42nd East Texas Poultry Festival gets underway

With thrilling rides, carnival food and live entertainment festival promises a sensory experience

One of the historically largest events in the region for the month of October — the 42nd Annual East Texas Poultry Festival is underway.

While the festival is focused in Center around the theme of one of the region's biggest agricultural economic engines, poultry, the event is more about people having fun and celebrating life in their corner of the world.

Arts, a pageant, parade, carnival, vendor booths and judging of broilers are all a part of the multiple-day festival.

The 42nd Annual East Texas Poultry Festival kicked off with the Chicken Fajita Lunch, sponsored by East Texas Poultry Supply, on Sept. 26 at on the Historic Downtown Center Square. A Doo Dah Parade followed that afternoon with some wacky and fun entries.

This past Saturday evening was the East Texas Poultry Festival Queen's Court Coronation where Abigail Hooper was crowned Queen of the 42nd Annual Festival.

While some events related to the festival begin in September, the event really gets in full swing on the historic downtown Center square Oct. 4-6. Presented by Farmers State Bank, Josh Payne, is chairman leading the steering committee for the 2018 festival.

This year's opening ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m.Thursday, Oct. 4 on the historic downtown square. Included in the ceremony is an invocation by Rev. Karen Jones, presentation of the National Anthem by the Center High School Band under the direction of Chris Smith; pledge to the flag led by Timpson ISD kindergarten students; and the “Cutting of the Feathers” to officially kickoff the event.

Welcoming remarks are planned by Shelby County Judge Allison Harbison, Center Mayor David Chadwick and Bryan Wages, chairman of the board of the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce.

For the young and young-at-heart who enjoy the thrills and chills of the carnival, the 42nd Annual Poultry Festival should have something to please. The carnival is set to be on the square from Thursday through Saturday with one-price for “all you can” ride wristbands available at the following times during the festival:

Thursday 6 p.m -10 p.m. —   $20

Friday 1 p..m. - 5 p.m. —  $20

Saturday will only be tickets.

The Creative Arts Show, sponsored by Scull Timber, along with a Can-A-Rama featuring local canned goods will be a part of the 42nd festival. The arts show will be at the Agri-Life Extension Office Gym, 266 Nacogdoches St., offering an opportunity to view the talent of handiwork in art, quilting, canning, crafts, woodworking and metal art.

The arts and quilt show hours are noon-4 p.m. Thursday; and from 10 a.m. — 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

As a special treat for longtime residents and visitors alike will be tours of the Historic 1885 Shelby County Courthouse led by County Judge Allison Harbison. The free tours will be from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at the courthouse.

The historic courthouse was recognized by Texas Highways magazine in the September 2018 edition as one of the state's top 10 “most stunning courthouses” in the state.

With stately towers, a cupola, and hidden stairwells it is an architectural masterpiece and it has the distinction of being one of the only Texas courthouses modeled after an Irish castle. J.J.E. Gibson, an Irish architect, not only designed the new brick courthouse, but also made the bricks when the commissioners' court awarded him the contract in 1883.

The Chicken Trot will return to the streets with a route beginning in downtown Center featuring a fun run at 7 a.m. Saturday and a 5K at 7:30 a.m. Saturday.

There is a full slate of activities set for Thursday, Friday and Saturday. For a complete listing of activities, please see the special insert inside this week's edition of The Light and Champion.

Live entertainment, a “Rooster Breakfast,” broiler show judging and auction along with a variety of food vendors help make the festival offering something for nearly everyone.

For more information on Center and Shelby County, please visit — www.shelbycountychamber.com; or call (936) 598-3682.

The 2018 Poultry Festival t-shirts are available for purchase at several locations, including at the festival.

They can be purchased from All Farmers State Bank locations – Main Branch, Roughrider Branch, Shelbyville Branch and Joaquin Branch; Citizens Bank; Sabine State Bank; The Balcony; and The Shelby County Chamber of Commerce.

A new addition to the t-shirt line up this year is a onesie for Baby's First Poultry Festival, chamber officials said.

Winning entries in the 42nd East Texas Poultry Festival Doo Dah Parade held on Wednesday, Sept. 26, have been announced,

According to parade chairman Marco Palleras, trophy winners include: First Place – Windham Family Dental; Second Place – Lawn Chair Brigade; Third Place – Sons of Confederate Veterans.

The Queen’s Court parade winners are Sweepstakes Award – Abi Hooper; Presidential Award – Kalei LaRock; Mayor’s Award – Jocelyn Berry and Honorable Mention – Macayla Mayo.


The Light and Champion

137 San Augustine St.
Center TX 75935