It doesn’t matter if you’ve already visited Cleburne; it’s time to return for another trip. This time, there’s more to see and do in this charming city. From watching a game at the new stadium to cheering on paddlers at a dragon boat race, here are the top new things to do in Cleburne, Texas.
Cleburne Railroad Museum
Located on Main Street, Cleburne Railroad Museum is an exciting new venue for history lovers to learn about the area’s past. The current location is a temporary spot for visitors to learn about the city’s 75-year history with the railroad industry. Visitors can browse through several exhibits of vintage photographs of railroad workers and steam engines, and admire well-preserved artifacts used by the workers. Bring the kids along for them to play with the miniature town display where trains travel in and out of tunnels. The museum is open from Thursday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s advised to call in advance to request a tour for your group.
If you know your history, you’ll know the Cleburne Railroaders baseball team has a past – despite being newly formed in 2017. In 1906, the Cleburne Railroaders won the championship in the Texas League. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, the team disbanded shortly after and became a distant memory—until 2017. This year, guests are invited to attend the first few games played by the Railroaders at The Depot. Cheer on your new favorite team and its mascot, “Spike,” a ferocious-looking railroad spike donning a baseball hat. Spending time at The Depot is a family-friendly activity where it’s common to have tailgating parties and picnics. The Depot has its own gift shop where fans can purchase Cleburne Railroaders goods to show their support.
The Railroaders aren’t the only team that’s forming in Cleburne this year—a soccer team is also making its debut. FC Cleburne, of the Premier Development League, will play throughout the summer season with several scheduled at-home games at The Depot. The team played its first game May 27, 2017, and is taking the city by storm.
Cleburne Dragon Boat Festival
Don’t let summer pass by without experiencing excitement and culture at Cleburne’s inaugural Dragon Boat Festival on Lake Pat Cleburne. For people unfamiliar with the custom, a dragon boat is a traditional Chinese design resembling a dragon that holds up to 20 paddlers. The boats are 40 feet long and weigh approximately 500 pounds. Locally sponsored teams will have its own dragon boats and paddlers will rapidly race their way to the finish line. The two-day event will have new races every 15 to 20 minutes, keeping spectators busy during their visit. Come hungry, as food vendors will be present serving tasty eats for your convenience.
Cleburne Farmers Market
Clear your Saturday and visit the Johnson County Market Square in downtown Cleburne for a brand new farmers market returning after a two-year hiatus. From 8 a.m. to noon, the farmers market will have all the best locally grown produce like strawberries, tomatoes, okra and much more. While stocking up on the freshest fruits and vegetables, enjoy the live music playing in the background.
Recently making its debut in Cleburne, The Depot is rapidly growing in popularity thanks to its endless list of scheduled events—other than baseball and soccer games. The new facility is a hot spot for upcoming concerts, 5K fun runs, car shows, civic events, wine festival and more. The facility will have 346,850 square feet of retail space and six pad sites for restaurants to make events more enjoyable. Not to mention, while watching a game in this massive venue, fans can opt to stay in one of its luxury suites or party deck for a spectacular view of the field while taking advantage of its complimentary buffet.
Songbird Live and Plaza Theater Company
One of Cleburne’s most hopping joints, Songbird Live will begin a new expansion project. The owner, Tom Burkett, recently acquired the 20,000-sq.-ft., two-story Red Horse Antique Mall two doors down from its current location. Burkett plans to keep a large part of the downstairs still operating as an antique mall, but the rest of the venue will turn into a restaurant serving deli sandwiches & teas and a spacious concert venue that can seat up to 299 attendees. Songbird Live is a popular hangout for locals to listen to tribute bands covering iconic musicians like Chicago, ZZ Top and The Beatles. Another exciting expansion coming to Cleburne is its biggest theater—The Plaza Theatre Company. The Plaza Theatre Company will make the former Liberty Event Center its new home. This new location will comfortably seat up to 300 guests.
Photo Courtesy of Cleburne Times Review and Monica Faram