What started off as a comedy routine has sparked a serious conversation.
“It was more of a joke I had on stage, it turned into me attempting to merchandise it,” says comedian Terry Bluez who began to have more serious conversations about the topic.
Bluez says he got the idea for “Magnolia Ain’t Waco” after reading an article.
“I read an article about comparing new silo expansion to Disney World and calling it ‘Jojo Land,'” says Bluez.
“I was like ‘no this is Waco, this isn’t Jojo Land. Waco is way bigger than Magnolia and Magnolia ain’t Waco.'”
Although Bluez is weary of the close identification between Waco and Magnolia, he says the additional tourists the Silos bring in have allowed him to succeed within his career.
“I have benefited personally off of Magnolia effect as far as doing comedy shows here in Waco,” he says.
The larger issue at hand, he claims is the growing expansion of the Silos.
“Buildings and properties have been bought at a very low price which has raised taxes, hence people are not able to afford to live their anymore,” he says.
One business owner in the community disagrees.
“Our family for one would not have made this downtown investment if it wasn’t for what Magnolia did for Waco and downtown,” says Greg May who’s family owns Z’s at the Curry Bar and Pretty in Pink Flamingo Boutique.
May says he and other businesses are successful because of Chip and Joanna Gaines Silos.
“Businesses are able to piggyback off of all the visitors that Magnolia is bringing into town,” says May.
Bluez says he just hopes to keep a conversation going, and that there is positives and negatives to what Magnolia brings, but May says that he believes the positives outweigh the negatives.
“If that helps us, if that helps Waco, then that’s good for all of us,” says May.
A Magnolia spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.
— KWTX 10