Over Memorial weekend, the Wimberley community was struck by historic flooding, causing loss of life, homes and belongings.
Although the damage is heart-breaking, most of that damage has been restricted to residential areas along the Blanco River. Nearly all of the businesses in the downtown area were above the flood waters and those few that were damaged have reopened. Iconic Wimberley treasures, including Blue Hole, Jacob’s Well and Old Baldy were not damaged, and the cultural amenities that make Wimberley a mecca for arts tourism continue to shine, including the Wimberley Playhouse, EmilyAnn Theatre & Gardens and the town’s many art galleries and studios.
“We’ve had offers of help from around the country,” said Cathy Moreman, executive director of the Wimberley Valley Chamber of Commerce. “We hope that people who are seeing Wimberley on the news will see beyond the mud and debris and realize that Wimberley itself continues to shine and is open for business.”
The small Hill Country town is primarily dependent on tourism to support its small businesses and non-profit organizations. Like Wimberley’s residents, those businesses and organizations are facing challenges because of the flooding. “Without the support of visitors, our natural disaster will quickly become an economic disaster,” Moreman said. “We’re hoping that people will continue to come to the Wimberley Valley not only to support our community, but also to experience everything this charming town has to offer.”
Many local and regional organizations are hosting fund-raising events for the community, with events including art, musicians and more scheduled in the next several weeks.
The community is also continuing its tradition of hosting cultural activities, with the EmilyAnn Theatre & Gardens production of Wizard of Oz being staged through July 4. “The iconic story of the Wizard of Oz is about finding what you need within yourself – it’s a story about resiliency,” said EmilyAnn Theatre & Gardens Executive Director Ann Rolling. “We would love for everyone to see Wizard of Oz to celebrate life and our community’s resiliency.”
Independence Day celebrations in the Hill Country community are expected to be particularly spirited this year. An Independence Day Parade is scheduled for Friday, July 3; Market Day, one of the largest trade days in the state, happens Saturday, July 4; and the 70th annual VFW Pro Open will be July 2-4.
“Wimberley always goes all out for Independence Day,” Moreman said. “This year will be particularly poignant as we honor our community’s resiliency.”
For more information about Wimberley, visit www.Wimberley.org. If you would like to help with flood recovery, please consider sending a tax-deductible monetary donation to Barnabas Connection, P.O. Box 737, Wimberley, TX 78676. Online donations can be made on http://barnabasconnects.org/wimberley-flood-2015/
Like the sun breaking through the clouds, the Wimberley community has rallied, providing comfort to those whose hearts are broken, helping those in need and dealing with the aftermath. That resiliency and community spirit are one of the many things that make this Hill Country jewel such a wonderful place to live and visit.
Wimberley is the geographic center and the aesthetic heart of the Wimberley Valley and is located at the confluence of Cypress Creek and the Blanco River. The natural beauty of the softly winding Blanco River, shaded Cypress Creek and the stunning views of Lone Man Creek call to artists, retirees and anyone seeking escape from city life. The Texas Hill Country is unique and special and the Wimberley Valley is nestled right in the heart of it all. Located in the central flyway for migrating birds and sitting atop the Edwards Plateau, where a huge variety of natural fauna and abundant wildlife can be found, it's a perfect place for anyone who loves nature. Wimberley has been a retreat for artists, musicians and writers for many years. Art galleries, quaint shops and performing arts venues showcase the local talent year round. Wimberley hosts the most popular Market Day in the area. From March through December, on the first Saturday of the month, Market Day beckons treasure hunters from all over the country. Visitors can choose from a wide variety of bed and breakfast inns, motels, resorts or RV parks. The climate and setting make Wimberley a desirable place to live and a favorite vacation getaway. Come see why Wimberley is known as "a little bit of heaven".
Video above credited to our videographer, S2 Design Lab