Lufkin festival celebrates city’s diverse heritage

Many different cultures were showcased through art, music, food and celebrations at the Lufkin Heritage Festival.
Published: Oct. 23, 2022 at 12:42 PM CDT
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LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Many different cultures were showcased through art, music, food and celebrations at the Lufkin Heritage Festival.

Avenue Speak’s Casey Muze brought his drums from around the globe to showcase for people as he educated them on the history of the instruments and how to play them during the Lufkin Heritage Festival.

“This is a Djembe. It’s East African, and the history of drums is like any history of drums. They’re mainly used for communication purposes,” Muze said.

Avenue Speak’s Casey Muze brought his drums from around the globe to showcase.
Avenue Speak’s Casey Muze brought his drums from around the globe to showcase.(KTRE/Brian Jordan)

The streets of downtown Lufkin were filled with people of different backgrounds, so they could show off their heritages.

“Seeing everybody’s little piece of heritage or what their heritage is, that’s what we get from it,” Dwight Gipson Jr., son of a local artist who died in 2019, said.

Gipson learned to paint before he learned to write, according to his son, and he focused his art on the local community, like Ms. Kenendy, who was one of his mentors as a child.

That was the focus on this year’s event: the local community.

“In past years, we’ve had a lot of vendors and a lot of shopping opportunities and things like that, but this time we have local artists here that are being featured and focused on. We really want to promote the local art and talent here in Lufkin,” Aubrey Prunty of the Angelina Art Alliance said. “We have some really incredible artists here.”

MGM had girls walking downtown in extravagant dresses to show off the celebration of quinceañera, and according to Mandy of MGM, it’s all about making the girl feel like a princess on her big day.

“A quinceañera goes back for many, many years,” Mandy said. “It started back in Mexico, of course, and it’s when a young lady turns 15, and they renew their vows.”

Muze said the biggest goal for the event is to bring everyone together as a community.

“Just the identity of trying to be intentional for a day and celebrating whatever heritage is of the geographical location but also having that sense of community and purpose and bringing people together,” Muze said.

The event is a combined effort from Visit Lufkin, Angelina Arts Alliance, Museum of East Texas, and City of Lufkin Parks and Recreation.