If you read Sulphur Springs, Texas: Our Beloved Hometown and What Makes It Great, or if you are lucky enough to live in Hopkins County, then you know our community is impressive! We have deep history, amazing festivals, a close-knit community, great educational opportunities, and the list goes on. But one additional genre of offerings proves Sulphur Springs is the largest small town in America–that is, our performing arts offerings. Here are just some of the amazing art and artists you can expect to encounter in Sulphur Springs:
Sulphur Springs Symphony League – Can you imagine a town of 16,000 residents with a professional orchestra? We are lucky enough to boast one of our own! With professional musicians, both local and regional, the Sulphur Springs Symphony League hosts two major concerts each year. What is quintessentially Sulphur Springs is an almost 30-year tradition, the Independence Day Concert and Fireworks held each year the Saturday before July 4 on Heritage Square. This is a scene straight from a Rockwell painting. Flags, veterans, patriotic music, exuberant kids, and dazzling fireworks all on display under the shadow of our historic Hopkins County Courthouse. The second concert is the free Children’s Concert held each Spring for elementary age children from Hopkins County. This may be the only professional orchestra to which these students are exposed, and it is amazing to watch their reaction. The conductor presents the music and interacts with the young audience to allow for learning and participation. The students are engaged! When possible, the SSSL sponsors other performances for the students or community. In the past, the symphony league has paid to have the Dallas Opera perform for the middle school students in addition to occasional Chamber Music performances for the public.
North East Texas Choral Society – This is a group of local volunteers who audition to be a member of the prestigious choral society. Each year the choral society dazzles the audience with two concerts. Their annual Christmas Concert held in December is always a crowd pleaser and gets our community in the holiday spirit. The second performance is a Spring Concert based around a different theme each year. It is worth the price of the ticket to hear this group perform.This year’s Spring Concert is titled “Endless Summer” and will be held May 7 & 8. I can’t wait to see (and hear) what the group has prepared to entertain the crowd. Tickets are on sale now for $15 each. Follow North East Texas Choral Society on Facebook for more information.
Community Players and Main Street Theatre – The Community Players put on some amazing performances! They are back to performing in their building, Main Street Theater, which has had a facelift. With local actors, this non-profit production company puts on comedies, dramas and everything in between. They have been offering live theatre productions for over 40 years, so you know they are good! Treasure Island will be the next production and will be performed in late April and early May. Tickets are on sale for $12 each. For more information visit www.communityplayersinc.com. Shining Star Productions – Shining Star Productions uses local talent to put on first-quality performances. Often the performers are students who are honing their craft. They just performed their fifth annual cabaret show with a theme of “When You Wish Upon a Star” and will be putting on “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” August 5-7 at the Civic Center. For more information on Shining Star and to keep up with future performances, follow them at Shining Star Productions on Facebook.
Concerts – There are numerous concerts that occur around our community. Some are fundraisers, some are free on the square, some are part of other events such as the Sulphur Springs Rotary Club’s Crawfish Festival. On the weekend, many restaurants in the downtown area have a live musical performance. Two local favorite hangouts for live music are BackStory Brewery at 211 Magnolia Street in Sulphur Spring and Foster’s Place at 15244 Texas Highway 11 East in nearby Pickton.
High school productions– Many of our local high schools have award-winning productions. From one-act plays to seasonal productions, area youngsters do a fantastic job acting their hearts out. Recent events for SSHS have included the circus parade at the Hopkins County Healthcare Foundation gala and, of course, all the competitions they are currently winning.
Dance schools– Sulphur Springs is home to the Ardis Center for Performing Arts and the Sulphur Springs Center for Dance. Both of these institutions train young dancers in the expressive arts, and put on wonderful performances for the community throughout the year.
School band and choir– Performances throughout the year by SSHS bands and choirs really brighten our community. We enjoy the marching band and Blue Blazes at every football game, we sample the jazz band‘s touring selection during Christmas at our local banks, and seasonal concerts with choirs from elementary to high school are always a hit. We’re especially proud of the Wildcat Marching band for their past few award-winning seasons in marching competitions!
Art shows– Sulphur Springs hosts many art shows by local artists throughout the year, and local festivals do their best to bring craftspeople and artists from across East Texas to the forefront. Check local listings for art and photography exhibitions, or visit festivals including the Christmas Market, Main Street Uncorked, Fall Festival, Farmers’ Market and more!
Texafied Jamfest– Birthright, Texas’s only music festival is headed into its fourth year in 2022. Attendees join for a weekend packed with folk, acoustic, alternative and country music from local musicians and nationwide stars. Tickets for the 2022 event just went on sale April 1.
Those of us from Sulphur Springs and Hopkins County are proud of our community and all it has to offer. With the foundation of a rich history, this community has continued to grow its offerings for both body, mind and spirit. Add performing arts to the mix of festivals, car shows, movie nights on the square, and you will have something new and interesting to do every weekend of the year!
By Kayla Price. Taylor Nye contributed to this report. Photos by Taylor Nye, Mandy Fiock, Logan Vaughan and Abbi Beggs.