By Kristi Rowe, NewsCastic
Folks from Grand Prairie are a pretty special bunch. Situated halfway between Dallas and Fort Worth, our “little” town feels middle of the road in more ways than one. Maybe we’re like Donny and Marie – a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll. But we’re particular about certain things too, and there are things we know in GP that other DFWers will just never understand.
Theo’s Now and Then
To be more accurate, it’s Theo’s then and now. You’re definitely from Grand Prairie if you once had root beer floats at Theo’s Drive-In or if you now like to grab food and adult beverages and hear great music at Theo’s Grill and Bar. Or both.
Bright Lights, Mid-Cities
Whether you went to South Grand Prairie High School or Grand Prairie High (remember there is no north!) you probably marched, cheered, danced, or played in the Gopher Bowl, now known as the Gopher-Warrior Bowl. Both teams play their home games here, and the intense, decades-old rivalry between them continues.
Flea Markets and Festivals
If you’re from Grand Prairie, you’ve spent many a hot day meandering, shopping and eating at Trader’s Village. You might also have performed at a festival or entered a chili cookoff here. The Grand Prairie lifestyle is simply not complete without repeated exposure to Traders Village.
Just Keep Swimming
You might be from Grand Prairie if you spent your summer mornings at swimming lessons or afternoons at open swim sessions at a public pool. Many a Grand Prairie kiddo took lessons or swam at the old Turner Park, Cottonwood Park (now McFalls Park) or Kirby Creek Natatorium. For kids who take lessons now, the ladies yelling “kick, KICK!” have changed but nothing else really has.
Roller Coaster Mania
You know you’re from Grand Prairie if you had a season pass to Six Flags Over Texas just about every year. Or after you turned 16 you didn’t need one because you worked there. Six Flags was (and might still be) the one place not in Grand Prairie where the most GP teens are likely to be found.
Precious and Few Are the Moments
If an important life celebration calls for a cake from Barbara’s Cake and Cookie Boutique, you’re almost certainly from Grand Prairie. For more than 21 years, GP folks have been getting specialty cakes and more from this Main Street mainstay.
When Pigs Fly
Flying Pigs? No that’s just the Grand Prairie Airhogs – no wait, it’s the Texas Airhogs. But Grand Prairie claims them as our very own baseball team. They might be a minor league team but that doesn’t make us yell any less. And of course, if you’re from Grand Prairie, you know that the term “airhogs” refers to the aviation industry around Grand Prairie that made it what it is today.
Light It Up
If Christmas isn’t Christmas without a drive through Prairie Lights, let’s face it, you’re from Grand Prairie. There’s nothing little about this two-mile drive through a Christmas display that features over 4 million lights.
Cry A Little
You know you’re from Grand Prairie if you cry a little when you drive past Church Street and Second. There’s a building that’s simply missing from the spot where it stood for decades. Despite having a beautiful new home on Mayfield Road, we miss the First Baptist Church of Grand Prairie when we drive past its old home.
No Words Are Needed
If you’re truly from Grand Prairie, there’s at least one spot in town you’d recognize blindfolded. Don Juan’s Romantic Mexican Food restaurant has been serving up delicious tacos and enchiladas for so long, most Grand Prairians recognize the spot by smell. A true GP native, whether young or old, also knows better than to try sneak in a personal taco Tuesday on the way home. Your family or significant other will smell that wafting aroma of deliciousness and bust you as soon as you walk through the door.