Blueberries take over Nacogdoches for 25th annual Texas Blueberr - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Blueberries take over Nacogdoches for 25th annual Texas Blueberry Festival

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Kids enjoy the pie eating contest (Source: KTRE Staff) Kids enjoy the pie eating contest (Source: KTRE Staff)
The Davis family entered the baking contest for the first time (Source: KTRE Staff) The Davis family entered the baking contest for the first time (Source: KTRE Staff)
Blueberries are sprinkled on pancakes (Source: KTRE Staff) Blueberries are sprinkled on pancakes (Source: KTRE Staff)
A young girl enjoys a Blueberry Festival favorite (Source: KTRE Staff) A young girl enjoys a Blueberry Festival favorite (Source: KTRE Staff)
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -

The Texas Blueberry Festival has been serving up delicious treats to East Texans for 25 years. This year's silver anniversary event in downtown Nacogdoches brought in the biggest crowd yet.

"It's kind of Christmas in the middle of June," said Glass Castles owner David Darby.

The event offers something for everybody.

"There's a variety of food and a variety of entertainment," said festival chairperson Grace Handler. "Let's not forget the blueberries."

One of the highlights of the event is the blueberry pancakes that are served up by the Kiwanis Club.

"We make them with a lot of heart," said Darrell McDonald, Lt. Governor of Division 14. "We make them with a good batter and we make them with the freshest blueberries around."

Lufkin based Brookshire Brothers also host the very popular Blueberry baking contest.

"Her father told her about the blueberry festival and so she wanted to make some pies," Jennifer Davis said.

Garrison's Brandi Dyess took home first place in this years contest. She told the judges that her grandmother would always make pies for them with the blueberries they brought her and wanted to remind people of a simpler time. The Martin family from Nacogdoches took home second and third place.

Events like the Deja Blue Car Show are regular events that always bring in a good crowd. Organizers are always looking for ways to bring in crowds to new events.

"Friday night we had our first Friday Night blast and we had a pretty good turnout," Handler said. "That's where we have the non-profits come in and they were able to sale food and offer games to people."

This year's festival brought in more than 20,000 visitors. Not all of them were from Texas.

Belinda Sessions is from Anchorage, Alaska and was in the East Texas area for a family reunion.

"We always hear about it and we always missed it, so first thing we did this morning was come out to Nacogdoches," Sessions said.

The event means big business for the vendors who come out hoping to advance their brand.

"I enjoy meeting the people and seeing the folks come out," said Harlan Brooks, cook for A&H Bar-B-Que.

Shops that line the brick streets of downtown Nacogdoches are also happy with the crowds.

"Since we've been downtown, it has grown and grown and grown," Darby said. "Of course, I stay in my shop most of the time because it is so busy."

The blueberries for this year's event were provided by Craig and Julie Woods, owners of Wood Berry Farm, just north of Diboll.

Copyright 2014 KTRE. All rights reserved.

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