Photo: The children's Bounce Zone with wet and dry giant inflated bouncers and slides will be back for the 25th Annual Texas Blueberry Festival presented by Brookshire Brothers on June 14 in Festival Park in downtown Nacogdoches.
(Photo by Bruce R. Partain)
More berry fun stuff at Texas Blueberry Festival
It's a blue note of epic proportions at the 25th Annual Texas Blueberry Festival presented by Brookshire Brothers and produced by the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce. The silver anniversary event will offer a ton of sweet activities, events, treats and entertainment.
"We're launching the Friday Night Blueberry Blast at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 13 in Festival Park," festival Chair Grace Handler said. "It's free admission to enjoy a concert with performances by Cowboy Max, Miki Lynn and KBT Choir," she said. "Affordable food from non-profit vendors and a kids' bounce park make this a true family friendly event."
Handler said that the Friday evening show will "get folks ready for the delicious Texas Blueberry Festival that goes from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 14 in downtown and Festival Park. Our festival planning committee - the Blueberry Crew - has worked months to prepare a fantastic day for you."
Presenting sponsor Brookshire Brothers will have a big presence all around the festival. Go to The Place to "B" in the 400 block on E. Main for fresh blueberries for sale by the pint and the flat. "All who purchase blueberries will also get free Blue Bell ice cream," Brookshire Brothers representative Sally Alvis said. "In Festival Park, children will want to take a free pitch in the Wee Ones Washers, because they will get a ticket for some yummy Blue Bell ice cream at the festival, too!"
Brookshire Brothers will take entries at the booth in front of the Visitors Center until 10 a.m. for their famous Blueberry Pie Baking Contest. Registration forms and contest rules are available at your local Brookshire Brothers store.
Kids and Pets Executive Officer Maury Littleton is impressed with the amount of activities in her festival area. “There’re so many different things to do,” Littleton said. “Families love the True Blue Pet Parade, petting zoo and pony rides, the craft corner, the Big Blue Mural and the Cool Zone with Teddy Bear Check Up. Space Walk of East Texas will have the Bounce Zone that incorporates both wet and dry bouncers for kids. Parents will appreciate the family pass for $25. They can bring a blanket and sit and watch their kids enjoy all-day bouncing fun."
Littleton said the park gives festival guests a place to leisurely stroll, listen to music, watch stage performances, eat tasty goodies and browse the many vendors. "Especially if you spent the morning in the Running of the Blueberries 5K!" she laughed.
The Food & Frolic area led by Executive Officer Olivia Kling will host other contests including the Blue Pies Smiling at Me Pie Eating Contest, and the CASA Blueberry Cupcake Battle, both open to children and adults.
Blueberry Cupcake Battle event organizer Susan Robertson expects a good showing of creatively-decorated cupcakes. "Each year we have grown in the number of participants," she said. "Our goal is to have 50 participants, enabling us to raise $250 for CASA programs in the community. It’s a fun way for children and adults alike to support a great cause while having the chance to win prizes and bragging rights as the berry best cupcake bakers!”
Handler said she appreciates all the work from an army of volunteers who create the Texas Blueberry Festival. "We are thrilled to add a Garden Capital of Texas Tours with shuttles running along with the Blueberry Pick and Peek pick your own blueberries event," she said. "You'll find the Kiwanis Blueberry Pancake Breakfast, tons of unique item and food vendors, the live entertainment stages, the Deja Blue Classic Car Show with Master of Ceremonies Brad Maule and the CMA Motorcycle Show. Commercial Bank of Texas will have Cowboy Max shows and the Cookin' Up the Blues. Get blueberry treats at the Regions Bank Blueberry Hill Soda & Sweet Shoppe with Elvis serving up some entertainment, too. Bob Murphey Stories of Nacogdoches is in the Regions Bank Community Room, and don't forget that The Festival of Quilts is back this year at Fredonia Hill Baptist Church."
If you need more blueberry after the festival, be sure to go by the Visitors Center during the festival and buy tickets to A Berry Vine Evening with Nacogdoches Main Street. "Only 200 tickets will be sold for $15 each," said Main Street Manager Sarah O'Brien. "Eight downtown merchants will have blueberry food and wine samplings that guests can enjoy from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday."
Keep Nacogdoches Beautiful makes the festival a litter-free event.
Get the scoop on all the activities at www.TexasBlueberryFestival.com, the festival's Facebook page or contact the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce at 936-560-5533. The Chamber will have an information booth at the festival in front of the Visitors Center where attendees can buy the official 25th anniversary festival t-shirt and poster.