Waco is one of Texas' major cities, located in the rich agricultural region of the Brazos River Valley. Modern industry thrives, but the city retains the flavor of its past when the five "C's" were its support: cattle, cotton, corn, collegians, and culture.
Large, cold springs on the Brazos River were long popular with the Waco Indians. The first non-natives to see the area were remnants of De Soto's band in 1542. A Texas Ranger fort was established near an Indian village in 1837, and the first white settlers came 12 years later. Great plantations along the Brazos prospered briefly, but the Civil War wrecked plantation economy and scattered the population. A renewed Western movement and the presence of the Chisholm Trail through Waco brought another boom, along with a frontier wildness that nicknamed the town, "Six-shooter Junction."
Today, Waco is known for educational, cultural, and recreational facilities. The Heart O' Texas Fair and Rodeo, the first week in October, is a professional rodeo with entertainers, livestock and horse shows, and fine arts exhibits.
Institutions of higher learning include Baylor University, McLennan Community College, and Texas State Technical College.
A beautiful scenic riverwalk meanders along the Brazos River from Fort Fisher Park past the suspension bridge and through Cameron Park to Herring Avenue.