KATY MAGAZINE I JUNE 2019
By Katrina Katsarelis
You recently moved here, so let me be the first to say, "Welcome to Katy!" There are so many exciting things to learn about our fine community. To help ease your transition, read these essential "must knows" about Katy, Texas!
Photo of the Katy Cowgirls, Katy Magazine
1. Katy is a tri-county community
If you just moved to Katy, you need to determine if you live within the City of Katy limits and/or which county you live in -- we have three -- Harris, Fort Bend, and Waller. If you reside in the City of Katy, you are eligible for city services. If you live outside of the City of Katy limits (which most of us do), you use county services, and the Katy council members and mayor do not represent you.
2. Katy has several police agencies, so know yours
Because of Katy's multiple counties versus city issue (mentioned above), the police department that protects your area may not be the closest one to you. The Katy Police Department only covers residents within the City of Katy boundaries. Fort Bend County Police only cover Fort Bend County residents, and so forth. The good news is your 911 dispatcher will know who to send in case of an emergency.
3. Katy is an education community Katy’s early settlers set a precedent for high educational standards. That tradition of excellence remains a high priority today. The first school was located at Avenue D and 6th Street, and the first school teacher was Edna James. Katy ISD was organized in 1918 and has become a nationally-recognized school district. Katy ISD celebrated just celebrated its 100-year anniversary. Still today, people move here, not for our beaches and mountains, but for our school district.
4. Katy began as a rice farming town Historically, Katy was a rice farming community. Old rice dryers still stand tall as a reminder of the town's past, and every October, the community celebrates the Rice Harvest Festival. You'll definitely want to check out the food, entertainment and fun at this annual event! 5. Katy locals love these little hangouts Long-time Katyites can be found shooting the breeze at Snappy’s Café, No Label Brewery, Midway Barbeque, or the VFW Hall. You're likely to spot the mayor, police chief, business owners, and community leaders there too. Katy residents live in a very giving, caring community, and are known for being friendly and hospitable.
6. Famous celebrities hail from Katy Oscar-winning actress Renée Zellweger is a former cheerleader and graduate of Katy High School, class of 1988. Other Katy celebrities include Clint Black (country musician), Andy Dalton (quarterback, Cincinnati Bengals), Cullen Gillaspia (Houston Texans) to name a few. See a full list of Katy celebrities here.
7. Football is a way of life The Katy Tigers have won eight state championships, so football is a huge part of our community. Get ready for a sea of red if you attend a Katy Tiger football game at Rhodes or Legacy Stadium! The other high schools have spirited spectators too, but nothing like the generations of Katy Tiger fans. Contact the Katy Tiger Athletic Booster Club for info on tickets to the game. 8. Katy has geese roots For generations, Katy’s rich rice fields were a popular destination for one of the largest Canadian snow goose migrations in the southern region. Look for the town's newly-painted water tower and the original geese statues featured throughout the town.
You may have moved here for the great Katy ISD schools and chose your neighborhood so your child could attend a specific school. Due to our rapidly growing population, there's a high chance your street or neighborhood could be moved to a different school. Unfortunately, there's just nothing you can do about it. Although there is no surefire way not to get rezoned, families that live in the older/established neighborhoods seem to have less issues with rezoning.
10. Katy is as large as Pittsburgh
Sure the U.S. census says the population of Katy is 18,000 people, but that number is inaccurate because the Katy area actually encompasses many surrounding neighborhoods that all feed into Katy ISD. The Katy area population is about the size of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with 300,000+ residents.
11. Katy gets hurricanes Virtually every structure and home in Katy was damaged by the Galveston hurricane on September 8, 1900, but no Katy lives were lost. After that, Katy weathered smaller storms like hurricanes Andrew, Ike, and a few others. Then in August of 2017, many Katy homes were devastated by Hurricane Harvey, but thankfully, again, no lives were lost. Katy High School even served as a command post for the National Guard. The love of the Katy community shined through the aftermath of Harvey. People came together to rebuild homes, schools, businesses and lives. (Photo below from Hurricane Harvey.)
12. Trains are part of our history Because of the MKT Railroad, trains represent a big part of Katy’s history. You can spot decorated trains at Exley Elementary, ER Katy, Katy Heritage Park, just to name a few. The name "Katy" is said to have been named after the MKT railroad - Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railway. (Another legend says the town was named after an old-time saloon owner named Katy, but most historians say it's the railroad.)