Never has the cliche 'Make Lemonade out of Lemons' been more appropriate than for the year 2020.  Social distancing, safety precautions, and other 'lemons' that have been brought on by this year's pandemic have caused numerous area cancellations, postponements, and rebrandings.

With that in mind, organizers of the Texas State Forest Festival have decided to give this year's event a holiday twist as COVID-19 continues to impact the East Texas Region.

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The Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce has joined forces with the Lufkin Convention and Visitors Bureau to bring the rebranded 'Forest Festival on First Street', presented by Brookshire Brothers, to Angelina County this fall. The one-day festival will be held in 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.

“We are hopeful that we can bring a small portion of our 36-year tradition to the residents of Angelina County and fellow East Texans. We want to have an event, but we also know that it’s our responsibility to make sure if this event does occur that we’re doing it safely and that we aren’t doing anything that would jeopardize our community,” said Tara Watson-Watkins, president/CEO of the Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce said. “We are working closely with the City of Lufkin, Angelina County and others to make sure that we are following all safety protocol from the state to local level.”

The fan-favorite, 49th Annual Southern Hushpuppy Championship, presented by McWilliams & Son Heating & Air Conditioning, will be back this year. Plus, this year attendees will enjoy a new addition, the Pineywoods Classic Car Show, presented by Ray’s Drive-In Cafe. During the day, the car show will transform downtown as a grand car showroom for festival goers to view and learn about classic vehicles.

Begin your Christmas shopping at the Downtown Holiday Shopping Extravaganza as commercial vendors line the streets selling their crafts and goods to East Texas shoppers. Plus, food vendors will cook-up and serve delicious meals and sweet treats to festival goers.

More fun and excitement will be announced as organizers finish putting together the final touch for this year’s festivity. Stay tuned for more details to be released soon on Facebook @forestfestival and at

For more information or details on how to become a vendor or participate in the hushpuppy cook-off and car show, go to

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