As another year comes to a close and another year is set to begin, it’s only natural to reflect on where we’ve been during 2012, and where we’re going in 2013.
It’s been an exciting year in Mansfield. From new community events to new businesses and industries, we’ve had a lot to be grateful for as our city continues to grow and develop.
A new tradition was started this spring with the Best Maid Pickle Parade as thousands of residents and visitors gathered in our historic downtown for a fun, new event. The community embraced the parade and its activities and because of this year’s success, the pickle parade will be back again next year, bigger and better than ever.
The Mansfield Reads! program saw its most successful year yet as best-selling author and Texas native Sandra Brown was this year’s guest. Hundreds gathered at the library to hear her speak.
Once again, Mansfield’s Rockin’ 4th of July staked its claim as one of the region’s best fireworks show with more than 8,000 people celebrating at Big League Dreams listening to live music, enjoying family activities and watching a spectacular fireworks display.
And just this fall, thousands of residents and visitors took to Main Street in historic downtown for the annual Historic Mansfield Music and Arts Festival. And while the weekend of music, food and arts was again a huge success, it was the wildly enthusiastic crowds at smaller venues during the weekday entertainment schedule that illustrated the community and statewide support for this festival, now in its seventh year.
The holiday season will once again be filled with festivities including Hometown Holidays and the annual parade downtown. This year the Mansfield Historical Society will host its first holiday gala to raise funds for the museum and heritage center. And the first major community event at the new Mansfield ISD Center for The Performing Arts takes place as the Dallas Symphony Orchestra performs a holiday concert.
It was also a good year for our local economy. Klein Tools and Mouser both continued hiring in Mansfield and other local industries announced expansions at their facilities. Mansfield has added 1,684 industrial jobs in the last four years.
New retail and commercial continue to find success in Mansfield. Lane Bryant, Shoe Carnival, Visionworks, Smashburger and Chipotle all opened new locations in our city this year and are enjoying many new customers. Cinemark, pleased with the continued performance of its Mansfield theater, chose our city for one of its new state-of-the-art XD theaters.
Methodist Mansfield Medical Center remains one of the city’s top economic drivers. The hospital is completing a master plan to develop a medical campus that will include expanding patient areas and providing medical office building space. The master plan design will be completed in early 2013 with plans to start expansion in the next two years.
All of this positive news drew the attention of Money Magazine as the city was once again named to its list of Best Places to Live in America, the third time Mansfield has been selected for the honor.
The successes of 2012 will soon be left behind and we can look forward to an even more exciting 2013. Construction will begin in January on the first phase of the community park and nature center on the Williams property along Matlock. Dirt is already turning over on Debbie Lane for the mixed-use development Villas di Luca and Shops di Luca, which will include Fuzzy’s Tacos. And the downtown landscape will change as Mellow Mushroom replaces the old Station House building at East Broad Street and Main.
And there are several other exciting projects that have yet to be announced but that will eventually be added to the good news of 2013. As the community gathers together to celebrate this winter, we are fortunate that among the things we have to be grateful for is a city that is growing and thriving. Thanks to everyone who made 2012 a success, and we look forward to a prosperous 2013.