East Texans enjoy new entertainment at annual Texas State Forest Festival

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - There's still three more days left of the 29th annual Texas State Forest Festival in Lufkin. Each year, there's always entertainment from near and far for all East Texans to enjoy.

If you're into alligator snapping turtles or snakes, you'll enjoy Danny Conner's reptile adventures. He's one of the new entertainment shows that were added this year.

"Some of them I breed myself, some of them I trade with other zoos and other reptile people," Conner said.

He's been doing this for many decades helping people overcome their fears.

"You're afraid of what you don't understand," Conner said.

Some of his brave helpers certainly didn't seem to have any fears and can appreciate the love Conner has for reptiles.

When it comes to putting your life in the hands of others many enjoy palm readings. The conjurer is another new free show full of fun and some magic.

"I'll read their palm, I'll do a magic trick for them, and then I'll give them a fortune card," Robert Smith said. "Conjurer is designed basically off the Tom Hanks movie Big."

There's some comedy cowboys who are better knows as the Gun Fighters who are sure to make you laugh with their daily show.

And of course there's some new rides that were added this year.

If you came out to the forest festival Thursday night you have seen several men in uniform.

Whataburger added a new event this year and acknowledged eight honor guards for all of their support and hard wok.

"It's an honor but we're just doing our job. You know we're supporting our fellow brothers," said honor guard captain Duane Turner.

First responders in Angelina County were also honored Thursday night but it was taken to a new level.

Eight different volunteer fire departments participated in the new Jalapeno Eating Contest. They had one minute to eat as many jalepenos as a team.

"The top three teams that win will receive money towards their volunteer fire department and then the top winner, the individual person, that eats the most will win free Whataburger for a year," said Whataburger Director of Marketing Melinda Sullivan.

Volunteers with the Central Volunteer Fire Department took first place eating 28 jalepenos in 60 seconds. Jason Thacker, a Central volunteer, was Thursday night's individual winner.

Thanks to all who make the festival possible each year East Texans are able to enjoy all of the entertainment.

General admission is $6 at the gate, children three and under get in free, and wristbands are $20 for carnival rides.

Here's a list of hours:

Friday: 5:00pm - Midnight

Saturday: 9:00am - Midnight

Sunday: 11:00am - 5:00pm

Copyright 2013 KTRE. All rights reserved.