Did you know? Community gifts donated by civically-minded organizations and individuals have shaped the fabric of Waco. Many of the city’s public spaces and public art installations have been made possible due to the funding and support of philanthropies and non-profits around town.
- Begin by stocking up on local snacks! The Olive Branch offers a variety of sandwiches, wraps or pastries to-go, but you can’t go wrong with any downtown eatery. View a list of our Waco Perks favorites at waco.web.baylor.edu.
- First, head to the Doris Miller Memorial, located on the corner of Washington Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard. Three bronze sculptures tell the story of Waco’s hometown hero, Doris Miller, the first African-American to receive the Navy Cross for his bravery during Pearl Harbor. Positioned in Bledsoe-Miller Park on the east bank of the Brazos River, this Memorial stands tall as a testament to the incredible Wacoan.
- Next, visit Indian Spring Park to view the Branding on the Brazos sculpture installation. In the 1800s, cattle drives solidified Waco’s place on the Chisholm Trail, as ranchers drove herds to market across the Brazos River using the Waco Suspension Bridge. Donated by Betsy and Clifton Robinson, these massive sculptures pay tribute to this moment in Waco's past. The installation includes 25 longhorn cattle and features three cowboys: one white, one Hispanic, and one black. Learn more.
- Next, stop by Anniversary Park, a public playground located adjacent to the Cameron Park Clubhouse, within Cameron Park. Donated in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Junior League of Waco’s work within the city, the park provides a safe place for families to enjoy the outdoors.
- In transit to the final stop, travel the path of the 1953 tornado. Three kinetic sculptures along the route stand next to Roosevelt Tower, marking the site of the former R. T. Dennis building, the epicenter of the storm. The wind-driven sculptures donated by Betsy and Clifton Robinson are the newest of several markers and monuments memorializing those impacted by the tornado.
- End your day at the Dr Pepper Museum, one of our Go Gold! partners. This museum, located in the historic Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company building, celebrates the home of the nation’s oldest soft drink, Dr Pepper, and houses over 100,000 objects that tell the history of the soft drink industry. Head inside for a self-guided tour or grab a handcrafted float from the old-fashioned soda fountain (pro tip: elevate a classic Dr Pepper float by subbing chocolate ice cream for vanilla). Learn more about the history of the museum and the dedicated Wacoans who made the museum possible.
The stops highlighted throughout this tour are just several of many gifts made to enhance the lives of Wacoans through philanthropic efforts of individuals and organizations. On the way home, discuss what it means to be a philanthropist and the impact individuals and organizations can make on a community. Once home, watch the Waco Pie Society video, here. Consider joining the Pie Society, a group of local donors committed to creating a lasting legacy in Waco.