East Texas seems to be taking a break from the big festivals right now, and that's probably because it's too darned hot to spend much time outside walking around on purpose.  When the weather cools off the festivals will get cranked up again, and we've got the preview.

This is going to be a great fall in East Texas if you like Ferris Wheels, magicians, hamburgers, and craft beer.  Some of our festivals coming up in September will include all of those things, and others will pick a favorite to focus on.  Let's start with those burgers.

The Uncle Fletch Hamburger Festival is coming up in Athens on September 22nd to celebrate the invention of the glorious, tasty hamburger.  What would life be like without Athens!  Organizers of the festival say Uncle Fletch Davis invented the hamburger and shared his invention at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. Even the Texas Legislature has proclaimed Athens as the Official Home of the Hamburger. They'll celebrate that claim to fame in Athens from 10 am to 3 pm on September 22, and you can click HERE to enter the cook-off contest and show them your own burger-inventing skills.  There are no limits on the burger toppings, and you can enter sides too.  Good luck!

The East Texas State Fair is coming up September 21-30 in Tyler. There's so much to look forward to with this fair it's hard to whittle it down to highlights.  Magician Sheldon Casavant will perform every night at 8 pm, they'll have a craft beer tour, rides upon rides on the midway, a chili cook-off, and a whole lot of great fried food on a stick.  Now is the time to apply to become a vendor, or sign up as a volunteer.  Bands from Tyler, Dallas, and Lindale will be performing too.

The Gregg County Fair will be the perfect warm-up for the East Texas State Fair.  The Gregg County Fair in Longview is set for September 7 - 15, and they'll let military members and their families in free with ID the whole way through.  Otherwise, it's $6 for general admission and armbands available daily.  The vendor application period is open now if you'd like to be part of the fair and sell your fried cheesecake on a stick or baked beans, or whatever it is you've been working on since the last fair.

September is also the time for the great Texas State Forest Festival in Lufkin.  Organizers say it takes over 300 volunteers to help run the Texas State Forest Festival, and if you sign up to help out you'll get a free t-shirt and free admission to the grounds after your shift. Volunteer applications will open in August.  The Texas State Forest Festival happens in Lufkin September 19 through 23 with a lumberjack show, cheerleading competition, Southern Hushpuppy Championships, a petting zoo, and of course the big carnival.

So...enjoy the rest of the summer by the pool, at the lakes, and inside your chilly office where the thermostat is set to 60.  It'll be scorching hot for another few weeks, and when the temperature starts to dip we'll meet you at the festivals.  Go hungry!  And thirsty, and ready for some magic and music.  This will be fun.

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