36th Annual Texas State Forest Festival

Published Wednesday, July 8, 2020

There will be a few changes this year to the 36th Annual Texas State Forest Festival, presented by Brookshire Brothers. 

In light of the increased and overwhelming concerns about rising numbers of coronavirus cases in East Texas, the Texas State Forest Festival, previously scheduled for September, will have to be put on hold for now. The goal is that the Forest Festival will be able to be held later in the fall, November 20-22 at the George H. Henderson Jr. Exposition Center, Chamber President/CEO Tara Watson-Watkins said.

“This 36-year long festival is a staple in East Texas and we, as a staff, work year around to make sure that it runs smoothly and can be enjoyed by all who attend,” Watson-Watkins said. “With our numbers rising and changing so rapidly, there is no way for us to predict where we will be in two months and to be able to make sure that all who attend will be safe. While we can’t predict what this pandemic will look like in November, it does give us some time to regroup and hopefully make plans for a wonderful fall event, with cooler temperatures.”

When the show goes on, the shortened three-day fall festival will include a carnival with rides for friends and family to enjoy this November. The fan-favorite, 49th Annual Southern Hushpuppy Championship, presented by McWilliams & Son Heating & Air Conditioning, will be held during the festival. Participants travel great distances to Lufkin to participate in the East Texas tradition.

Two new additions to festivities include the Pineywoods Classic Car Show, presented by Ray’s Drive-In Cafe, and the Big Axe Barbecue Contest, presented by Ferrara’s Heating and Air Conditioning. Food vendors cooking-up delicious sweets and treats will be serving customers. Plus, more vendors will be there to help attendees check items off their Christmas shopping list.

“We hope to kick off the Fall Texas State Forest Festival with a parade on Tuesday, November 17th and welcome everyone through the gates that following weekend. We want to continue to celebrate traditions and give our community something to enjoy before the holiday season kicks off in full swing.”

Even though the COVID-19 crisis has made things change and evolve throughout 2020, there will still be plenty of fun this November to be had as friends and family make memories during the 36th Texas State Forest Festival while remaining healthy and safe.  

“Help us flatten the curve in our community by wearing masks, washing hands and staying socially distant,” Watson-Watkins said, “so that we can all get back to the things and events that we as a community have come to love and enjoy together.”

Stay tuned for more details to be released soon about the Forest Festival on Facebook @forestfestival and online at texasstateforestfestival.com.