County-Centric

By Beth Duke, Executive Director of Center City of Amarillo, Inc.

April is National County Government Month, and we’re expressing our appreciation for county officials and their staff with a blog series and other social media posts that highlight county participation in our programs. The Texas Historical Commission (THC) works with counties on countless projects, from County Historical Commissions and historic courthouse restorations to downtown revitalization and historic site development. Thanks to all 254 Texas counties for their support of historic preservation in the Lone Star State!

Serving as a focal point for municipalities, county courthouses play an important role in locally sponsored events. In this post, Beth Duke, executive director of Center City of Amarillo, Inc. (the Amarillo Main Street program), explains Potter County’s contribution to downtown Amarillo happenings.

Center City of Amarillo and Potter County have worked together on a partnership that will celebrate its 20th anniversary this summer. Center City sponsors High Noon on the Square every Wednesday in June and July on the Potter County Courthouse lawn. The free, nine-week concert series has grown to average about 600 people for each event. We sell a boxed lunch, but the entertainment is free. Entertainment ranges from the musical drama Texas to the Lone Star Ballet, and from the Amarillo Opera to local musicians Andy Chase and Mike Fuller.

This is an amazing partnership because Potter County allowed us to have High Noon on the Square even during the three years of the courthouse restoration, a project of the THC’s Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program. In fact, the construction workers were some of our best customers! Our event attracts people of all ages from all of Amarillo’s neighborhoods, making it truly a Main Street event.

Center City loves Potter County and its team so much that when it came time to rededicate the Potter County Courthouse, Center City sponsored the reception during the open house. Finally, we nominated the Potter County Courthouse for a Texas Downtown Association Design Award for Historic Restoration, and it won first place in 2013!

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