“Everything’s bigger in Texas.” Texans take a great deal of pride in that statement, having been devoted to “big” since the days of the Lone Star Republic. From its admission to the Union in 1845 until someone exhibited extremely poor judgment and granted statehood to Alaska in 1959, Texas was the biggest U.S. state by far. Ever since that unfortunate dethroning, Texans have felt compelled to prove we can out-big the best of ’em by conspicuously displaying big houses, big vehicles, big fortunes, and big hair.
Sometimes, though, even Texans think this “big” thing has gotten out of hand. Take, for example, the list of Official State Capital Designations. Who in their right mind thinks any state needs 69 official state capitals? Texas has 70, actually, if you count Austin.
|Texas Bluebonnets outside Ennis (photo by Jeffrey Pang)|
From there, the legislature got the bit in its teeth and went hog wild. The official representatives in the official Official State Capital in Austin went on a designating binge from which the state has yet to emerge.
|Yes, crape myrtles are pretty. Evidently, they're pretty|
enough to fight over in Texas. (photo by Atamari)
|"King George" Strait is a Resistol fan.|
In 2013, the legislature named Garland the Cowboy Hat Capital of Texas, which makes sense because that’s where Resistol Hats got their start. The designation Dinosaur Capital of Texas also makes sense for Glen Rose, since a plethora of dinosaur tracks—including some that had never been seen before—were discovered in the area at the turn of the 20th Century. But the Hippo Capital of Texas (Hutto)? The Jackrabbit-Roping Capital of Texas (Odessa)? Even Texans wonder who had gotten into the mescal when those ideas were trotted out.
|A Texas horny toad. Cute li'l feller, ain't he?|
(photo by Steve Hillebrand, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
|Cream cheese kolache from the|
Little Czech Bakery in West,
TX (photo by Larry D. Moore)
In fact, quite a few of Texas’s Official Capitals are associated with food:
- Elgin is the Sausage Capital.
- Floydada is the Pumpkin Capital.
- Friona is the Cheeseburger Capital.
- Hawkins is the Pancake Capital.
- Lockhart is the Barbecue Capital.
- Madisonville is the Mushroom Capital.
- Mansfield is the Pickle Capital.
- Mauriceville is the Crawfish Capital.
- Parker County is the Peach Capital.
- Weslaco is the Citrus Capital.
- West Tawakoni is the Catfish Capital.
- Knox City is the Seedless Watermelon Capital.
|In Texas, we call crawfish "crawdads." (photo by Jon Sullivan)|
In case anyone isn't completely fed up with the list by now, a complete accounting of Texas's Official State Capital Designations is here. .