Monday, August 16, 2010

Texas Tidbits : What Do East Texans Call a Sweet Tater Festival?

In  answer to the question posed in the title of the post : if you're in Gilmer a Sweet Tater Festival is called a Yamboree! For real. As a kid, I spent many an October day at the East Texas Yamboree in Upshur County, Gilmer specifically. You see, I had older relatives, (great) Uncle Walter and his wife, (great) Aunt Vinnie, who lived in Bettie (not joking) which is near Thomas (not joking again) which is near NoDamnWhere (joking, kinda). Betty and Thomas were more like country communities as opposed to being towns. There was nothing there except a paved road. But I digress....The Yamboree is a big deal to Gilmer and Upshur County. 100,000 people a year visit Gilmer to participate in all kinds of activities and events. This year on Wednesday, October 20 here's what will be happening (I am not making this up) : Wednesday, October 20th
7-8:30am    Broiler Sifting (YP)
8:45am      Broiler Show (YP)
10:30am    Museum opens - Queen's Gown Display
11:00am - 12:00pm  Goat Weigh-in (YP)
12:30pm    Goat Show (YP)
4:00pm - 6:00pm  Market Swine Weigh-in (YP)
6:00pm    Carnival/Youth Night (CS) All Rides 1/2 Price
7:30pm    Queen's Coronation (CC)
And you thought I was kidding. Shame on you. There's all kinds of stuff going on at the Yamboree, but none even holds a candle to the Yam Pie Judging that takes place at noon Saturday the 22nd. This.Is.Serious.Business. The full, thrill-packed 2010 schedule of events can be found here. I've been poking a little fun at the Yamboree, but in all seriousness, it is a tremendous event with something to do for all ages - from carnival rides for the kids to a fiddling contest for the most seasoned of citizens. I truly believe that everything I ever experienced at this East Texas tradition made me what I yam today.


  1. I'll eat a sweet tater any way you can cook'em.
    Since you are talking October festivals in East Texas, don't forget the Fire Ant Festival.

  2. I haven't forgotten the Fire Ant Festival. I'll get to it soon. Non-Texans will get a big kick out of it.


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