Texas Blueberry Festival in Nacogdoches bounces back after a year hiatus

The Texas Blueberry Festival is expected to attract over 21,000 visitors. (Source: KTRE Staff)
The Texas Blueberry Festival is expected to attract over 21,000 visitors. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Updated: Apr. 22, 2021 at 3:04 PM CDT
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - The Texas Blueberry Festival in Nacogdoches is a go.

Thursday morning the Nacogdoches Chamber of Commerce featured the annual event which was put on hold in 2020. After careful consideration, the decision came to host an event that brings thousands to the brick streets.

“You see these on the table?,” asks Grace Handler, Texas Blueberry Festival Chair to her audience at a Nacogdoches Chamber of Commerce Eggs and Issues Breakfast.

They are Texas Blueberry Festival flyers that Handler wants everyone to display. The festival is a go.

“It brings people to our stores. It brings people to our hotels, our campsites, our businesses and our downtown streets are full.”

Ted Smith, Nacogdoches Chamber of Commerce Board Chair is familiar with the crowds the event draws.

“I think our last Blueberry Festival had 20,000 attendees, we estimated,” said Smith.

A 2020 cancellation and a pandemic which is in better control, but far from over, makes this year’s attendance anyone’s guess.

“We’re okay if we only have ten or twelve thousand this year. That’s actually our target,” shared Smith.

All the favorite free events will return. The question remains how many vendors will come back. Their participation builds the chamber’s operational budget.

“Our vendor count is pretty darn good for right now,” said Handler to the breakfast guests. “We are sitting with 21 food vendors and 71 non-food vendors at this moment. Good,” displaying a thumbs up.

Certain to return are bands anxious to play at the festival preamble, the Blueberry Bluegrass Concert.

Scott Waller, Concert co-chair knows performers are hungry to be on a live stage.

“They haven’t been able to make a living because they haven’t had any concerts to play because all the gatherings have been canceled, so these guys are so pumped about coming to Nacogdoches and playing for everybody.”

Committees surveyed other festival organizers across the nation before reaching the decision to resume the Blueberry Festival. The consensus is precautions are in order and readily available. Festival goers and their hosts will remain safe.

Smith says masks and social distancing will be encouraged, but not enforced.

The Texas Blueberry Festival is the second weekend in June on Saturday, June 12.

The Friday before is the Blueberry Bluegrass Concert. And Millard’s Crossing is hosting a blueberry event every day the week prior.

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