The Angelina County Chamber of Commerce began the Texas State Forest Festival in 1938, which was held as an annual county fair event until 1953. With the existing Chamber sponsoring the Youth Fair as part of the event, the Texas State Forest Festival was held on the 30+ acres where Lufkin Middle School currently is located, and drew crowds reaching 8,000!
In 1984, the Chamber board reviewed and revised the Texas State Forest Festival as an annual event, and merged its activities with the Southern Hushpuppy Championships in May, 1985. The Texas State Forest Festival moved to its September date in 1988.
Currently, the Texas State Forest Festival draws crowds approaching 20,000 and generates a net profit of $60,000 per year – a tremendous accomplishment for an event 35 years old!
Annually, the Texas State Forest Festival requires over 300 volunteers working about 2,500 hours to stage the event, and continues to be one of the premier annual events in East Texas.
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Forest Festival is getting a holiday twist this year as the coronavirus impacts the East Texas Region.
The Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce has joined forces with Downtown Lufkin to bring the re-branded Forest Festival on First Street to Angelina County this fall. The one-day festival will be held downtown Lufkin on Saturday, Nov. 14 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the 2020 date. There is no charge for entrance into this year’s festival. A festival favorite, the 49th Annual Southern Hushpuppy Championship will take place during the festivities. This year attendees will enjoy new additions, the Pineywoods Classic Car Show and the Downtown Holiday Shopping Extravaganza.
Even though the COVID-19 crisis has made things change and evolve throughout 2020, there will still be plenty of fun this November to be had as friends and family make memories during the Forest Festival on First Street. For more information or details on how to become a vendor or participate in the hushpuppy cook-off and car show, go to LufkinTexas.org.