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Plan on fun competition at blueberry festival

Contests can be fun and yummy at the 27th Texas Blueberry Festival presented by Tipton Ford-Lincoln. The big festival day is Saturday, June 11 in Nacogdoches, Texas historic downtown and Festival Park.

"Creativity and skill is evident in what we see at the festival's variety of competitions," said Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce Vice Chair and Festival Chair Grace Handler. "With events like the domino 42 Tourney, the washer board pitching, the 5k run and the cupcake baking, there are plenty of choices for different interests. Spectators are able to enjoy others' talents, too!"

First in the lineup is the Running of the Blueberries 5K fun run/walk. Start time is 7:30 a.m. and begins at the Coy Simms Softball Fields. (The t-shirt design is pictured on left. Registered participants will receive a t-shrt .)

"We enjoy having the Running of the Blueberries as part of the Texas Blueberry Festival," said Kinnie Reina, event coordinator and Nacogdoches County Chamber Director. "This community event wouldn’t be possible without the help of our sponsors; the Nacogdoches Jaycees, KSWP/KAVX, Texas Farm Products and Southside Animal Clinic. The 5k allows for fundraising for maintenance and improvements to Dog Park Nacogdoches in Banita Creek Park, just north of the Farmers Market. Future plans are to add agility equipment to the park and expand the fence line to create a bigger place for doggies to play."

If groups or families of five or more plan to participate please send an email to dogparknac@gmail.com for a discount code of $5 off the regular price of $30. After June 3, there is a $5 late registration fee.

Also with an early start time is the Paul Kendrick Memorial 42 Tourney organized by Teresa Langley with Harry's Building Materials, Inc. "We'll start registration at 8 a.m. in the community meeting room on the second floor of Commercial Bank of Texas," Langley said. "It's open to teams and individuals - anyone that would enjoy a good 42 game,"

If carrying a large appetite is a skill, then the Blue Pies Smiling at Me Pie Eating Contest would be the perfect contest choice. "We have contests for children under 12-years-old and contests for 12 to 112," said event organizer Crystal Williams with McWilliams and Son Heating and Air Conditioning. "Look for multiple contests to start around 11 a.m. in front of City Hall on the downtown square. There is no entry fee required, just be ready to chow down on some delicious blueberry pie."

Registration is going on now through June 9 for the Blue Washerboard Tournament at the C.L. Simon Recreation Center at 1112 North St. The contest will begin at 10 a.m. in a shady area of Festival Park. "The registration fee is $10, but the winners receive cash prizes," said organizer Bobby Handler.

This year's big baking competition is the Blueberry Cupcake Battle organized by Greta Rich with the Family Crisis Center of East Texas. "Entries in the past are really impressive, and we expect some real show pieces and tasty entries," Rich said. "The groups are determined by age: 8 to 12, 13 to 17 and adult. The prizes are impressive and include a bicycle, a Rachel Ray tote bag with cooking gadgets and a gift basket with a blender."

Registration for all entries is $5. Contestants need to create at least six cupcakes and have them at the Visitors Center no later than 10:30 a.m. "judges will consider taste, presentation and theme," Rich said.

Fun awards will also be presented to participants in the Vehicle Funcase car show, the Pet Parade and the Blueberry Festival of Quilts. The winners of the Mr. & Miss Blueberry Pageant will be presented on the Plaza Principal Stage on the square around 10:40 a.m.

Get all the contests' details at www.TexasBlueberryFestival.com, or contact the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce, producer of the Texas Blueberry Festival, at 936-560-5533.

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