Texas road trip: How to have a great weekend in Corsicana, where there’s a lot to cheer about these days

The Northeast Texas town is a hub for art, film, and television, including a hit Netflix show

Corsicana, Texas
Corsicana, Texas (Google Maps)

Corsicana has gotten a lot of attention in recent months due to the hit Netflix docuseries Cheer, which follows the top-tier Navarro College cheerleading squad. Cheer portrays the town as quaint and sleepy, but for those who know Corsicana outside of the small screen, the biggest draw is the town’s burgeoning art scene.

It’s not the first boom Corsicana’s experienced. Around the turn of the 20th century, drillers excavating a water well in the area inadvertently struck oil, instantly changing the modest agricultural hub’s fortunes. Corsicana quickly became one of the wealthiest and most cosmopolitan small cities in the state.

Over the decades, the town experienced ebbs and flows. But in the late 1980s the once-vibrant downtown stagnated and its ornate, cornice-crowned buildings sat mostly deserted.

Then, about four or five years ago, Corsicana experienced something of a renaissance. Artists, craftspeople, chefs, and filmmakers migrated there from Dallas, Austin, New York, and Los Angeles, and swept the dust off the place.

Instead of conjuring mineral wealth from Corsicana’s soil, these new wildcatters found creative inspiration. Without losing sight of its past, Corsicana is striding into a new and exciting future.

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