By Guy Chapman – Navarro County Gazette

Hard to believe it’s been a year since our first anniversary party at Corsicana Artist and Writer Residency’s Storefront bookstore. The first year was marked with a keepsake booklet readers could purchase, highlighting the first year’s best stories. While there is no keepsake book this year, let’s talk about some of the stories that made the most impact since that event.

In business news, several places in town celebrated anniversaries. The Immaculate Conception Catholic Church celebrated its 150th year of worship. November saw the 100-year anniversary of the Palace Theatre.

The Corsicana Artist and Writer Residency Celebrated its 10th year in 2022. – Courtesy photo

The PetCo Pet Store franchise was announced for Corsicana, though construction still hasn’t taken place yet. Familiar businesses found new locations, such as The Children’s Shop and Jack in the Box. Longtime businesses, such as McCoy’s Building Supply, closed its doors.

Without exaggeration, the Gazette managed to “Break the Internet” in breaking the story that the flavors of Corn Dog 7 were returning to Corsicana. The reach and shares on that particular story were extraordinary.

Of course, the bitcoin mining facility was announced in April….

Navarro College buried its 75th anniversary time capsule with some items from the Gazette enclosed. – Photo by Guy Chapman

For people, Fire Chief Paul Henley stepped down, and Interim Fire Chief Wade Gillen filled in as the City looked for a new hire, found in new Fire Chief Michael Ryan.

Local icons are to be remembered, with the passing of downtown businessman Jimmy Hale, and longtime resident and community activist Babbette Samuels.

The Kent E. Rogers Administrative Building was dedicated in Oct. of 2021. – Photo by Guy Chapman

In local events, Navarro College held their first Legacy Parade in Downtown Corsicana. Downtown Corsicana also celebrated its annual tree lighting, resumed after a pause from 2020’s COVID-19 pandemic.

Corsicana celebrated with its 2021 Holiday Parade. – Photo by Guy Chapman

In entertainment, the Corsicana-made film Night, Night was released on Apple TV. The Western film titled Corsicana released in August 2022. Cheer Season Two debuted, where we reviewed the show, and interviewed Cheer Coach Monica Aldama about the season’s narrative arc.

Coach Monica Aldama poses with guests during her Full Out book signing. – Photo by Guy Chapman

Local productions, such as To Kill A Mockingbird, graced the stage of the Warehouse Living Arts Center.

In the spirit of local-based delicacies, John Kaiser and I tried out the Shiner/Collin Street Bakery Fruitcake beer.

City Council meetings showed different parts of the community. Longtime resident Joe Brooks was honored by the city for his contributions to the arts. Mayor Don Denbow denounced a hate crime that took place in June.

A colorful double rainbow had cars stopping as December of 2021 came to a close. – Photo by Guy Chapman

People shared their hobbies with us, from Sue Reed’s Coca-Cola collection, to Lamund Henry’s video game world records with the Twin Galaxies.

In Navarro County news, the City of Rice opened the doors to its new library this year.

The future looks promising for Corsicana as it gets ready for its 175th anniversary celebration. The City also gets ready for an upcoming 2024 solar eclipse by debuting a new logo.

There are so many more stories that deserve coverage, but much like the first year, I simply can’t share them all in just one place. The Navarro County Gazette has been a life-changing experience. We’ve focused on arts, culture, history, local events, and pet welfare (which in turn, reunited me with one of my dogs when she got lost).

The Gazette reunited me with my own lost dog this past spring. – Photo by Guy Chapman

I’ve also spent two years focusing on the human element of Corsicana and the greater Navarro County. There’s stories I’ve missed, and I realize that. I wish I could split myself into a dozen writers, but that’s the price of small independent publishing.

I thank the writing contributions of the following: Madina Ashilova, Arailym Aulbekova, Daylon D. Caldwell, Aidai Chekirova, John Kaiser, Daylon D. Caldwell, Deanna Kirk, Martha Phillips, Dana Stubbs, Margaret Montgomery Thomas, and Kimberlee Walter. All I can say is: Your work has been invaluable to me.

Here’s to our third year, taking place even now as we speak (or read). To leave you with one unique fact about the Gazette, the country outside of the United States with the most visits to our digital press comes from Ireland at number two.

I remain unsure how we (still) retain such an active presence with their country, but “Dia dhuit” to our guests all the same.

As of this article, 1,047 stories have been published since the site went live.

Please be sure to support those that support us here at the NCG and check out our advertisers:
Warehouse Living Arts Center | Salvation Army | CWTP Copy Center | Gallery Wah Wah

A big THANK YOU to our supporters:
The Hull Creative Arts Foundation and the Lampier Family.
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