Texas Blueberry Festival returns to Nacogdoches

Updated: Jun. 12, 2021 at 6:14 PM CDT
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Folks in East Texas call it the most delicious festival in the Lone Star State. The second Saturday in June in Nacogdoches means the Texas Blueberry Festival is back after it was canceled last year due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hundreds of people gathered in downtown Nacogdoches Saturday to enjoy food, entertainment, around 200 vendors, downtown businesses, a car show, and more.

“We have had more people on the streets at this very moment than what we have had in years past,” said Texas Blueberry Festival Chair Grace Handler.

“It is an enormous economic driver for us,” said Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Wayne Mitchell. “I think people are anxious to get together to meet in a safe and secure environment. One thing new is we’re doing vaccinations at the fire station. In addition to that, we have all sorts of things. A mini circus downtown, an expanded car show, and every imaginable type of food you can eat.”

That included blueberry cupcakes, which Averly Drake and her mom Megan submitted for a contest. Averly Drake said it was hard not to eat them beforehand.

“Because we didn’t put the icing on until today, and we made them yesterday,” she said.

“So we made them in stages,” Megan Drake said.

Folks were also interested in the car show.

“We had about 35 cars preregistered, and we didn’t know who would just show up,” said Ted Smith, the chair of the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce. “Sure enough, we have almost 60 cars now today. Everything from a 1919 Ford truck to a 2021 Jeep. So, we have just about everything in between.”

Reiley Watson brought a fully-restored 1972 Ford Bronco to display. Watson said he and his wife graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University in the early 2000s, but this is the first time attending the Blueberry Festival.

“Ashamed to say it, but yes, we were here for four or five years and never came,” he said. “It’s bad, but we’re making up for it now.”

“Next year, look for us to exceed what we’re doing this year,” Smith said. “And we’re always going to get better.”

Officials said they are grateful for the help and support they receive from sponsors, volunteers, and workers with the city and county to pull off the event.

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