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Summer is here, so head to the lake.
Paris has two major lakes, Pat Mayse Reservoir and Lake Crook. Paris also has a fishing pond behind the Love Civic Center that is open to the public. All fishing on public water requires as fishing license which can be purchased at Wal-Mart. Some people wonder why you have to buy a license just to catch a fish. The reason is because the money is the source of revenue for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, which protects our states natural resources.
The Love Civic Center pond is stocked with perch and catfish, features a pier and is so conveniently located that you can fish on your lunch break.Lake Crook, located just 3 miles north of Paris on 271 (entrance on west side just past Campbell Soup) was the original water source for the city of Paris and was built in XXXX. Waterskiing or tubing on Lake Crook is possible (and at one time even boasted of a ski ramp) the size and depth prevent many water sport enthusiasts from using it. It is much more used as a fishing lake with crappie, bass and catfish and in the winter is good waterfowl hunting spot (a hunting license and waterfowl stamps are required).
Pat Mayse is a tremendous asset for our community. Completed in XXX, this Army Corps of Engineers lake is over 6,000 acres with 3 ramps at Sanders Cove, 2 ramps at Park West a ramp at Lamar Point, and a private enterance owned and maintained by the Kiwanis. Tons of camping and RV hookups make this one of the areas weekend camping destinations. Picnic area are also available at each of the Park areas. A brand new floating dock at Pat Mayse B Loop attracts the boaters that don’t want to put in and then drive their boat up on the shore while parking the trailer.Pat Mayse is beautiful in that it has no developments whatsoever on the shore line, and in turn, this keeps the lake free of debris and litter that plague lakes such as Cypress Springs in Mt. Pleasant.
The fishing is good with striper, large mouth bass, perch, crappie and catfish being the most sought after fish. Fishermen compete weekly to see see who can bring in the most weight in bass, but the big tournament of the year is the Uncle Jesse Big Bass Classic which boasts a $5000 purse and draws professional anglers from all over.
If you are a skier, tuber, jet skier, or wakeboarder in Paris, this is your home lake. Several coves on the south side keep the water skiable up to about 14 mile per hour winds. And while Saturdays, Sundays and especially 4th of July and Labor Day are packed, most people are just hanging out, swimming and cruising. The time to ski is weekdays in the evenings. Tuesday evenings at 6pm can be a little difficult putting in as the weekly fishing tournament start at Sanders Cove B Loop, but once they the fishermen jet off at straight up 6, you won’t see them again. You will have the lake virtually to yourself.
The last but definitely not least feature of Pat Mayse is the 10 mile mountain biking loop trail at Sanders Cove. It’s single track and as technically challenging as any mountain biking trail you could hope for, so wear a helmet. It is steep and beautiful. Watch for another article just about this great trail. If you’re not into mountain biking, it is also a beautiful hike, but be considerate of the mountain bikers by stepping off the single track and allowing them to pass by..
Now in its 27th year, the Tour de Paris is established as one the best bicycle rallies in the state, but odds are you haven’t ridden in it. How do I know? Well over 1,000 riders participate in the Tour de Paris, but typically less 10% are from here! That means people from all over the country are coming here to do what you can do without even getting in a car.
Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard about the Tour de Paris, but you don’t really know what the big deal it. Here’s the scoop. First, it’s tremendously fun to ride around with a huge group of people with all of the roads block off. You can ride right down the middle of the street and don’t have to worry about cars! Everyone starts off in a huge pack and you head downtown and around the plaza where people are packed to cheer you on. From there, the routes divide up. If you are looking for a shorter ride, the 20k route turns and goes down the Trail de Paris. For those looking for longer routes, rides up to 100K (yes that is almost 65 miles!) wind throughout the beautiful Lamar County countryside.
How do you know where to go? The Tour de Paris has an excellent reputation for being a well organized ride. Markers and signage are super easy to follow so you will never get lost and you will never end up on a route that is longer than you expected.
Yeah, but I am lazy and out of shape…That’s ok, remember, this is a rally not a race. I promise you there will be people behind you no matter how slow you go. And this rally has great pit stops. Actually, that’s part of the fun. Stopping every so often at a pit stop to get a free banana, water, pickle juice, etc. is a great chance to say hi to the folks who have come from all over to ride with you. Occasionally you will even get some live music along the way. Then on to the finish.
Whether you just ride down to the Plaza and back to the Civic Center or do the grueling 100k, crossing the finish line is big fun. Cheerleaders and fans line the way to bring you in and riding under the water sprayer feels incredible. After that, wobble into the Civic Center on shaky legs and wolf down a free hamburger, then relax and watch the Tour de France on the big screen, because you will officially be a cycle enthusiast.
Tips: Bring a water bottle. Make sure your tires are fully inflated. If you have a flat, don’t worry. The entire route is manned to help people with bike problems (or people who overestimate how far they can ride!) – the Tour de Paris will not leave you stranded. Wear comfy, light-weight clothing, sunglasses and tons of sun screen.
Still don’t think you can handle it? Who cares! Come join the fun anyway. Downtown is a great place to watch the cyclists zoom by. Or come out to the Civic Center and cheer them as they cross the finish line. But no matter what, come be a part of what thousands of people have come to Paris for 27 years to do.
For more go to www.tourdeparis.com. The Tour de Paris starts promptly at 8am. You can register Friday from 5-8pm at the Civic Center or Saturday from 6am-8am. The race starts between the Civic Center and Paris Junior High.
Movies in the Park is now in its fourth season and continues to draw a crowd. Each Thursday night throughout the summer, hundreds of people spread out lawnchairs and picnic blankets in Bywaters Park across from the Paris Public Library to watch a movie under the stars. The lineup is alway family friendly and Paris Texas Main Street who puts on the event always has fun activities related to the movie to pass time while waiting for the sun to set. For instance, the kick off night this season was an 80′s theme night, all things retro, to tie in with the quintessential 80′s blockbuster “Back to the Future”.
Concessions are available with Paris Downtown Association using all proceeds for planting new grass around the fountain area and for the seeding of a grant fund to help restore downtown businesses.
Click here for a complete lineup for the 2011 Movies in the Park season.
On Friday June 11th, the 22nd Lamar County Crime Stoppers Ranch Rodeo comes to the Paris Rodeo and Horse Club Arena at the Fairgrounds. So what’s a “Ranch” rodeo? A Ranch Rodeo is an event that directly reflects our Texas cowboy heritage as a competition based on what real cowboys do on real Texas ranches. The cowboys and their horses complete in five events that showcase the necessary skills and know how ranch hands practice daily on today’s Texas ranches. The Ranch Rodeo’s events require the same teamwork ranch hands use in their everyday lives. Ranch rodeos do not include bull riding, barrel racing or bulldogging, which are not considered typical ranch activities. The events are:
You can probably figure out what cow milking is but how about the rest? A remuda race is where the cowboy ropes a horse from a remuda or string of ranch horses and then rides like crazy for a while. These standard events are usually supplemented by several imaginative and often wild stunts which the cowboys think of themselves.
Double Mugging is kind of like calf branding, but instead of a calf, the team of cowboy has separate a big yearling or roping steer from a group, rope it and get it down on its side in order to tie three of its four legs and keep it down for 6 seconds. It typically takes the whole team to get this big cow down.
Team Penning is where a herd of approximately 30 head of cattle a put at one end of the arena; a team of cowboys draws a number at random which is writte on 3 of the 30 head. Cowboys have to ride in and cut out those 3 specific cows and herd them into a portable pen set up in the center of the arena.
Trailer loading is where a cowboy has to cut a cow out of a herd and get it loaded into a trailer for time.
This is a great way to see the the skills practiced everyday on Texas Ranches and done for a great cause. All proceeds go to fund Lamar County Crime Stoppers. This event is put on with the help of great corporate sponsors Campbell Soup and Toyota of Paris.
It is late spring in Paris and baseball is in the air. Paris offers many different opportunities to take in a game and enjoy the great weather outside. Paris Junior College baseball and softball have come to a close for the season. And while the Wildcats and North Lamar Pantherettes are in the playoffs, any game could bring their season to an end as well. Nonetheless, baseball action is alive and well at Woodall Field. The Breakfast Optimist Baseball League might be the single largest draw for any event series in Lamar County. From late March until early June, Woodall Field is home to nightly baseball action that draws as many as 2,000 people per night.
There are all levels of play at Woodall Field and addmission is free except for a couple of select nights during the season. Baseball at Woodall begins with T-ball for 5 and 6 year olds, and if you’re look for something to brighten your day take in one of their games. These tikes are liable to hit the ball and run to third or from second base to the the bathroom, and the outfielders are a sure bet to pointed out airplanes, butterflies or kids they know from school. But it always makes for a truly hilarious time.
The competition heats up by league, and with 7 fields of action to take in, there is always a game to watch some truly talented kids show their stuff. The concession stand has great burgers and fries, and there is no such thing as a game at Woodall without a snow cone.
May 20th is the last game of the regular season before the tournament begins. Starting on the 23rd, playoff action will carry through June 3rd to be followed by All-Stars. You will see thrilling games fiercely battled out through the playoffs. No matter your age, you will enjoy the games and you will definitely run into people you know. It’s hard the think of a better way to enjoy a beautiful spring evening of baseball than at Woodall Field.
Woodall Field is located on Hwy 271 South just past Loop 286. Just look for the hords of people.