Photo: Brookshire Brothers and the Nacogdoches County Chamber prepare for the 2014 Texas Blueberry Festival. From left, Brookshire Brothers Director of Public Relations and Business Development Sally Alvis, Nacogdoches South Street store manager Junior Guerrero, and Texas Blueberry Festival Chair Grace Handler. (Photo: Bruce R. Partain)
Brookshire Brothers bringing the berries to festival
NACOGDOCHES – Brookshire Brothers will supply fresh, East Texas blueberries for the June 14, 2014 Texas Blueberry Festival in downtown Nacogdoches.
"As presenting sponsor for the festival for many years and as experts in produce, this is a perfect fit," Brookshire Brothers Director of Public Relations and Business Development Sally Alvis said.
"We are delighted our partner Brookshire Brothers will fill this important role," Nacogdoches County Chamber CEO Bruce R. Partain said. "Brookshire Brothers has relationships with berry growers in East Texas, equipment, personnel and a passion for quality products and service."
The Mill Creek Farm announced earlier this year that after 25 years of blueberry production, its owners plan to convert the land to a timber farm.
From the mid-2000s, the farm served as the major supplier of berries sold at the Texas Blueberry Festival, held the second weekend in June by the Chamber.
"Mill Creek was our supplier for over half a decade," Partain said. "Before that, a blueberry co-op from regional farms served as supplier. So we've had a variety of ways to bring delicious Texas blueberries to the festival over the years."
Mill Creek sold 9,000 pounds of blueberries in the 2013 festival, during a year when a late freeze affected berry production. More than 15,000 pounds of berries were sold at the 2012 festival.
The Texas Blueberry Festival also provides free rides to a smaller farm where festival-goers can pick their own berries during the festival. “The farm tour ‘pick and peek’ will not be affected by changes in boxed berry sales,” festival chair Grace Handler said.
“We are already planning the June 14, 2014 festival, which will be our 25th annual event,” she said. “There will be berries from East Texas and a tremendous day of fun and activities for everyone.” New this year will be a free Friday night concert in Festival Park, and a Berry Vine Event on Saturday night, featuring wine and food samples in downtown stores.
"We also plan '25 Days of Blueberries' - which will be special events all across Nacogdoches, leading up to the festival," Handler said. "Keep checking www.texasblueberryfestival.com for updates."
The festival attracted 19,000 visitors and locals in 2013, according to the Chamber.