TK is where I stay

Although often underrated, Texarkana’s development brings community together


Photo by Sydney Steed

With Texarkana’s growth, comes development.

Story by Caroline May, staff writer

We complain about it all the time. Such a small town with absolutely nothing to do.

Our mall is too small, the movie theater gets old, and Sonic drinks are starting to taste all the same.

What people don’t realize is that this little town is starting to earn its place on the map. In just 10 years, Texarkana’s population has increased by about 20,000 people.

With a growing population, Texarkana has gotten multiple large chain restaurants. For example, Smashburger, Mooyah and Jimmy John’s.

“I love that Texarkana is getting more chain restaurants,” sophomore Kaitlyn Krause said. “I’m always on the go, so all I have to do is go to whichever is closest to where I am.”

However, with growth comes never–ending road construction. People are always complaining about how small the town is, but they also tend to be the same people that complain about the continuous road construction that allows this city to grow. Ironic, right?

“I hate the Texarkana construction because it never ends,” junior Aaron Sesler said. “It also makes me late to school.”

Despite the hassles that come with a growing community, living in this small town has its benefits, though people don’t always notice it. The ability to come together for events and accomplish goals is an opportunity that big towns just don’t have.

Activities such as Sparks in the Park or the Christmas parade are hometown traditions that have been around for years.

“Events like this really bring the community together,” senior Riley Madlock said. “It makes the holidays more special.”

Not only can we carry on small-town traditions, but it is also nice to be able to unite for a helpful cause. When tragedy struck, such as in the death of Office Jason Sprague this summer, the city banded together to help this family in their time of need.

And Texarkana has proven its ability to rally the masses for a community–wide effort, winning dog parks for both sides of the city and a Benjamin Moore paint job for downtown.

“The citizens of Texarkana have always had a unique ability to rally around a cause; whether it be for Cooper, Red River Army Depot or TAMU-T to name just a few,” Stephen Mayo, former Texarkana mayor, said. “It’s what makes Texarkana such a special place.”

Because of the special nature of Texarkana, Mayo is glad to call it home.

“When I was a teenager, I always knew I would go off to college then come back home to work in my family’s business,” Mayo said. “I have a lot of friends that moved on to bigger cities, but I always wanted to come back to Texarkana. It’s a great place to live and an even better place to raise a family.”

In the meantime, for most of us, our complaints will continue. On Friday nights, we’ll say there’s nothing to do. We will even share our dreams for leaving this place, but when it comes down to it, Texarkana will always be home.