Texas Historical Commission Kicks Off Stay an Extra Day in Texas Sweepstakes

March 9, 2018 - The Texas Historical Commission’s (THC) Texas Heritage Trails Program (THTP) is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year by launching a 10-month-long sweepstakes with prize packages offering travel getaways—one to each of the 10 trail regions. The Stay an Extra Day Sweepstakes encourages travelers to take a deeper dive into their explorations of the Lone Star State by staying an extra day.

In the spirit of Texas Independence Month, the THC is kicking off the sweepstakes with a revolutionary trip to the Texas Independence Trail Region. Entries are now being accepted until March 31 for a chance to win lodging, tours, and meals for two in and around historic Goliad. The prize package includes two nights of lodging at the Quarters in Presidio La Bahía in Goliad; guided tours of Presidio La Bahía, Fannin Battleground State Historic Site, and the 1894 Goliad County Courthouse; and three meals for two at local restaurants.

The contest is open to adults ages 18 and older. For more information and to enter the contest, visit www.ExtraDayInTexas.com. Follow @txhistcomm on Twitter and Instagram for dates and announcements.

The Texas Heritage Trails Program is the THC’s award-winning heritage tourism initiative. An economic development measure, the THTP encourages communities, heritage regions, and the state to partner and promote Texas' historic and cultural resources. These local preservation efforts, combined with statewide marketing of heritage regions as tourism destinations help Texas communities promote tourism, revitalize local economies, and foster community leadership through historic preservation.

The Trail Regions are based on the original 10 scenic driving trails created in 1968 by Gov. John Connally and the Texas Highway Department (now the Texas Department of Transportation) for HemisFair.

Applications for Texas Main Street Designation Now Available

The application process for becoming designated as an official Texas Main Street community is now open. The application and timelines are available on the Texas Historical Commission’s (THC) website at thc.texas.gov/becoming-main-street-community. Since 1981, the Texas Main Street Program has been helping revitalize historic downtowns across the state, drawing in billions of dollars of reinvestment while preserving the character of each participating community.

The application includes complete information about the process; optional Intent to Apply notification; Selection Criteria; and sample budgets. Applications are due July 31, 2018. An optional Intent to Apply notification is due April 27. Information about the Intent to Apply is included on page 8 of the application. Applications are considered by Commissioners of the THC at the fall quarterly meeting in October, and official entrance into the program occurs January 1, 2019.

Applications are considered based upon five primary criteria: historic commercial fabric and historic character; community and private sector support and organizational capacity; support and financial capacity; physical capacity and business environment; and demonstrated need. Each year, up to five cities or historic neighborhood commercial districts may be selected. Designated communities receive a range of services and resources through designation that includes professional expertise provided to the program, and to downtown property and business owners in the areas of design, preservation, downtown-specific economic development, organizational management, and small business development.

Additional information about the TMSP can be found on the THC website at www.thc.texas.gov. Application questions can be directed to TMSP State Coordinator Debra Drescher at 512-463-5758 or debra.drescher@thc.texas.gov.