Blueberry celebration is June 9

     The Texas Blueberry Festival presented by Brookshire Brothers and produced by the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce returns to Nacogdoches the second Saturday in June with a celebration of the annual blueberry harvest, featuring delicious blueberry fare, live entertainment and activities for all interests and ages.

Festival Chair Michelle Smith, left, and chamber Vice Chair of Special Projects and Fundraisers Jessica Henderson hold the official 23rd Annual Texas Blueberry Festival event poster and t-shirt. Both items are available now at the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce, 2516 North St.

     “The 23rd annual Texas Blueberry Festival will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, June 9, in our historic downtown and FestivalPlaza, the grassy park area just south of the brick streets,” said Festival Chair Michelle Smith. “The festival keeps getting bigger and better every year. Admission and parking are free, and thanks to Keep Nacogdoches Beautiful, the festival is a litter free event.”

     Smith said the new events at this year’s festival include the CASA Kids Cupcake Contest and a CASA Cupcake Decorating station at the 115 E. Main St. CASA of Deep East Texas business location.

     “Festival volunteer Dr. Bess Wilson organized a Blueberry Poster contest, and the creative entries from our school-age children can be seen around town right now as well as at the festival,” Smith said. “The Little Miss Blueberry Pageant will be held on June 2 and pageant contestants will make appearances at the festival, too.”

     Festival favorites continue such as the Running of the Blueberries 5K fun run and walk. Kiwanis’ 8 a.m. Blueberry Pancake Breakfast, fresh blueberries for sale by Hayter’s Mill Creek Farm and free shuttle rides to transport guests from the festival to a nearby farm where all can pick their own blueberries right off the bush. Live musical entertainment and performances can be enjoyed on three downtown stages. Cowboy Max is back with comedy and stunt performances in the Commercial Bank of Texas lobby in between the Cookin’ Up the Blues cooking demonstration with guest chefs Amy McLeod, Season Ammons and Darla O’Dwyer. Sweet blueberry treats can be found and enjoyed at the Regions Bank Blueberry Hill Soda & Sweet Shoppe.

     Plenty of free-of-charge and nominal fee activities for children including a petting zoo and water and bounce park are available and more than 100 vendor spaces will be filled with arts, crafts, food and unique items.

     Other attractions include the Brookshire Brothers Blueberry Pie contest, a state and nationally-sanctioned 42 tournament, multiple pie-eating contests for kids and adults, a pet parade, washer board tournament, classic car show and the children’s costume contest.

     “We’re happy that the Blueberry Festival of Quilts is back this year,” Smith said. “Each piece is a work of art and the exhibit is open Friday, June 8 as well as festival day in FredoniaHillBaptistChurch.”

     Prime growing conditions make NacogdochesCounty one of the leading blueberry producers in the state, and the annual harvest peaks in early summer. Proceeds from the Texas Blueberry Festival benefit the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce’s various community and business development programs. Nacogdoches is located approximately 150 miles north of Houston via U.S. Hwy. 59.

     For more information about the Texas Blueberry Festival, call the Nacogdoches County Chamber, 936-560-5533 or the Nacogdoches Convention and Visitors Bureau at 1-888-OLDEST TOWN. For a complete schedule of events and other festival details including event registration forms, go to www.TexasBlueberryFestival.com.

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