Tag Archives: Canyon TX

First impression: This is one happening city!

McKINNEY, Texas — First impressions can be deceiving, but I’m going to go with the initial impression that smacked me in the face about the Collin County seat.

McKinney is a happening place to visit when you’re looking for something to do.

My wife and I had a dinner date this evening with two friends. We met at a high-end restaurant on the square in McKinney. Both of us were stunned at what we saw when we drove into the square and hunted for a place to park.

The city is alive, man! 

Now, to be sure none of this should surprise longtime residents of McKinney (population, approximately 187,000) or of any of the communities that thrive nearby. We just were a bit astounded at how much activity we noticed all along the square.

The county courthouse moved out of the downtown district some years ago, we were told; it reminds me a bit of what has transpired in Canyon, Texas, the Randall County seat; my wife and I lived in Randall County for more than two decades and watched the county relocate almost all of its government offices from the city’s downtown square to other locations. Still, the square in Canyon has experienced a significant revival as the county, with help from historic preservation grant funds, dolled up the exterior of its historic courthouse building. The interior? It’s still vacant … but that’s another story for another time.

Collin County’s government offices have moved from downtown, but it apparently hasn’t stopped the square from becoming the place to see and be seen on a steamy Saturday night.

I will need to explore in a bit more detail how the city managed to maintain this lively look. Thus, I will do so.

For now, I want this blog post to stand as a testament to a grand first impression the city has made on two new Collin County residents.

Canyon joins 21st century

Well done, Canyon, Texas voters.

You’ve awakened to the reality of life in the second decade of the 21st century, which is that we’re a mobile society and it no longer makes sense to cloister your community in the notion that staying “dry” somehow protects you from the evils of alcoholic beverages.

Canyon voters agreed to make the city “wet,” meaning that merchants will be able to sell adult beverages and eating establishments will be able to service liquor by the drink.

Will this turn Canyon into a din of debauchery where people get so drunk they stagger into the streets en masse?

Umm, no.

It means that businesses will be able to generate a little more revenue, improve their bottom lines and pump some of that money back into a community that can use a little help.

This hidebound notion of keeping a community dry used to make sense when we all got around on foot, or rode on horseback, or even at the start of the automobile age.

No more. We’ve gotten mobile. People are able to travel easily to the next city to purchase their hooch and bring it back.

I’m reminded of what a Department of Public Safety officer told me once while my wife and I were visiting Perryton, in Ochiltree County. He called the seven-mile stretch of U.S. 83 between Perryton and the Oklahoma state line one of the “most dangerous stretches of road in Texas.” Ochiltree County was dry and motorists would drive across the state line, get tanked up on liquor and then drive back home. They were impaired and the roadway was the scene of numerous wrecks each week, the DPS officer told me.

Ochiltree County has since gone wet. Traffic accidents along U.S. 83 have declined and business is booming in Perryton.

Canyon now has joined the 21st century club.

Welcome aboard.