NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The Texas Blueberry Festivalhas been serving up delicious treats to East Texans for 25 years. This year's silveranniversary event in downtown Nacogdoches brought in the biggest crowd yet.
"It's kind of Christmasin the middle of June," said Glass Castles owner David Darby.
The event offers somethingfor everybody.
"There's a variety offood and a variety of entertainment," said festival chairperson Grace Handler. "Let'snot forget the blueberries."
One of the highlights ofthe event is the blueberry pancakes that are served up by the Kiwanis Club.
"We make them with alot of heart," said Darrell McDonald, Lt. Governor of Division 14. "We makethem with a good batter and we make them with the freshest blueberriesaround."
Lufkin based BrookshireBrothers also host the very popular Blueberry baking contest.
"Her father told herabout the blueberry festival and so she wanted to make some pies," JenniferDavis said.
Garrison's Brandi Dyesstook home first place in this years contest. She told the judges that hergrandmother would always make pies for them with the blueberries they broughther and wanted to remind people of a simpler time. The Martin family fromNacogdoches took home second and third place.
Events like the Deja BlueCar Show are regular events that always bring in a good crowd. Organizers arealways looking for ways to bring in crowds to new events.
"Friday night we hadour first Friday Night blast and we had a pretty good turnout," Handler said. "That'swhere we have the non-profits come in and they were able to sale food and offergames to people."
This year's festival broughtin more than 20,000 visitors. Not all of them were from Texas.
Belinda Sessions is fromAnchorage, Alaska and was in the East Texas area for a family reunion.
"We always hear aboutit and we always missed it, so first thing we did this morning was come out toNacogdoches," Sessions said.
The event means bigbusiness for the vendors who come out hoping to advance their brand.
"I enjoy meeting thepeople and seeing the folks come out," said Harlan Brooks, cook for A&H Bar-B-Que.
Shops that line the brickstreets of downtown Nacogdoches are also happy with the crowds.
"Since we've beendowntown, it has grown and grown and grown," Darby said. "Of course, I stay inmy shop most of the time because it is so busy."
The blueberries for this year's event wereprovided by Craig and Julie Woods, owners of Wood Berry Farm, just north ofDiboll.