Director's Column

Amy Rosenthal

Director of MPAC and Main Street, Amy Rosenthal

McKinney Courier Gazette, September 16, 2018

Celebrating Our Cultural District Designation

For the past 150 years, Historic Downtown McKinney has served as the heart of the community where people gather to celebrate and be together. I am honored to announce that downtown McKinney has earned the prestigious Cultural District Designation from the Texas Commission on the Arts thanks in part to the area’s role as the primary gathering place for commerce, companionship and culture.

The Cultural District Designation pays tribute to the experiences guests of the square encounter year-round such as our Oktoberfest and Arts in Bloom festivals farmers market, history museums and art exhibitions, as well as a full line-up of quality shows and concerts performed year-round at the McKinney Performing Arts Center (MPAC) including the sold-out Texas Tenors concert on Sept. 21 and upcoming Peacharine Ragtime Society Orchestra, Bluegrass Heritage Festival, and Veronica Swift with the TI Jazz Band and the GDYO Jazz Band.

Preserving McKinney's History

Each year, we strive preserve the history of our square. McKinney’s Main Street program won $150,000 in grant funding from the Partners in Preservation: Main Streets campaign to “Polish Our Gem” and help maintain the MPAC building. We are currently wrapping up renovations that included cleaning the exterior limestone, painting trim and repointing the historic brick on the former courthouse. The community also has the opportunity to help refurbish the MPAC building by participating in the Raise the Curtain campaign. We have a goal of raising $10,000 by Sept. 30 to purchase new lush curtains to serve as the backdrop of thousands of performances still to come.

Another Amazing Oktoberfest Begins September 28

We invite you to visit the square to experience first-hand our historical cultural district and attend McKinney’s Oktoberfest. The three-day festival starts Friday, Sept. 28 and has become a signature event known for bringing people together from all over the region. Patrons feel as though they have been immersed right into the middle of Munich as they enjoy authentic German fare like bier, brats, strudel, pretzels and live music.

The highlight of any Oktoberfest celebration is the food and beer, and McKinney’s 14-block beer garden features authentic German bier such as Hofbrau and beers from McKinney’s local Franconia and TUPPS breweries. All of our 21-and-up patrons have the opportunity to try multiple German flavors and styles, learn more about the craft beer during the free Brewmaster sessions by Franconia and TUPPS or test their strength in the Hofbrau "Masskrugstemmen" stein holding competition for the chance to win a trip to Las Vegas.

Fun for All Ages

Oktoberfest isn’t just for adults. There are plenty of activities for kids and families, like carnival rides, petting zoo, face painting, rock climbing wall and weenie dog races. Some activities do require a nominal fee. For more information, visit the Oktoberfest website.

Additional Parking!

Also new this month is the opening of the Davis at the Square public parking garage offering additional parking spaces to downtown visitors. There is no better time to visit Downtown McKinney than right now. We hope to see you soon.