Historic Downtown Wylie
In Wylie’s early days, its downtown area was a community gathering place on Saturday nights for those wanting to hear some music, shop for groceries and dry goods, and catch up on the latest news. As the railroad infused the town with visitors and commerce, shop owners stayed open extra late to accommodate the crowds, and the town’s nickname – Wide-Awake Wylie – was born.
Historic downtown Wylie is still wide awake and ready for company. Ballard Avenue, Wylie’s “Main Street,” is home to vibrant shops, such as Shoemaker & Hardt, with its wide array of coffees and unique gifts; Rick’s Home Store, where hand-crafted wood and leather merchandise can be found; and family-owned Wylie Flower & Gifts, the oldest retail business in town, where the staff can handle everything from a small get-well bouquet to a full-scale wedding.
You’re bound to see someone you know at one of downtown Wylie’s fine restaurants, such as Ballard Street Café and Grill, Taste of Home and Villa Vinci. After dinner, visit 96° West Winery, named for Wylie’s longitudinal coordinate.
And the historic Brown House, 301 N. Ballard, offers a glimpse back in time to the days when visitors drove a Model T or rode a horse to get downtown and see what was going on.
Wylie was recently named the #20 Best Place to Live in the U.S., by Money Magazine, and the editors noted that Wylie residents, “still like to get together for good times.” Downtown events include Pedal Car Races, held in early May; Bluegrass on Ballard, the July music festival; Boo on Ballard, the Halloween trick-or-treat event; and Night of Wonder magic show. Wylie Arts Festival, held in early December at FBC Wylie Event Center, 200 N. Ballard, is an annual event featuring arts and crafts, and the tree lighting in Olde City Park follows, accompanied by Mayor Eric Hogue’s traditional reading of “The Night Before Christmas.”
Shopping … dining … hometown businesses … community events … there’s something for everyone in historic downtown Wylie.