Waco & the Heart of Texas welcomes our newest regional marketing partner, the City of West. Travelers along the I-35 corridor have long welcomed the opportunity to stop for kolaches in West on their way through the Heart of Texas. While the kolaches alone are more than enough reason to get off the highway, the community of West is so much more.
The city’s Czech heritage has been celebrated at the annual Westfest each Labor Day since 1976. The festival featuring polka bands, dancing, arts and crafts, Miss Westfest, baking contests, and more is one of the largest Czech Polka festivals in the state.
Don’t wait until Labor Day to venture off the interstate and meander through West. West is home to several wonderful bakeries, sausage producers, and restaurants. Try one of the great lunch specials at Czech American Restaurant, or enjoy fresh from the oven pastries at Gerik’s Ole Czech Bakery & Deli, The Village Bakery, Czech Stop, or Slovacek’s.
After enjoying your delicious meal, stroll around downtown and visit some of the antique shops. Olde Czech Corner Antiques, Czech Point, and Divine Designs to name a few. Nestled among them you will find the brand new History of West Museum. The museum brings the history of the town to life with sections dedicated to the early history, the crazy but true story of the Crash at Crush – a planned head on collision of two locomotives that brought an estimated 40,000 people to the area, and to the recent tragedy, the fertilizer plant explosion that damaged much of the town and claimed the lives of 15 people.
Coming soon – a new West City Park will be constructed on the site of the original park, which was damaged in the explosion. The park will be constructed in three phases, the first of which is a playground area with a fire truck and first responder theme. The second phase will include a city pavilion, with tennis courts and a green space, and the third phase will include a memorial to those killed in the explosion.