23rd Annual Texas Blueberry Festival
NACOGDOCHES- The Texas Blueberry Festival will return to the oldest town in Texas 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. The festival is the only state sanctioned blueberry festival in Texas, making it unique and extremely popular.
The 23rd annual Texas Blueberry Festival will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, June 9, in historic downtown Nacogdoches and the Festival Plaza (the grassy park area just south of the brick streets.)
The Texas Blueberry Festival was founded in 1990 by the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce to celebrate the blueberry industry in the county. The festival is held annually on the second weekend of June in historic downtown Nacogdoches. Prime growing conditions make Nacogdoches County one of the largest blueberry producers in Texas. Peak harvest times are June and July.
Many festival events and activities are FREE of charge. Admission and parking are free, and thanks to Keep Nacogdoches Beautiful, the festival is a litter free event.
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.
There will be plenty of free-of-charge and nominal fee activities for children, including a petting zoo,and water and bounce parks will be available. 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.
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.
Fun Facts About Blueberries
• Blueberries are the second most popular berry in the United States.
• U.S. Senator John Cornyn’s favorite food is “anything that contains blueberries.”
• A one-cup serving of fresh blueberries gives 5 grams of fiber (more than most fruits and vegetables) at a cost of only 80 calories.
• There has been a 50 percent increase in consumption of blueberries during the last 10 years.
• Indians in the Northwest Territory smoked wild blueberries to preserve them for the winter.
• Blueberries contain no cholesterol or fat and are also low in calories. They are also a good source of vitamin C and fiber.
• Blueberries are ranked No. 1 in antioxidant activity compared with 40 other commercially available fruits and vegetables. That means a serving of blueberries has more of the antioxidant power you need to fight aging, cancer and heart disease.
• Blueberry season is from May to September. Look for berries with a silvery ‘bloom’, this is a natural protective coating. They should be refrigerated as quickly as possible and kept dry. Do not wash until you are ready to use them. They will last for up to 2 weeks if stored properly.