of the
dances go on 24 hours day, seven days a week. Other towns with worldly appeal
are: Tyler - "Rose Capital of the
World," Cooper - "Vetch Capital of the World;"
Athens - "Black-Eyed Pea Capital of the
World;" Hempstead - "Watermelon Capital
of Texas;" and Eagle Lake - "Goose Hunting Capital of the
Texas Department of Economic Development Executive Director Rick Thrasher
said that tourism is the state's third largest industry and employs more than
464,000 Texans. In 1996, travelers spent more than $27.5 billion in Texas, an
increase of nearly eight percent from the previous year.
"Tourism means jobs for Texans," Thrasher said. "And some communities are
using these special designations to stir up more interest in visiting their
areas. That means more Texans employed in the tourism industry and more money
spent in local businesses."
Many communities use their special designations on promotional items,
letterheads, on billboards and in advertisements to promote their towns. All
travelers are paying attention to these unique designations, Thrasher said. That
seems to be paying off in tourism benefits for some cities.