No self-respecting Texan could not respond to such an affront, but boosters knew their rather small town could not afford to build a series of slightly bigger towers. So, being ever resourceful Texans, in 1998 they added a large red cowboy hat to the top of the tower. Placed on a pole on top of the tower, the hat added just enough height to officially be taller than the Tennessee entry. The hat, 4 ½-feet-tall and 10-feet wide, was then tilted to gain a few extra feet. With a friendly missive which basically said, “In your face!” Paris, Texas declared itself to be the location of the world’s tallest Eiffel Tower replica.
Any further one-upmanship was short-circuited the very next year when Las Vegas erected a 540-ft. tall Eiffel Tower Replica along the Strip. At half the height of the original (which is 984 ft. tall), this replica effectively put a stop to any future challenges. But Paris, Texas can still lay claim to being the location of the world’s only Eiffel Tower with a cowboy hat!
I visited Paris in early December, 2011, on an overcast, cold day with intermittent rain showers and a threatening storm. I found that unlike the bleak, dry, desert landscape depicted in the 1984 movie, the real Paris, Texas is located along the edge of the East Texas forest with gently rolling farm land far away from any desert. The town and the friendly people have a number of interesting items to see and things to do. A couple of days in one of the local B&B establishments with drives around town to see the sites and a good book to curl up with at night might be just what the doctor ordered if you need to unwind and take a break.
Enjoy the little things. One day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.