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Participant Portal
Explore online resources for the Waco Cotton Palace Board and Royal Court.

In 1890, Waco, Texas was larger than Dallas, Fort Worth and El Paso due in part to the Waco Suspension Bridge, the largest single span bridge in the United States. Also contributing to Waco 's large population was the Waco Tap Railroad which tapped into the Houston and Texas Central Railroad from Houston to Dallas.

Waco aspired to have a Fall Festival which would promote the city. In 1894 Waco residents raised the money to build an exposition hall with seating for 5,000. On November 8, 1894, Governor James Hogg was guest of honor on opening day of the month-long Cotton Palace. The event included a parade, agricultural exhibit, amusement area, orators, and musicians. The first Cotton Palace Exhibition was a grand success, bringing visitors from all over the state. Unfortunately, six weeks later the building burned.

In 1970, the Texas Cotton Palace was revived by residents of Waco. Today, The Waco Cotton Palace is an energetic stage production that recounts the history of Waco. The colorful two-hour stage show features local residents who use drama, song and dance to chronicle the history of Cotton Palace.

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