Lufkin plans to host first Forest Festival Parade since 1953

Lufkin plans to host first Forest Festival Parade since 1953

LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - The Angelina County Lufkin Chamber of Commerce is bringing a tradition back to this year’s Texas State Forest Festival.

After nearly 70 years, the organization will host a parade at this year’s festival to show contributions to the community from area businesses.

Records at the History Center in Diboll lead experts to believe the last known Texas Forest Festival Parade was held in 1953.

“We were coming across all of these black and white photos from the 1950s of a Forest Festival Parade,” said Nicole Roberts, the director of membership with the Lufkin Angelina County Chamber Commerce.

Roberts said while planning their 100th year annual banquet several months ago, they came up with the idea to bring back the parade.

Adding more fun the the annual Texas State Forest Festival, folks in Deep East Texas can expect more this year from lumberjack to hush puppy contests.

“This year’s theme for the Texas State Forest Festival is ‘Made in the Pineywoods,’” Roberts said.

Roberts said this year will include a parade.

Emily Hyatt, the lead archivist with the History Center, said records show the first parade took place in late in 1930s.

“In 1938, they had a parade but in the minutes of the Chamber of Commerce board meeting, they planned 1939 to be the biggest parade Lufkin has ever seen,” Hyatt said.

Hyatt said the last record indicates the parade went through the 1950s.

“That photo is the crowd, the number of people that are there at the parade. And it’s showing - this is a 1950s photo and it’s showing the past and the present,” Hyatt said.

That makes it almost 70 years since there’s been a parade at the Texas State Forest Festival.

“We just thought it was a disservice to the community to not kick off the biggest event of Lufkin and Angelina County with such a gorgeous parade, so we’re bringing it back,” Roberts said.

Roberts said they’re hoping to celebrate what’s made in the Pineywoods.

"We want to recognize the people of this community that make this town what it is," Roberts said.

The parade will take place on September 14. It will start at 10 a.m. in streets of downtown Lufkin.

Festivities with the Texas State Forest Festival begin the following week, starting on Sept. 18.

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