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. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the 36th Annual Texas State Forest Festival was re-branded as the Fall Forest Festival on First Street held in November 2020. In 2021, the Texas State Forest Festival is back and better than ever happening September 16-19, 2021.
The Texas State Forest Festival hosts several competitions, which includes: the East Texas Cheerleading Championships, the Southern Hushpuppy Championships, the East Texas Pom-Pon/Dance Team Competition, the Miss Forest Festival and Little Mr. Timberjack Pageant, the Pineywoods Class Car Show, and introducing in 2021 is the Big Axe BBQ Competition.
Currently, the Texas State Forest Festival draws crowds approaching 14,000 and generates a net profit of $50,000 per year – a tremendous accomplishment for an event 35 years old! Annually, the Texas State Forest Festival requires over 150 volunteers working about 2,500 hours to stage the event, and continues to be one of the premier annual events in East Texas!
Thursday & Friday 5pm-10pm
Saturday 8am Fun Run | 10am-10pm
The Festival Map
George H Henderson, Jr. Expo Center
1200 Ellen Trout Dr. | Lufkin
Get to know your way around the festival.
Texas State Forest Festival attendees can park in the main parking lot of the George H. Henderson Expo Center, in the back parking lot (attendants will guide you), or on the road just past the Expo Center next to the Ellen Trout Zoo.