Denton, Texas – Downtown Square

Main Streets 2016: Texas

If a city can have a front yard, Denton’s would be Downtown Square. And its front porch would be the Denton County Courthouse on the Square, an architectural gem and beloved landmark that’s right there towering over it all.

The Square, as it’s universally known, is where Denton gathers to eat and drink, shop and conduct business. It’s where holidays are celebrated. The Square has been the center of town for nearly as long as Denton’s been a town, and it continues to offer a small-town flavor even as Denton, just north of Dallas, has grown to become a hip, diverse city.

Life here revolves around the Square. This is where residents, visitors and students at one of the town’s two universities, the University of North Texas and Texas Woman’s University, come for music, parades and festivals — or just to lounge on the lawn or to play a game of Hacky Sack.

The city is home to a vibrant local music scene. Among its diverse attractions is the Denton Arts and Jazz Festival, a free event just off the Square the last weekend in April that features seven stages of music, fine art, crafts, food and games. There’s also 35 Denton, an annual three-day music festival staged in March. And although the fairgrounds aren’t right downtown, no mention of Denton is complete without including the North Texas Fair and Rodeo, a nine-day extravaganza in August that celebrates everything Texan.

Meanwhile, the Square celebrates Texas just about every day. This is the place to come for a pair of jeans or cowboy boots, a vintage record album, or some artisan-designed jewelry. If you’re more inclined to learn the history of the town, visit the Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum in the courthouse building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There’s no longer an active court here — just plenty to discover about this lively, historic North Texas community.

Photo courtesy of Ed Steele Photography