Events Noteworthy

Birthplace of the Hamburger

Preservation & Tourism Toolkit Heads to the Birthplace of the Hamburger

ATHENS- Preservationists, tourism professionals, and downtown professionals are invited to participate in an upcoming Preservation & Tourism Toolkit, being held on Thursday, April 12, in Athens Texas. The workshop will focus on building stronger communities through heritage tourism and economic development savvy. The workshop is a joint venture between Texas Forest Trail Region, The Texas Downtown Association, and Texas Lakes Trail Region. “We are thrilled to be able to partner together to present this exciting educational opportunity,” said Catherine Sak, Executive Director of the Texas Downtown Association. “Athens boasts an excellent destination that we hope will attract attendees from regions across the State.”

Conveniently located just a short drive from Dallas, and bordering the Texas Lakes and Forest Trails Regions, Athens is the birthplace of the hamburger, as officially designated by the Texas Legislature. The City of Athens Department of Tourism is assisting in the workshop. Tourism Coordinator Sherri Skeeters said, “we are thrilled at the opportunity to host this workshop in Athens and showcase our wonderful community.” The workshop will be held at the Athens Cain Center, 915 South Palestine Street. Presentations begin at 9:30 a.m., and organizers promise to have folks out the door by 1:30 p.m. in time for them to explore Athens, home of the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center and the East Texas Arboretum among other attractions. Visit for a complete list of things to do and see in Athens.

 Sessions for the Toolkit include “Revitalizing Downtown with Preservation” and a panel on how to integrate and effectively use QR codes, mobile sites, and microsites. “This workshop will be beneficial to a wide variety of individuals from tourism professionals to main street managers, private business owners, and even those curious about trends in technology,” said Mary Turner, Executive Director of Texas Forest Trail

Region. A discount is offered for those who want to familiarize themselves with QR codes ahead of time by scanning a registration code on our flier.

The Texas Downtown Association is an independent, statewide, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to supporting communities across the state that are redeveloping and revitalizing their downtowns by offering resources, education, networking opportunities and advocacy. For more information on the organization you can visit

Texas Forest Trail Region and Texas Lakes Trail Region are two of ten regions in the Texas Heritage Trails Program, a statewide regional tourism initiative developed by the Texas Historical Commission that helps Texans connect with their roots and visitors experience the Texas story. Texas Forest Trail Region serves 35 counties of East Texas and Texas Lakes Trail Region serves 31 counties of North Texas. The regions overlap in Athens, both serving Henderson County.

Advance registration (on or before April 6) for the event is $25, using the QR code or $30 by phone. On site registration is available for $35. Lunch is included in the registration cost. Registration information, including hotel room blocks and detailed agendas will be available soon at and  For more information on the Preservation & Tourism Toolkit: Building Stronger Communities with Heritage Tourism & Economic Development Savvy please contact Mary Turner, 936-560-3699 or

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