Fire destroys community center in Shamrock

A fire early Wednesday destroyed the Shamrock Community Center in Shamrock, Texas, a site of a major Route 66 festival in 2018 and a venue for several events at next month’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration.

Shamrock’s mayor lamented the loss of the historic building but vowed to “work through it” for the St. Patrick’s event.

The community center, on U.S. 83 on the south side of town, shouldn’t be confused with the equally historic U-Drop Inn on Route 66 that houses the town’s chamber of commerce and visitors center.

KFDA-TV in Amarillo reported the fire began at 12:51 a.m. Wednesday, and described the building as a total loss. The St. Patrick’s Association scheduled an emergency meeting Wednesday afternoon in the wake of the blaze.

The community center was built in 1938.

Deborah Revels Cole shot video of the building as it burned:

The Shamrock Volunteer Fire Department stated on its Facebook page:

“Shamrock lost a very large part of its history this morning – very emotional morning. […] In many years of doing this, I have never seen a building go that quick.”

The County Star-News talked to Shamrock Mayor Lynn Lynn Ramsey:

[H]e stated city leadership and the St. Patrick’s Association are committed to not let this morning’s Shamrock Community Center fire affect the upcoming annual St. Patrick’s Celebration in Shamrock. Ramsey said, “It’s a tragic event, but we’ll work through it.” He added the city and association are looking at alternative Shamrock locations for the annual banquet and dance. Ramsey said there has been discussion of portable stages and portable tents for the banquet or dance. “We’ve got a lot to think about … we’re going ahead with everything, we need to stay positive” he said. “St. Pat’s will happen, but we will have to rearrange where we have the banquet or the dance.” 

The Shamrock St. Patrick’s Day Celebration is scheduled for March 13-15.

UPDATE: The County Star-News reported:

The Shamrock St. Patrick’s Association met at 3 p.m. today and have announced the annual banquet will be held at Shamrock High School (most likely the Shamrock High School Gym), and the dance will be held at the BBNI building located off East Route 66 near TxDOT.

(Image of the burning Shamrock Community Center by the Shamrock Volunteer Fire Department via Facebook)

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