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Home News-Telegram News Sulphur Springs scores trifecta in County Line magazine’s 2013 ‘Best of’ competition

Sulphur Springs scores trifecta in County Line magazine’s 2013 ‘Best of’ competition

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    Sulphur Springs won the Best Small Downtown, Best Attraction and Best County Courthouse categories in County Line magazine’s recent survey of the “Best in the Upper East Side of Texas,” the publication announced Thursday.

    According to County Line’s website, “Sulphur Springs is a thriving community in Northeast Texas where residents and visitors alike gather on the downtown square for special events or simply to stroll around the plaza or play a giant chess or checkers game. In season there’s a thriving farmers’ market on Saturday nights. A lighted, interactive fountain in the shape of the Texas star, illuminated with [colored] light is a favorite with kids. The plaza includes the award-winning Hopkins County vintage courthouse and a stunning veterans memorial with granite walls, waterfalls, statue, benches, and even a kiosk where visitors can learn more about the veterans. Sulphur Springs also has an attraction that’s both whimsical and practical: one of the only see-through public restrooms in the world – built with one-way mirrors so people inside can see out, but those outside cannot see in.”     
    The area has come to life again, according to Sulphur Springs City Manager Marc Maxwell.
    “It’s alive,” Maxwell said. “Everybody’s having a great time. That’s what we didn’t have before.”
   Maxwell said he realized downtown had become a magnet during an al fresco dinner last summer.
   “We had dinner outside last summer,” he explained. “And for the two hours we sat there, it was bumper-to-bumper traffic all the way around the square the whole time.”
   Maxwell said he goes downtown as often as he can just to watch the many visitors who frequent the square and side streets.  
    “This is what we set out to do. And we’ve only seen the first act,” he said, hinting at things to come.
     Rockwall was the runner-up in this category.
    The restrooms earned the top spot in the “Best Attraction” competition.
    “Gaining much national attention this past year, Sulphur Springs has one of the only see-through public restrooms in the world — built with one-way mirrors so people inside can see out, but those outside cannot see in,” the magazine explains.” This functional art was partly inspired by an Italian art piece, Monica Bonivicini’s ‘Don’t Miss A Sec’ from 2004, which was on display outside an art museum in Switzerland.”
    Texas State Railroad earned runner-up honors for attraction.
    For the third time, voters chose the Hopkins County Courthouse as their favorite.
    County Courthouse as their favorite.
    “Built in 1895 and restored, the Romanesque Revival, pink granite and red sandstone structure is a Texas and national historic landmark occupying the northeast corner of the spacious town square,” the website says. “Massive Roman arches at the entrances are topped by second-story porticos which are crowned by third-story open porches. The courthouse, designed by J. Riley Gordon, received the East Texas Historical Association 2005 Lucille Terry Historical Preservation Award.”
    The Cherokee County courthouse in Rusk was runner-up.
    In other divisions, Liefie Li Vine, located in Winnsboro, was named Best Restaurant.
    “Great ambience indoors and outside on a cozy, covered patio, this location fuses the familiar friendly atmosphere of small-town Texas with the taste of South African culture and cuisine,” notes the magazine. “The menu includes exotic salads and tapas, panini and ciabatta sandwiches, a South African beef sausage sandwich and homemade soups.”
    Tyler’s Villa Montez, located in a historic mansion just past the loop on the Old Henderson Highway, was runner-up in the best restaurant category.
    Winnsboro was named Best Retirement Community, while Paris claimed the Best Nature Walk prize. Mineola was named Most Improved Small Town, while the Peninsulas on Lake Bob Sandlin won Best Lakeside Living.
    Best Fishing Hole went to Monticello Cover on Lake Bob Sandlin while Twin Lakes in Canton was named Best Golf Course. Best Live Music Venue went to Music City Texas in Linden.
    For a complete list of 2013’s “The Best in Upper East Texas,” log on to
www.countylinemagazine.com and scroll down to the link.

 

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