Discover the birthplace of one of the greatest oil booms and where the first official dance drill team brought “show business” to the football gridiron. Located in the lush piney woods of East Texas, Kilgore is still a place where southern hospitality meets Texas energy.
While oil may have been discovered by chance in Kilgore in the 1930s, it is not by chance that Historic Downtown Kilgore is a destination for residents and visitors alike. Surrounded by artifacts of our oil heritage like the 37 oil derricks that dot the downtown skyline as well as the preserved Art Deco buildings, Historic Downtown Kilgore continues to be a very special place.
Through concentrated efforts and careful planning, this treasure of our community continues to improve and thrive, further bolstering the unique and authentic experience of an East Texas boomtown. Historic Downtown Kilgore has so much to offer, restaurants, salons, gift stores as well as two historic theaters. There are plenty of events throughout the year so, why not come down and experience it for yourself!
Kilgore is an accredited Texas Main Street Community and is committed to preserving the history of our downtown and coupling it with creating a strong, vibrant business community for all to enjoy.
For eligible projects there is a Downtown Building Improvement Grant that downtown property owners can apply for with Kilgore Main Street. Through a partnership with the City of Kilgore, the Downtown Building Improvement Grant allows downtown property owners to make needed building improvements at a reduced cost. With a reimbursement grant for of up to $40,000 per application equal to up to 50% of total eligible project cost, the grant programs aims to address safety and ADA issues and extend the life cycle of existing historic buildings.