Gray skies can’t cloud Jubilee

Looking Back Texas provided the boot scootin’ music.

By Payton Weidman

Staff Writer


A few rain clouds couldn’t stop the fun at the first Free State Jubilee held on First Monday Grounds in Canton June 27. 

The event had a cakewalk booth, three different bounce houses for kids, live music, a Corn Hole tournament, a salsa and canning competition and information about gardening and beekeeping.

“The Free State Jubilee was a huge success by all accounts,” said county extension agent Melisa Rhodes. “The rain clouds may have darkened the skies and rained down on Van Zandt County but it did not stop the first annual Free State Jubilee! The rain stopped just in time for everyone to enjoy the cooler temperatures and experience all the fun and educational opportunities that the Free State Jubilee had to offer.”

Children’s booths included the Grand Saline Bass Anglers where kids learned to cast and pitch a fishing pole, a face painting booth and an indoor shooting gallery. Games offered for kids were ring toss, a Frisbee toss, football pass, lawn darts and ladder ball.  There were two slides and an actual bounce house set up as well. Kids also enjoyed a booth with the Van Zandt County Therapy Dogs.

Educational booths at the festival included the Woodforest National Bank, Giladon Creek Honey Bee Education, a knitting/crotchet demonstration by the Van Zandt Texas Extension Education Association Club and the Free State Master Gardeners with a garden bed demonstration and different plants and more.

“Children ran about the grounds playing all the carnival type games while learning about gardening from the Free State Master Gardeners Association, watching honey bees working on a live hive presented by the North East Texas Bee Keepers represented and Master Gardener Jim Latham,” Rhodes said.

The cake walk held by the Van Zandt Texas Extension Education Association Club attracted many people including County Sheriff Lindsey Ray. The members baked and brought a variety of sweet treats that were given away as prizes.


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