New 'Memories' for downtown
Lots of news today: Early Christmas downtown, details on the Hawn project, Annex to be in city's hands and Belton's big festival.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2021
“We’re going to spread the joy of Christmas throughout the year. It’s going to be magical — lots of lights, trees and decorations. When you walk out of the store, you just might be covered in glitter.”
This rendering provides a glimpse of what Precious Memories Downtown will look like after renovations are complete. The year-round Christmas store opens Oct. 1.
Christmas coming early downtown
By DAVID STONE, Our Town exclusive
Precious Memories Downtown — a new store that boosts the Christmas spirit year-round — opens its doors Oct. 1 in the North 2nd Street building formerly occupied by The Fish Bowl.
Seleese Thompson, owner of Precious Memories Florist & Gift Shop on South 31st, said the downtown business will be open during First Friday.
“We’re going to spread the joy of Christmas throughout the year,” she said. “It’s going to be magical — lots of lights, trees and decorations. When you walk out of the store, you just might be covered in glitter.”
The location also will be home to Pink Bulldog Boutique, a clothing store based in Belton.
While renovations to the 17 N 2nd St. location are ongoing, Precious Memories is full of Christmas surprises and wonder.
“We are still painting the exterior and I have a lot of ideas for the future, but the Christmas shop will be ready next Friday,” Seleese said.
Those future plans include replacing windows and creating an outdoor mural that features the history of the building. In addition to The Fish Bowl, the location has been home to Kuykendahl Motor Company and it housed a Western Auto for many years.
The focus of Precious Memories Downtown will be Christmas trees and decor. And, with this year’s supply issues, Seleese recommends making purchases soon.
“I purchased early and have a good stock, but the trees will go in a hurry,” she said. “I’ll keep an eye on my inventory because replenishment may be limited.”
Artificial Christmas trees — and popular gift merchandise — are in short supply this year because of supply chain issues, she said.
Companies that make and distribute artificial trees and holiday decor are being impacted by congested ports that are delaying shipments and raising shipping costs.
The Christmas tree industry is just one of many sectors affected by supply chain issues. Labor shortages and pandemic-related work stoppages have led to scarcities in just about everything, including toys and decor.
In addition to offering Christmas ornaments and gifts year-round, Precious Memories Downtown will provide a base for Thompson’s tree rental business, a service provided through the 31st Street store for about 10 years.
“If a customer needs a tree or decorations, we send a team to their house,” she said. “We will bring a tree, lights, ornaments and decorations and a tree skirt — everything. Or, we can use their existing ornaments — it’s up to the customer.”
The tree rental service has grown through the years. It started by providing trees and decorations for homes, and has grown to include commercial properties as well.
“We provide trees for banks, nursing homes, hospitals — any business,” Thompson said.
The Christmas store and Pink Bulldog Boutique occupy street-level space along with a venue area that can be used for meetings and programs, she said.
The basement level of the building has been remodeled into a private residence. It includes a spacious personal living area complete with a gym and indoor parking, plus storage space for the store.
The unique basement residence will be one of five area homes featured in this year’s Yuletide Tour of Homes. The tour — set for November 19-21 — benefits the Temple Children’s Museum.
The future of Precious Memories Downtown may include a rooftop garden (above) and a large mural (below).
The Arcadia Theater — a favorite venue for many long-time Temple residents — will be refurbished as a performing arts venue that seats a combined 629 people. The floor seats will be removable to give the venue added versatility.”
An artist’s drawing shows a renovated Arcadia Theater and Hawn building.
Developer: Hawn, Sears project apartments likely to start at $900
By DAVID STONE, Our Town breaking news
The 57 new apartments included in a long-awaited downtown renovation project likely will range in price from $900 to $1,500 per month. The project will begin the first week in October, developers and Temple officials said today.
According to a report released this month by the Council for Community and Economic Research, Temple’s average apartment lease is about $1,050.
The Central Avenue project will feature the rehabilitation of three prominent Temple buildings — the 94-year-old Hawn Hotel, the Arcadia Theater and the former Sears store. A small auto shop located between the Sears building and the new Precious Memories Downtown also is included in the project.
“We will start preparing for construction in early October and renovation work will begin a few days later,” said Jonathan Garza, director of development for Turner Behringer Real Estate.
Central Avenue is already closed to traffic between 2nd and 4th streets because of another project across from the Sears building. That project is the conversion of the Professional Building into Central Plaza apartments.
According to Garza, the first floors of the Hawn and Sears buildings will be devoted to commercial properties.
“We have two businesses wanting to put in offices, and there are several restaurant and retail possibilities,” he said.
About 31 one- and two-bedroom apartments will be built in the old nine-story hotel, and 26 apartments will be located on the second floor of the Sears Building. An additional two or three apartments may be located in the alley auto shop.
The Arcadia Theater — a favorite venue for many long-time Temple residents — will be refurbished as a performing arts venue.
“The new Arcadia will seat a combined 629 people on its main floor and in the balcony,” Garza said. “The floor seats will be removable to give the venue added versatility.”
We will be able to hold concerts, conferences, conventions — all kinds of events,” he added. “The Arcadia likely will be connected to a restaurant on the Hawn’s ground floor for theater concessions.”
Turner Behringer and the city closed a deal Tuesday that gives the developer ownership of the buildings. And while Turner Behringer is responsible for the renovation work, the city will be making “streetscape” improvements, Temple City Manager Brynn Myers said.
“We have two downtown parking garages going up, and construction is expected to begin this fall,” she said. “Plus we are working on some other things, such as putting in some green space."
The two garages will give downtown about 650 additional parking spots, including about 415 parking places across 4th Street from the Hawn.
“The Hawn Hotel and Arcadia Theater have been pillars of Temple’s historic downtown for nearly a century, so we are beyond excited to see that these landmarks are going to get a second life,” Myers said. “This project has been in the works for a few years.”
Deal to put County Annex in city’s hands
By DAVID STONE, Our Town exclusive
Temple has reached an agreement with Bell County that will give the city ownership of the downtown County Annex Building.
According to Temple City Manager Brynn Myers, the deal has been approved by both entities.
As part of the agreement, Bell County will begin construction of a new Temple annex before Dec. 31, 2024. The new annex should take about 18 months to build, and 90 days after completion the city will buy the property for $1.
“We anticipate the city will own the current annex facility no later than Sept. 30, 2026,” Myers said. “It may be sooner.”
While a use for the annex building has not been determined, Myers said the facility’s parking lot off Central Avenue could be converted to green space.
“There’s another parking lot behind the annex,” she said.
The annex, located at 205 E. Central, is across the street from a 415-parking space garage that will be built over the next year. It’s also across 4th Street from the proposed Bird Creek Brewery.
GOOD. Water lightly stained; 79 degrees; 0.64 feet low. The water is beginning to cool down, and we should see Fall fishing patterns coming soon. Black bass are good on blue flecked Texas rigged plastic worms, chartreuse swim jigs and bladed spinners. White Bass are good on the main lake points, flats and humps using white/chartreuse jigging spoons and slabs. Hybrid stripers are fair with live bait and pearl swimbaits in the main lake along the channel edges where bait is present. Crappie are fair on minnows in brush piles and timber in water depths 14-25 feet. Catfish are good on chicken liver, live and cut bait.
GOOD. Water lightly stained; 81 degrees; 0.25 feet low. Black bass are good on drop shots, shad like crankbaits and spinners working vegetation, grass lines and hydrilla beds early in the day, then deeper water and timber with football jigs, diving crankbaits and Texas rigged plastic worms. Smallmouth bass are good with plastic grubs, small spoons and rooster tails near rocky shorelines, rock ledges and drop-offs. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs in brush piles and timber. White bass are good on slabs and live bait off main lake points, humps and drop-offs. Channel catfish are good with night crawlers and punch bait. Blue catfish are good with fresh-cut bait and live bait.
Good beer, good music and … BACON!
Belton’s Bacon, Blues & Brews festival is today and Saturday at Courthouse Square. This two-day concert and food event is free.
The festival begins Friday at 5 p.m. with a kickoff party, which includes live music and brewery and food truck fare for purchase.
The 1st Cavalry Rock Band will perform at 5 p.m. today, followed by The Damn Torpedoes (Tom Petty tribute band) at 7 p.m.
On Saturday, food trucks will hand out free bacon inspired dishes from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Live music from three different bands will continue from 11 a.m to 7 p.m. The food trucks and breweries will also be open for business all day.
At 11 a.m. Saturday, the 1st Cavalry New Orleans Brass Band will perform and the Blue Louie Band takes the state at 2 p.m.
The Texas Flood Band — a Stevie Ray Vaughn tribute band — performs at 4 p.m.
September 24, Friday - Maxx Carter live at Fire Base Brewing Company, 6:30 p.m.
September 24, Friday - Aaron Watson, Cotton Country Club, Granger. 9:30 p.m.
September 24, Friday - Karaoke Night @ Corky’s. Every Friday at 8 p.m.
September 25, Saturday - Littlest Wildcat Cheer Camp, Temple High School. 9 a.m.
September 25, Saturday - Preschool Story Time, Stories, songs, literacy activities. Recommended for children 3 to 5 years old. Temple Public Library, 10:30 a.m.
September 25, Saturday - Name That Tune Bingo: Belt it Out Edition. Fire Base Brewing Company, 7:30 p.m.
September 25, Saturday - Belton Bacon, Blues & Brews Festival, noon to 9 p.m.
September 25, Saturday - Baxley & Acadian with special guests Ghost Republic at O’Briens Irish Pub. 9 p.m.
September 25, Saturday - Fun at the Fair! Join us at the museum to for fun at the fair! View the newest exhibit and take part in fun activities - explore symmetry by decorating a popcorn bucket, build your own mini rollercoaster, race your family in duck races, and visit our petting zoo! Bell County Museum. 11 a.m.
September 27, Monday - Teen Craft Corner at Temple Public Library for ages 12 to 18. 5 p.m.
September 28, Tuesday - Baby Bookworms (ages 0 to 12 months), Book sharing, rhymes, songs, exercises. Temple Public Library. 11 a.m.
September 29, Wednesday - School-Age Story Time (K-3rd Grade), Short films, stories, constructive play. Temple Public Library. 4:15 p.m.
September 30, Thursday - TLC’s Celebration of Crazy, Sexy Cool with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Bell County Expo Center. 7:30 p.m.
September 30, Thursday - Funniest Comic in Texas semi-finals. Corky’s.
October 1, Friday - Oktoberfest in Downtown Temple. In conjunction with First Friday. Block parties throughout the entertainment district.
October 1, Friday - Randy Rogers Band, Johnny Steaks and Bar-Be-Que, Salado. 6 p.m.
October 2, Saturday - Transportation Family Day. Experience the largest gathering of Model T cars in the state of Texas and explore the history of the first automobile. Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
October 2, Saturday - Preschool Story Time, Stories, songs, literacy activities. Recommended for children 3 to 5 years old. Temple Public Library, 10:30 a.m.
October 3, Sunday - Keys for the Kingdom, a concert with four pianists on four grand pianos. First Baptist Church in Temple. Free admission! 6 p.m.
October 3, Sunday - Temple Civic Theater’s annual Bazaar Thrift Sale & Blood Drive. Rummage through racks of clothes and tables packed with fun finds. TCT facemarks, wristbands, mugs and memberships also will be on sale. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
October 5, Tuesday - Temple’s National Night Out. 6:30 p.m.
October 7, Thursday - The Spazmatics, Schoepf’s BBQ, Belton. 6 p.m.
October 7, Thursday - Teen Dungeons & Dragons: Beginners Program. Temple Public Library. 5 p.m.
October 7, Thursday - Taproom Trivia at Fire Base Brewing Company. Compete for bragging rights and brewery prizes. 7 p.m.
October 8, Friday - Painting with a Twist, 3 Texans Winery. 6:30 p.m.
October 9, Saturday - Pre-Historic Fundraiser, Tiny Hooves Rescue & Petting Zoo. Seaton Star Hall. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
October 9, Saturday - Dark Explorers Paranormal Team will host a public investigation at The Book Cellar. No open-toe shoes. Bring Your Own Flashlight. 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
October 9, Saturday - Fall Festival Farmer’s Market. Walker Honey Farm. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
October 9, Saturday - Fall Craft Extravaganza. Make leaf lanterns, fall wreaths, shrinky dinks, more. Temple Public Library, 2 p.m.
October 9, Saturday - Downtown Temple Farmer’s Market. 2 North Main. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
October 9, Saturday - Shinyribs, Texas Music Series,Cultural Activities Center. 7:30 p.m.
October 9, Saturday - Oktoberfest 2021, Barrow Brewing Company, Salado, noon to 10:30 p.m.
October 11-17 - Hocus Pocus, The Beltonian Theatre, Belton. Noon.
October 12, Tuesday - Czech Film Night at The Beltonian. Free admission. 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
October 16, Saturday - Van Cliburn Recital featuring Yekwon Sunwoo. Sue & Frank Mayborn Performing Arts Center, Belton. 7:30 p.m.
October 16, Saturday - West Temple Oktoberfest. 3 West Alehouse & Grill. 11 a.m.
October 16, Saturday - St. Luke Fest 2021, raffle, petting zoo, live music, carnival games, food vendors, silent auction, bingo and more. St. Luke’s Catholic Church. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
October 16, Saturday - Oktoberfest 2021, Barrow Brewing Company, Salado, noon to 10:30 p.m.
October 16, Saturday - Cookie Decorating. Blackmon Community Center. 10 a.m.
October 16, Saturday - Michael Salgado at Schoepf’s BBQ in Belton, 6 p.m.
October 18-23 - The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Beltonian, Belton. 6-8 p.m.
October 22, Friday - Unity Fest on the street in front of Ras Kitchen. Featuring Alex Marley and many other acts. 4 p.m. to midnight.
October 23, Saturday - Don Gregory Memorial Lions Club Golf Tournament. Sammons Golf Course. Contact Jeffrey Thigpen Thigpen.email@example.com to register or for sponsorship opportunities. 4-person scramble begins at 8:30 a.m.
October 23, Saturday - Oktoberfest 2021, Barrow Brewing Company, Salado, noon to 10:30 p.m.
October 29, Friday - Uncasing of the Colors for the 607-member 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment of the 3rd Squadron, 36th Infantry Division, now headquartered at the Texas Army National Guard on Airport Road in Temple. Santa Fe Plaza, 10 a.m.
October 29, Friday - Season closing event, Domestics vs Imports, Little River Dragway, 7 p.m.
October 30, Saturday - Barktoberfest, Dog costume contest at 5:30; adoptable dogs on site. Barrow Brewing Co., Salado. 1-7 p.m.
October 30, Saturday - Bulls & BBQ, Live bull riding followed by concert with Jake Worthington and Keith Braxton. Schoepf’s BBQ, Belton, Noon.
October 30, Saturday - Tablerock’s Fright Trail. One-half mile walking trail presents thrill, chills and haunting skits. Salado. 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
October 30, Saturday - BooCru at Crusader Stadium. UMHB in Belton. Wear your Halloween costume to the UMHB v. Belhaven game. Trick or Treat at 10 locations inside the stadium during the first half. Halftime parade of costumes on the football field. Noon.
October 31, Sunday - Halloween! Have fun, be safe.
November 4, Thursday - Spur Classic Sporting Clay Shoot, Weber Shooting Range. 8 a.m.
November 4, Thursday - Brown Bag Bingo, Sammons Community Center Bring a brown bag with a small, non-food Bingo prize inside. 5 p.m.
November 6, Saturday - Chris Hillman, Texas Music Series,Cultural Activities Center. 7:30 p.m.
November 7, Sunday - Temple Symphony Piano Trio featuring Suzanne Jacobson on violin, Cory Blaise on cello and Kiyoshi Tamagawa on piano. Cultural Activities Center. 3 p.m.
November 13, Saturday - Market in the Vines. Take a walk through the vines and shop with over 50 vendors! Free to the public. 3 Texans Winery. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
November 13, Saturday - A Night in Vegas…St. Mary’s Catholic School Casino Night. Live auction, silent auction, games, drawings. Benefits the school’s educational programs. Cultural Activities Center. 6 p.m.
November 18, Thursday - Taste of the Holidays 2021: A Candy Cane Christmas. Mayborn Convention Center. 10:30 a.m.
December 4, Saturday - Barrow Brewing Christmas Market, Salado. Noon.
December 4, Saturday - Temple Symphony Orchestra Holiday Concert featuring soprano Priscilla Santana and tenor Brian Joyce. Temple High School. 7:30 p.m.
Have an event you would like to promote? Email info to OurTownTemple@gmail.com with “What’s Happening” in the subject line. Keep it short and sweet — what, when and where. You may include a short description. You must include a phone number for verification purposes. The phone number will not be published unless requested by submitter.