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Former Texas 'Dr Pepper' town trying to boost tourism

Published On: Aug 06 2014 08:57:08 AM CDT   Updated On: Jul 07 2014 07:25:25 AM CDT

Photo By LM Otero/AP

DUBLIN, Texas -

A Texas town famous for its Dr Pepper roots is trying to build a new image two years after the soft drink company cut ties with the local bottler.

Dublin, which is located about 95 miles southeast of Abilene, drew about 90,000 tourists a year for its famous sugar cane soft drink and the world's oldest Dr Pepper bottling plant.

But after a licensing dispute stripped the community of its identity, tourism has dropped by two thirds. And last month's annual summer festival -- the first since 1980 that didn't celebrate Dr Pepper's birthday -- didn't draw well.

Dublin is now trying to promote its lesser-known claims to fame to boost the local economy. This includes a spring festival highlighting its debatable Irish roots as well as its bygone rodeo days and dairy history.