Family fun festival keeps historic train depot running
Last updated 5/2/2023 at 6:43pm
Ten years ago, the early 1900s Southern Pacific Railroad depot stood abandoned and decaying. Graffiti often was sprayed on its brick walls.
Then Orange native Carrie Joiner Woliver of Houston started a foundation to save and restore the depot, Friends of the Orange Depot. Today, the restored train depot on Green Avenue in downtown Orange is a cherished landmark downtown and , a popular party venue.
Saturday, May 6, the public will get a chance to support the upkeep of the depot and enjoy a fun family outing. The annual Depot Day festival will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the depot and the adjoining block.
Of course, lots of model trains will be featured, including a kid-sized train to ride around the street, plus painted train cutouts for some selfies. But there will also be lots more things for kids to ride. Those will include an airplane ride, mechanical bull, and even real ponies. Tickets for the attractions will be $1 each or six for $5.
Entertainment will include a balloon sculptor, arts and crafts for the kids, the Orange Blossom dancers, the Orange Community Players, and art cars from Houston. Vendors will be set up inside the depot.
Families can play corn hole toss or even try to throw a baseball and dunk someone at the dunking game.
Food trucks set up are to include Model Train Barbecue, The Pink Lady, and Ice Cream Shack.
Chances on a variety of drawings will be sold to benefit the depot preservation. The prizes will be a girls bike and a boys bike; gift cards from Orange Orange Cafe, Sabine Federal Credit Union, Well Spring Credit Union, and Texas State Bank. First State Bank is donating a gift basket with gift card to the drawing, and Paul Burch with Looking Good Salon is providing a gift basket.