Michelle Johnson

Publisher, Editor-In-Chief

Waco, the Solar Eclipse is coming next April! I am in love with the opening line of Susan Bean Aycock’s feature this month; “Buckle your starship seatbelts.” Now if that doesn’t get your geek on, Total Eclipse, Texas Style on page 108 will. It’s our first in a series all about why Waco is the place to be on April 8, 2024. This is something so huge; I don’t even think you realize how huge this is for Waco!

Literally only a handful of cities in the United States are in the path of totality (yes, that is a thing) and Waco is it! WACOAN gathered several people involved to get the scoop and we got their photo with the super cool glasses to boot! You don’t want to miss reading more about how Waco is starting to prepare for this event.

Our Festival on the Brazos issue is here! Announcing the Queen on our cover has been a longtime WACOAN tradition. You can read the entire section on page 59 and meet this year’s Queen, Helen June Goodman. Helen is a senior at Waco High School and on the weekend of April 28, she, along with 60 seniors from across the state of Texas, will be in Waco. The weekend is for celebrating. Celebrating a season in these young people’s life of meeting new friends, hanging onto memories and forging into the future wherever their paths may take them. Such a roller-coaster, that senior year of high school. I remember all too well wanting to hang on too tight as your child is wanting to stay out too late and having a case of senioritis. But honestly, by the time graduation day came, well I felt like they were ready to tackle the world. If I can give one bit of advice it would be to let go and let them fly~

We are also celebrating another part of Waco history in this issue. The Waco Suspension Bridge is a landmark in our city as iconic as the ALICO. When you start talking to people in our community, Brazos River has historically been the dividing factor between East Waco and West Waco with the Suspension Bridge connecting them together. Until the historic tornado of 1953, the vibrant Elm Street of East Waco was a thriving community filled with many shops and eateries. More and more, with the growth that is happening in our city and the healthy, vulnerable discussions we continue to have, the bridge between downtown and Elm Street is developing into a beautiful place for all of Waco to enjoy. In our feature Building Bridges on page 102, we talk with the partners involved in the new Bridge Street Plaza. It’s plans for the future, including a live music series and a new farmers market, and links to its historic past.

I am so blessed to live in a city that is working together and standing together to hear all voices and to make everyone proud.

Lastly on page 112, meet the incredible group of women that I get to work with every day. They inspire me not only to be a better leader but because of them, I am learning how to be so much more.