Texas State Forest Festival opens today with new carnival – Lufkin Daily News

Midwest Rides carnival workers set up the Ferris wheel Wednesday evening for the Texas State Forest Festival at the George H. Henderson, Jr. Exposition Center.
Midwest Rides’ merry-go-round horses are ready for riders at the Texas State Forest Festival Wednesday evening at the George H. Henderson, Jr. Exposition Center.

Midwest Rides carnival workers set up the Ferris wheel Wednesday evening for the Texas State Forest Festival at the George H. Henderson, Jr. Exposition Center.
East Texans can enjoy a multitude of activities, including a new carnival, when the Texas State Forest Festival kicks off its 38th year at 5 p.m. today.
Midwest Rides’ merry-go-round horses are ready for riders at the Texas State Forest Festival Wednesday evening at the George H. Henderson, Jr. Exposition Center.
The festival and carnival are open from 5-10 p.m. today at the George H. Henderson Jr. Exposition Center. General admission tickets are $8. Festival hours are 5-10 p.m. today and Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
A new carnival is making its inaugural appearance at the festival this year, but has been booked for the next couple of years, according to Tara Watson-Watkins, president and CEO of the Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce.
“We’re excited to have a new carnival in town,” she said. “The starting year, it’s a little bit smaller, but come next year, we will have all of the pieces of their entire carnival.”
The carnival includes all types of attractions such as a fun slide, a merry-go-round, a tornado ride and, of course, a Ferris wheel.
“They’ve got all types of rides that will flip you and spin you and make you as dizzy as you want to be,” Watkins said.
Festival-goers also can enjoy a number of carnival delicacies including candy apples, snow cones, cotton candy, funnel cakes, corn dogs and lemonade.
Tickets for the carnival rides can be purchased at $1.50 per ticket, or individuals can buy 16 tickets for $20. The size of a ride will determine how many tickets it will cost.
“I’m really excited,’’ Watkins said. ‘‘This is a really nice family, they have been doing this all of their lives. It’s generational, they are the nicest group,and I look forward to working with them over the next three years and continuing to make the Forest Festival bigger and bigger every year.”
Along with the carnival, festival-goers can check out the Bear Hollow Wood Carvers at 5 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., the Extreme Raptors Show at 5:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and the Pirates of the Sky: Nerveless Nocks at 6 p.m., 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.
The 2022 Corporate Challenge Field Day will take place from 5:30-7:30 p.m. tonight, featuring participants competing in an egg race, tug of war, a sack race, a hoola race, a 50-yard dash and hop ball. All funds raised will go to innovative educational grants for teachers at Lufkin ISD.
Jackson Pigg will take the Swingin’ Axe Stage — in The Beer Garden — at 7 p.m., and the Alabama-Coushatta Tribal Dancers will perform in the main arena at 7:45 p.m.
Kayley Fraze’s email address is kayley.fraze@lufkindailynews.com.
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