Introduction to Mesquite, Texas
Mesquite is a city in north central Texas located only 12 miles east of Dallas. Situated on U.S. Route 80 near the junction of Interstate Highways I-30 and I-635, Mesquite is bordered by the cities of Garland (to the north) and Balch Springs (to the south). Home of the Mesquite Championship Rodeo, the city is generally known as the "Rodeo Capital of Texas."
First established by the Texas and Pacific Railway in 1873, Mesquite was named after nearby Mesquite Creek. Incorporated in 1887, the city grew very slowly with cotton as one of its primary industries. Between 1950 and 1970, the city's population exploded, growing from less than 2,000 to upwards of 50,000 residents. This surge was largely attributable to the growth of neighboring Dallas. In the 1980s, the Mesquite Historical Commission was formed as part of an initiative to help preserve the city's culture and heritage. The commission, now known as Historic Mesquite, Inc., is still active and working on several projects, including plans for a historical park.
Mesquite's premiere attraction is the Mesquite Championship Rodeo. Started in 1958, the now nationally-televised event captures and showcases the full Texas cowboy experience. The Mesquite Arts Center, home to more than 16 arts groups, hosts the Mesquite Symphony Orchestra, the Mesquite Community Theater, and the Mesquite Community Band. The facility also includes a large art gallery with changing exhibits. Rodeo City Music Hall features "good time" entertainment designed to please the whole family. Devil’s Bowl Speedway hosts all types of vehicles engaged in action-packed competitions between March and November. Historic sites in Mesquite include the Florence Ranch Homestead, a step back in time to the late 1800s; and the Texas Queen, a double deck paddle wheeler which offers the perfect setting for many special events. Nearby Dallas/Fort Worth is home to many popular attractions located only minutes from Mesquite. These include the following:
- Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
- Dallas Zoo
- Dallas Museum of Art
- Dallas World Aquarium and Rainforest
- Fair Park
- Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District
- Six Flags Over Texas
- The Sixth Floor Museum
- West End Marketplace
Major league baseball action abounds in nearby Arlington, home to Major League Baseball's Texas Rangers. Nearby Irving is home to the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League. The National Basketball Association's Dallas Mavericks, the National Hockey League's Dallas Stars, and FC Dallas of Major League Soccer are some other prominent teams playing in the area.