DeSoto was settled in 1947, which makes it one of the oldest cities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Named after a prominent local physician named Thomas DeSoto Stewart, it was formally established in the 1880s. Currently, it is home to more than 53,000 people. DeSoto is a friendly, welcoming community with a motto of "Live, Work, Play in Desoto." Unlike many neighboring communities that got their feet on the ground after the Great Depression, DeSoto had a solid economy by the late 1880s. Today, it is a business-friendly city with plenty for residents and visitors to see and do.
Settlers first arrived in the area around Desoto in the late 1840s. More people slowly arrived in the following decades, creating a cohesive town by about 1880. One year later, in 1881, DeSoto got its first post office and its official name. Four years later, DeSoto's population size reached about 120 residents. Along with more people, the town also acquired a general store, a cotton gin, and businesses. Although DeSoto had a healthy economy and a developed town center, its population size fluctuated through the early 1900s. By 1930, its population size dipped to the lowest it had been since the town was established in the 1840s.
Like many surrounding communities, the onset of World War II brought newfound growth to the area. Although the town was settled in the 1840s, it wasn't until nearly 100 years later that it was officially incorporated. By 1950, DeSoto's population size had increased in earnest to almost 300 residents. From then on, its population only continued to expand. The influx of more people also brought more business and economic growth to the city.
In 2006, DeSoto received the "All-America City" award, which means that its citizens are particularly skilled at working together to solve problems and make their city a functional, friendly place to live. Through these efforts, they have achieved phenomenal results.
DeSoto's Special Events
As a tight-knit community, it's probably no surprise that DeSoto has several special events that residents look forward to throughout the year. From festivals to holiday celebrations, the city always has something going on.
Held on June first each year at the DeSoto Amphitheater, this famous festival features children's activities, live entertainment, and vendor booths offering local services or homemade products for sale. The main attraction of the festival, of course, is the opportunity to sample some delicious Southern-style crawfish with a spicy kick. Along with local vendors, the festival also welcomes non-profit organizations.
Best Southwest Celebration
DeSoto is part of the "Best Southwest" region that includes the neighboring cities of Cedar Hill, Duncanville, and Lancaster. Its Best Southwest festival honors the fact that its community is a hardworking "All-America" city. Although the event takes place in DeSoto, community members from the greater Best Southwest region are welcome to attend the celebration. Festival-goers will find local artwork for sale, crafts, live music and entertainment, and food vendors. The event takes place in mid-June.
Hometown Holiday Parade
In production for nearly 50 years, the Hometown Holiday parade begins in early December. It kicks off the holiday season with a lively annual parade and a variety of holiday-themed activities such as a tree-lighting ceremony and activities for children.
Latino Heritage Festival
Today, DeSoto is proud to be one of the most diverse cities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. One of its largest minority groups is Latin Americans. Therefore, the city opted to establish an annual festival honoring the contribution that Latin Americans have made to its economy and city culture. A highlight of the event is traditional Latin American music, which is performed by talented musicians at the DeSoto Amphitheater. Authentic Latin American food is served at the festival, and there are several vendors on hand to promote their culturally-inspired products.
DeSoto is one of the oldest cities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but today there is nothing old-fashioned about it. Instead, DeSoto is recognized as a progressive city whose citizens take pride in its upkeep. Perhaps, as a proud resident of DeSoto, you're wondering how to help. One of the best places to start is your backyard. By keeping your lawn and garden healthy and in good shape, you'll contribute to a welcoming, attractive neighborhood. If you need help getting started, contact Lawn Love, your local lawn care experts, for advice.