Friday, September 20, 2019

Stars and Stripes, Past, Present and Future

It seems like yesterday when the City of Southlake kicked off the first Stars and Stripes event over 20 years ago. The year was 1999, the first phase of Town Square just opened and the Shops of Southlake had yet to be developed.

Frank Bliss, President of US Real Estate at Cooper & Company is one of the developers who worked on the plan to develop Town Square.

He recalled that 20 years ago, there were only six buildings up in the area; three on each side to be exact.

He explained that the inspiration behind the design of Town Square was to build a downtown area in Southlake designed for community events.

Bliss even highlighted that the design of the pavilion was so that the Lake Cities Band could perform.

Bliss said that he wanted Town Square to create a regional draw and bring more people to Southlake.

When the Stars and Stripes event made its first debut on July 3 in 1999, streets were filled with residents and visitors to witness the first patriotic fireworks show.  Bliss described the first show as the “best fireworks show” he ever saw.

Since that day, Stars and Stripes became the first traditional event in Southlake, followed by Octoberfest, Home for the Holidays and Art in the Square. “People love to gather here,” said Bliss.

As it stands today, some Stars and Stripes traditions put into practice 20 years ago are still in place. The patriotic ceremony and live performances along with kid’s activities have truly evolved to attract more vendors and of course more patrons. Let’s not forget the fireworks show has continued to become the highlight of the family-friendly celebration. Stars and Stripes T-shirts are also a cherished tradition for visitors and families to have as keepsake from attending the event.

Bliss explained that the event has exceeded his expectations. He recalled walking from 114 and seeing families and friends coming together, walking, blocking off spaces and even cleaning up after the event is over.

The family-friendly event was to celebrate the nation’s independence and what better way to celebrate than in Southlake’s very own downtown area.

Join us for the 20th Anniversary of Stars and Stripes on Wednesday, July 3 from 6 to 11 p.m. The fireworks show kicks off at 9:30 p.m. weather permitting, hope to see you there! For event notifications during the event, text STARSNSTRIPE to 888777 and download the VisitSouthlake! App on Android or Apple App Store. For more information, click here.