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Corsicana Porchfest in Texas: Visit with folks on the porch

May 29, 2018
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This April 2018 photo shows a house in the Carriage District neighborhood of Corsicana, Texas, where a new event called the Corsicana Porchfest & Crafternoon is scheduled for June 9. Organizers hope to offer an old-fashioned way to spend a pleasant Saturday by inviting out-of-towners and locals alike to stop by, stroll around town and enjoy a cold drink and a snack. Participating homeowners will be out on their porches welcoming folks to the Carriage District, which is known for its restored 19th century Victorian and Queen Anne mansions. Corsicana is located about 45 minutes from Dallas. (Karie Denny via AP)

CORSICANA, Texas (AP) — It’s an old-fashioned way to spend a Saturday: Visit with folks on a porch, stroll around downtown, enjoy a cold drink and a snack.

That’s the idea behind a new event called the Corsicana Porchfest & Crafternoon, scheduled for June 9 in Corsicana, Texas, about 45 minutes from Dallas.

The event encourages locals and visitors alike to spend a “day out in Corsicana” with an open invitation to get to know homeowners in the town’s Carriage District. The neighborhood was settled by oil barons, politicians and early business leaders after oil was discovered there in 1894 by a contractor drilling for water. Twenty-one millionaires were listed as residents in the early 1950s.

Many of the Carriage District’s stately 19th century Victorian and Queen Anne mansions with wraparound porches and side entrances for horse carriages are listed on the National Register of Historic Sites. And many have been meticulously restored by longtime local families and by newcomers. A dozen homes on Third Avenue will help host the June 9 event, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

A different drink will be served at each home. Adirondack chairs will be placed beneath century-old trees so visitors can sit awhile. Snacks will include locally made cookies and fruitcake from Collin Street Bakery, which was founded by a German baker in 1896 and now sells 3 million pounds of fruitcake a year. Food trucks will be on hand too.

Entertainment will include live jazz, local talent and improv. Porches and lawns will also host craft and cooking demonstrations.

A few blocks away, visitors will find Corsicana’s red-brick downtown streets. Shop owners will be pouring free orange juice-and-Champagne as part of another event called Mimosas at the Market the morning of June 9, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Corsicana’s downtown, where storefronts date to the late 19th century, is undergoing a revival, with 18 new businesses open last year.

The Porchfest is free, but to expedite entry and receive a wristband for drinks, print a ticket a www.visitcorsicana.com/porchfest.

The event is funded by Corsicana’s oldest businesses, including Oil City Iron Works, founded in 1866.

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