Gladewater’s Gusher Days is back bigger, better than before

Published: Apr. 15, 2022 at 2:14 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 15, 2022 at 9:24 PM CDT
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GLADEWATER, Texas (KLTV) - It’s one of the largest events in town every year, and it’s happening right now. Gusher Days in downtown Gladewater kicked off Friday, April 15 in the afternoon. And attending the festival is still free after 37 years of gushing.

Pacific Street in Gladewater is closed to traffic unless it’s on foot. Gusher Days is back, and Gusher Days Board Member Jennifer Jester has her marching orders.

“We really wanted to do everything we could to keep it going,” Jester said “We had a little bit of a scaled-back event last year. And so, we’re really excited to have everything back this year.”

Everything includes a bouncy house kids’ area and a petting zoo that even features some potential relatives of the Easter Bunny. Vendors abound, and some like Shanan Jones have unusual jams and jellies.

“Wisteria flower jelly, atomic frog balls, bourbon paste, I mean, come on; that’s fun,” Jones said.

Customer Lesley Kupniewski agreed that it was fun. She just had to buy “the wisteria flower jelly.”

“It’s kind of a mysteria,” I said.

“It is. It’s going to be, but it’s too pretty not to buy,” Lesley said.

And after jamming up your handbag with jelly, maybe have a caricature done by Corey Ruffin who draws so fast I had to show him in slow motion. Okay, that’s really time-lapse, but he is quick.

“Living on the road there’s nothing worse than downtime, so I’m always on the lookout for small street fairs like this to set up my stuff and try to make a buck,” Ruffin said.

It’s his first year at Gusher Days, but he may be back. If you like your art on, say, your arm, well that can happen, too, much to the approval of young Patty of Winona.

“Why did you get that on your arm?” I asked her.

“I wanted a tattoo,” Patty said.

Well, there you go. But I just had to ask Jennifer, “Where’s the gusher?”

“You know, actually if you see the derrick over there, that is a replica of one of the first derricks that were in this area. So I guess if there’s a gusher, it’s going to be down there,” Jester said.

Well, I wouldn’t worry too much about oil raining down on you, but it is East Texas. You might want to have an umbrella handy.

Gusher Days is free to attend, but vendors pay a set-up fee. Proceeds from the money made will go to a scholarship fund for local graduating seniors. It goes on Friday until about 10:30 p.m. and Saturday all day until 11 p.m.

For more information, visit the East Texas Gusher Days website or Facebook page.

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Gladewater’s East Texas Gusher Days event is back, and organizers hope it will be bigger and better than ever.