January-February 2019

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The Gentle Zoo of Forney

This place has a petting zoo, playground, picnic area, indoor party room, train ride, giant maze, a giant jumping pillow, and more. The animals are conditioned to be handled and pet by children and adults alike

The Excelsior House Hotel

The Excelsior House has welcomed travelers to Jefferson since the 1850s including famous people like Ullysses S. Grant, Oscar Wilde, and Lady Bird Johnson. They boast about their Southern charm and elegant decor with rich rosewood, cherry, and mahogany furnishes and the outside is constructed with brick, timber, and lacy iron work.

Special Gifts for the Soule

This shop supports local small businesses by selling their unique and artfully hand-made gifts. It doubles as an eatery with a warm and inviting atmosphere to keep guests coming back for more yummy goodies and heartwarming gifts. The shop sells items from jewelry and stationary sets to air fresheners, candles, lotions, bath and body care, clothing, things for the kiddies, and special holiday ornamentals.

Mineola Draws a Crowd with the Best Barbecue at Cowburners

With mouth-watering, flavorful, fall-off-the-bone barbecue, Cowburners offers brisket, turkey, sausage and “rib candy” by the pound; half and full rack ribs; Yankee, Diablo, and Texan sandwiches; and sides including the Gut Bomb baked potato, pork rind nachos, fries, okra, and more. They also have numerous draught beers and a kid-friendly menu

The Annual Rains County Eagle Fest Comes to 2019

Rains County is the official Eagle Capital of Texas. Every year in January, the county welcomes visitors from all over the world to celebrate the eagle population.

Best Artist: Maureen Killaby

Freezin' for a Reason

Freeze Your Fanny bike ride is scheduled for February 2 in Longview

Best of the Upper East Side of Texas 2018

​County Line Magazine celebrates its 15th year of conducting the annual Best of the Upper East Side of Texas readers survey. More than 3,500 nominations were received with an expanding list of gems in this growing region featuring delicious food, wonderful attractions, beautiful backdrops, one-of-a-kind shops, exciting entertainment, and many talented individuals. New this year were numerous nominations for food trucks, one of a handful of growing trends in the region with award-winning cuisine readily available in downtown areas and an increase in marina kitchens. Sounds like a good time.

DeGeneres Got Her Comedic Start in the Upper East Side of Texas

Once named the Funniest Person in America, Ellen DeGeneres says it was during her years living in Atlanta, Texas, that she realized she might be funny, and that inspiration took her well beyond her dreams.

Elvis Impersonator Brings Show to Gilmer

If Elvis Presley was still with us, he’d turn 84 years old January 8. Celebrating Elvis every day is impersonator Travis Powell.

Love Lock Wall Entices Couples to Waxahachie

The Academy-award winning Places in the Heart, starring Sally Field, was filmed in historic Waxahachie in 1984. Movie directors are drawn to the areas scenery and to date more than 60 feature-length movies have filmed there.

Five Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

In the Upper East Side of Texas there are plenty of places with activities to keep the dark days of winter fun for families and friends. There are the usual like movie theaters, game rooms, and bowling alleys — some with extra things to do like laser tag, virtual reality snowball fights, and jump zones. Here are a few other ideas sure to beat the winter blues.

Deep Space Is As Close as Nacogdoches

The lyrics “The stars at night are big and bright … the prairie sky is wide and high … deep in the heart of Texas” are ever more meaningful with the unveiling of the new planetarium at Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA), Nacogdoches.

Coolest Hardware Store on the Planet

If you’re looking for paint, building supplies and power tools typically associated with a hardware store, Bralys Ace Hardware in Palestine can certainly meet your need. But if you want a unique shopping experience, this family-owned and operated business since 1932 offers so much more — from kitchen gadgets and gift items to lawn and garden supplies to high-end barbecue grills.

Awards Include Longview’s McConaughey and Maxwell

Longview natives Matthew McConaughey and Brandon Maxwell are among the honorees of this year’s Texas Medal of the Arts Awards. The full list is announced January 10. The awards take place in Austin February 26-27.

Art Show Scheduled at Athens Arboretum

The Henderson County Art Club presents their 91st annual Fine Art Show & Sale on April 19-21 at the East Texas Arboretum in Athens.

Artist Completes Mural for Terrell Wall

The 10th mural to adorn downtown Terrell, Texas, honors native son Frank Reaugh (1860-1945), who earned the distinction of being the dean of Texas artists

Greenville Thespians Announce Inaugural Season

Not content to let the kids in the community have all the fun, theater lovers in Greenville embark on their own stage pursuits with the creation of Greenville Theatre Works (GTW).

Beckanne Sisk Returns to Longview for Show

Beckanne Sisk reunites with her childhood ballet coach Pat George Mitchell, returns to her hometown of Longview to perform The Sleeping Beauty, March 1-3, at LeTourneau University’s Belcher Center presented by Longview Ballet Theatre and Ballet West II.

Author Scheduled to Speak to Pulpwood Queens

Galveston-based historical fiction author Ann Weisgarber has several new entries to her “things I never thought I would do” file.

Searching for Peace Town

Wills Point native Jimmy LaFave (1955-2017) was not only an award-winning singer/songwriter, he was an accomplished photographer who chronicled his “fascination with America’s unique but disappearing landscape, roadside signs, buildings and the American history they express.”

Upper East Side of Texas Women Are Nominees for Grammy Awards

Nominees for Grammy Awards this year include four talented women from the Upper East Side of Texas

Old Buses Are Converted to Rolling Tiny Homes

“Home should be a vehicle for helping you live the life you want,” Kimberly Mok writes in The Modern House Bus: Mobile Tiny House Inspirations. In the book, she collects a series of stories from families, couples, and singles who are transforming old buses into homes.

Cade Republic Designs In a Holistic Way

Vanessa Price, owner of Cade Republic Design Consulting & Studio in downtown Edom, returned to the Upper East Side of Texas recently after almost a year in Hawaii filming Aloha Builds for HGTV/DIY Network.

Two Families — One Heart

Steven Dominy saved Andie Kay Joyner’s life. Read about the man who gave the gift of life, the woman who has his heart, and two families forever united.