Nacogdoches sugarcane festival on tap for this weekend

BEAUMONT, TX (News Release) - NACOGDOCHES, Texas (Press release) - Growing sugarcane has been an East Texas tradition for many generations. Sugarcane is not only a sweet treat that was enjoyed by our great-grandparents, but is also one of the reasons Moses Austin, and later his son Stephen F. Austin, settled in Texas. When Moses Austin traveled to San Antonio de Bexar to request an impresario grant in Spanish Texas he cited one of his reasons for brining settlers to Texas was to grow cotton, wheat, corn and sugarcane. With the onset of fall came the harvesting, cutting, hauling, and pressing of the sugarcane. Not every family could afford their own mill and had to take it to their local mill to be pressed; therefore making ribbon cane syrup was a community event.

In order to celebrate this well loved tradition, the City of Nacogdoches and the Friends of Historic Nacogdoches, Inc. will hold their 3rd annual Sugarcane event at the Durst Taylor Historic House and Gardens on Saturday, January 8, 2011 starting at 8:30 a.m. and ending at Noon. The Nacogdoches Kiwanis Club will be selling pancakes with all the fixin's to go along with the ribbon cane syrup; the proceeds will benefit the Friends of Historic Nacogdoches, Inc.

The cane is pressed using a mid 1800's, mule powered sugarcane press and then boiled down to make traditional ribbon cane syrup. The cane used for pressing has been growing on the property all year long and has been carefully harvested by the Historic Sites staff. The mule will start pressing the sugarcane at 9:00 am, so arrive early if you would like to see the cane being pressed. We will also have live, old-fashion string music and children of all ages are sure to enjoy the chance to make their own pioneer crafts like whirligigs or corn husk dolls. We will also have a blacksmith and antique toy demonstrations. Throughout the event the historic sites staff will be giving tours of the historic Durst-Taylor house.

Bring your family, friends, and anyone who has a love of history or sweets, to the Durst Taylor Historic House and Gardens sugarcane event. The event is free. If you would like additional information about the property or event, contact Brian W. Bray, Nacogdoches Historic Sites Manager at 936-560-4443 or email Or find us on Facebook at "Nac Historic Sites."