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A note regarding COVID-19

Due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus, some events have been postponed or canceled. Please make sure to check the event website, social media, or call ahead to confirm an event is still taking place if you are interested in attending.

Upcoming Events in Piney Woods


Kids Fish Day

Feb. 28

Lake Bob Sandlin State Park, 341 State Park Road 2117

Multiple generations of families have attended this event over the years. At the 33rd annual Kids Fish Day, thousands of rainbow trout are stocked, and the park provides all the gear needed. There are casting games for beginners, fish prep and cooking demonstrations, and giveaways. Rangers are on hand to guide fishers. There are two different sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.


Lecture with Doris Kearns Goodwin

Feb. 7

UT Tyler Cowan Center, 3900 University Blvd., FAC 1120

Doris Kearns Goodwin is a world-renowned presidential historian, public speaker, and Pulitzer Prize-winning, New York Times No. 1 best-selling author. Goodwin's career as a presidential historian and author was inspired when, as a 24-year-old graduate student at Harvard, she was selected to join the White House Fellows, one of America's most prestigious programs for leadership and public service. Goodwin worked with President Lyndon Baines Johnson in the White House and later assisted him in the writing of his memoirs.

Joel McHale

Feb. 16

UT Tyler R. Don Cowan Fine and Performing Arts Center, 3900 University Blvd., FAC 1120

Joel McHale is one of the most sought-after comedians and actors in the industry. Best known for his starring role in "Community" and twelve seasons hosting "The Soup," McHale can be seen on Netflix playing former "Community" co-star Chevy Chase in "A Futile and Stupid Gesture" opposite Will Forte. He also stars in his new weekly Netflix show, "The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale." Other work includes "The Happytime Murders" opposite Melissa McCarthy and the indie "Assassination Nation" for Sam Levinson, which premiered at Sundance.


Mardi Gras

Feb. 17-19

Downtown Jefferson

The Krewe of Hebe presents Jefferson's annual Mardi Gras. The festivities last an entire weekend and feature parades, live music, food, vendors, a carnival, frosty beverages, and, of course, masks and beads.


Experience a Day in the Life of a CCC Enrollee

Feb. 18

Huntsville State Park, 565 Park Road 40 W.

Take an interactive tour through the life of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Read about the corps' formation, get hands-on with their tools and uniforms, visit the camp store to shop the benefits of being an enrollee, and hear from members of the corps themselves, though their newsletter, as you stand in Ravens Lodge and look out at Lake Raven that they helped create.

Prison City Film Festival

Feb 22-25

Old Town Theatre, 1023 12th St.

Built with one overall objective in mind—to showcase independent films and filmmakers—the four-day independent film festival is where filmmakers break out.


Mardi Gras Celebration

Feb. 25

Henderson Civic Center, 1500 Lake Forest Parkway

"Laissez le bon temps rouler" (let the good times roll) at Henderson's Mardi Gras Celebration with live entertainment from the Swampland Revival zydeco band, an old-fashioned cake walk, Cajun food, and plenty of beads.


Prison City Crawfish and Music Festival

Feb. 25

Downtown Square, 12th Street and University Avenue

This all-day crawfish and music festival takes place in conjunction with the Prison City Film Festival.


Trinity Irish Dance Company

March 2

UT Tyler Cowan Center, 3900 University Blvd., FAC 1120

Offering everything you expect and nothing you'd imagine, the Trinity Irish Dance Company brings a cutting-edge vision to the stage. A dance legacy that is rooted in tradition yet forward-looking and ever evolving, this company dazzles with hard-driving percussive power and aerial grace while celebrating the fusion of vibrant Irish traditions and ever-evolving American innovation.


Texas Independence Day and Sam Houston's Birthday Celebration

March 2

Gibbs-Powell House and Oakwood Cemetery, 1228 11th St. and Ninth Street between Sam Houston Memorial Drive and Ryan's Ferry Road

Celebrate Texas Independence Day and Sam Houston's birthday in historic Huntsville. The day features a coffee reception at the Gibbs-Powell House at the Walker County Museum, and a gravesite ceremony honoring "the father of Texas" at Oakwood Cemetery; plus, music, speakers, the "baptized Texan" ceremony for new residents (register online to be included), and a luncheon hosted by the Walker County Historical Commission.


Frontier Day

March 11

Lake Livingston State Park, 300 State Park Road 65

At this special Frontier Day, programs focus on the lives of the pioneers who explored and settled in Texas, with topics ranging from dutch oven cooking to primitive fire-starting methods to products of the pine industry.


Rusty Chippy Repurpose Show

March 11-12

Walker County Fairgrounds, 3925 SH 30 West

This Pinterest-inspired show is the first of its kind in Huntsville. From antiques to vintage garden, jewelry, and handcrafted item to painted furniture and demonstrations by artists, the event is an opportunity to learn how to make over your own treasures with a few new ideas.

Spring Break Recreation

March 13-17

Huntsville State Park, 565 Park Road 40 West

Celebrate spring break in the outdoors at Huntsville State Park, with five days of fishing, geocaching, bird watching, hiking, campfires, and other activities. Whether you are an avid outdoor recreationalist or wanting to try something for the first time, this week is your opportunity.


St. Patrick's Day Express Train

March 15

Historic Jefferson Railway, 400 E. Austin St.

Celebrate the holiday aboard the St. Patrick’s Day Express. The historic depot is decked out in green, and the train ride includes a stop at the Diamond Don Gator Pit for alligator feeding (weather permitting).


Dogwood Trails Celebration

March 17-April 2

Davey Dogwood Park and surrounding Forest Trails, 825 W. Spring St.

Enjoy the delicate beauty of the dogwood trees in Davey Dogwood Park the last two weeks in March and first week in April. Activities are scheduled each weekend to compliment the celebration, including a festival the first weekend. Stop at Palestine Visitor Center for venues and maps.

Fairy Garden Trail

March 17-April 30

Davey Dogwood Park, 4205 N. Link St.

There is so much more to explore in Davey Dogwood Park this spring—the 5.5 miles of driving trails provide beautiful views, but park the car and step onto the trails and see how many of the hidden fairy gardens you can find.

Dogwood Trails Festival

March 18

Downtown and Old Town Palestine, 825 W. Spring St.

For over 80 years, Palestine has celebrated the Dogwood Trails Festival. This long-running event in downtown and Old Town Palestine offers a parade, craft and novelty vendors, food vendors, art galleries, street entertainment, and live music.

Boston Porter Memorial Bull Riding

March 18

Anderson County Youth Livestock Pavilion, 750 SH 287 North

Enjoy a kids' rodeo in the afternoon and the bull-riding event in the evening. Organizers are matching some of the country’s rankest bulls with the best pro bull riders.

Stained Glass Tour

March 18

Various locations

Step into some of Palestine's historic churches and see beautiful windows and glasswork. Partipating churches on the tour include Sacred Heart Catholic, St. Phillip's Episcopal Church, First Christian Church, and First Presbyterian.

Dogwood Lunch Train

March 18-25

Texas State Railroad Palestine Depot, 789 Park Road 70

Passengers aboard Texas State Railroad’s Dogwood Lunch Train get to savor the flavor and sights of East Texas with a delicious meal at the Rusk Rail Depot and a front row seat to the Dogwood Days springtime show during the journey. The luminous white dogwoods and pink redbud blooms light up the East Texas woods as the radiant blossoms and Piney Woods scenery pass by the window.


Medieval Wine Fair

March 18-19

Knightlight Tavern Olde World Restaurant, 202 N. Walnut St.

Find wine, chivalry, romance, and merriment at this event in downtown historic Jefferson. The wine tavern also offers beer, mead, live music, food, and a costume contest.



March 22

UT Tyler Cowan Center, 3900 University Blvd. Blvd., FAC 1120

Holding onto hope when times are tough can take an awful lot of determination, and sometimes, an awful lot of determination comes in a surprisingly small package. Little orphan Annie has reminded generations of theatergoers that sunshine is always right around the corner, and now the best-loved musical of all time is set to return in a new production.


Old-Time Music and Dulcimer Festival

March 23-25

First Baptist Church of Palestine, 5700 Loop 256

This festival offers workshops in the morning, but the afternoons are free for jamming. If you just want to listen, the jams are throughout the building. You may find one room full of autoharps, another full of old-time fiddlers, while another may be a slow mountain dulcimer jam for beginners. Concerts take place in the afternoons and evenings. Then there is more jamming after the evening concert.



March 24-25

Downtown Liberty, 1829 Sam Houston St.

Have fun with the family at this outdoor festival with arts and crafts, food, music, entertainment, a barbecue cookoff, carnival, photo contest, book sale, and a car show.


"Clue the Musical"

March 24-April 2

The Historic Texas Theatre, 213 E. Crawford St.

Based on the 1985 movie, which was inspired by the classic Hasbro board game, "Clue" is a hilarious farce-meets-murder mystery. The tale begins at a remote mansion, where six mysterious guests assemble for an unusual dinner party where murder and blackmail are on the menu. When their host turns up dead, they all become suspects.

Dogwood Fly-In Fair

March 24-26

Palestine Municipal Airport, 1278 CR 421

At this fair, you can find arts, crafts, antiques, military items, and collectibles, as well as take plane rides, visit a gun show, and enjoy a cookoff.

Dogwood Jamboree

March 25

Palestine High School Auditorium, 1600 Loop 256

Be entertained at this Branson-style show that features classic country music and comedy.



Spring Concert Series: Roots in the Gardens

March 30; April 6, 13, 20, 27

Longview Arboretum and Nature Center, 706 W. Cotton St.

Bring a lawn chair or blanket to the Longview Arboretum and Nature Center's spring concert series, held in the gardens on Thursday evenings. The lineup this year features bands playing a mix of music, from classic rock to blues to Motown. The bands include Galaxy, the Usual Suspects, Flashbacks, Probable Cause Band, and Tuxedo Cats.


Miata Madness

March 31-April 1

Downtown , 100 E. Austin St.

This annual event is open to Mazda Miata owners and held at the 100 block of East Austin Street. On Saturday, the Show 'n’ Shine kicks off in the morning. The car show is open to spectators at no charge.

City-Wide Rummage Sale

March 31-April 1

Various locations

Homeowners all around town go through their closets and storerooms and bring out treasures to sell that you might not find anywhere else. Many local businesses participate as well. You might find that perfect item you have had your eye on for sale on this weekend.


Piney Woods Express Diesel

April 1-May 26

Texas State Railroad Palestine Depot, 789 Park Road 70

Unplug for a tradition that merges comfort and adventure for the whole family. Relaxed seating, thoughtful décor and responsive attendants add to the ambiance of the scenic journey afforded travelers a century ago. The trip includes food and adult beverage service and historic narration on a rail journey that whisks you back into another century.


Spring History, Haunts, and Legends

April 1

Jefferson Convention and Tourism Center, 305 E. Austin St.

This fun spring event is for the history buff, avid ghost hunter, and anyone with an interest in the unexplained and things that go bump in the night. There are special guest speakers, authors, vendors, book signings, galleries, night-time tours, and investigations.



April 13

UT Tyler Cowan Center, 3900 University Blvd., FAC 1120

After 25 years, "Chicago" is still the one musical with everything that makes Broadway shimmy and shake: a universal tale of fame, fortune, and all that jazz, with one show-stopping song after another and the most astonishing dancing you've ever seen. "Chicago" has received six Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards, a Grammy, and thousands of standing ovations.


East Texas Gusher Days

April 14-15

Downtown Historic Gladewater, Pacific and Commerce streets

East Texas Gusher Days celebrates the rich oil history of Gladewater from the 1930s oil boom era. This year, special events and activities coincide with Gladewater's 150th birthday celebration. There is a domino tournament and longest beard contest, arts and crafts vendors, food trucks, live music, a car show, and a chili cookoff.

The Woodlands

Waterway Arts Festival

April 14-16

The Woodlands Waterway and Town Green Park, 2099 Lake Robbins Drive

For 18 years, The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival has been a jewel of Texas fine arts and ranks among the top arts festivals in the country. Set along the scenic banks of The Woodlands Waterway and in Town Green Park, festival guests have the unique opportunity to enjoy a vibrant outdoor art gallery with music, food, and kids' activities while shopping for art created by fine artists from around the world. Selected artists display unique original artwork from a variety of mediums.


Outlaw Nationals Car Show

April 14-15


This antique rod show is open to all—if it runs, bring it. Activities include karaoke on Friday night, live entertainment and a live auction on Saturday night, and awards to be given out before the auction. This is Jefferson's most popular and longest-running car show.


Caddo Homecoming

April 14

Caddo Lake State Park, 245 Park Road 2

Walk into yesteryear at Caddo Lake State Park, which celebrates 30 years of good conservation with the Caddo Lake Institute. Try your hand at canoeing, fishing, and other park activities. Decorate your campsite with a retro theme, attend an outdoor movie, and enjoy music and dancing like it's 1923, when the Texas State Parks system was founded.


"Popovich Comedy Pet Theater"

April 15

UT Tyler Cowan Center, 3900 University Blvd., FAC 1120

Featuring a unique blend of comedy and juggling skills from Ukranian circus performer Gregory Popovich and the extraordinary talents of his performing pets, "Popovich Comedy Pet Theater" is entertainment for the whole family. His entourage consists of world-class jugglers, Diamond the Shetland Pony, and over 30 performing pets including geese, house cats, and dogs (all rescued from animal shelters).


Wiggy Thump Festival

April 15

Anderson County Youth Livestock Pavilion, 750 US 287

This music festival features a lineup of Texas country favorites including Whiskey Myers, Mark Chesnutt, Tanner Usrey, and Sarah Hobbs. Food and non-alcoholic drinks are sold at the festival.


Bait and Boats

April 15

Martin Creek Lake State Park, 9515 County Road 2181D

Start your morning off by attending a Fishing 101 course to learn the basics of fishing. Test your new skills on the water by participating in the fishing derby, with prizes given out in a variety of categories. Wrap up the day on the water, as park rangers guide a group paddle in kayaks and canoes around the island.


Michael Carbonaro: Lies on Stage

April 20

UT Tyler Cowan Center, 3900 University Blvd., FAC 1120

After performing to hundreds of sold-out houses across the nation on his critically acclaimed inaugural tour, master magician Michael Carbonaro is taking the stage with a new show. From his hit television series "The Carbonaro Effect" on truTV, America's favorite trickster makes a triumphant return to live performances where he'll conjure up a concoction of mind-blowing magic, hysterical offbeat shenanigans, and wonder for audiences of all ages.


1836 Chuckwagon Races

April 21-23

Diamond B Ranch, 11589 FM 321

The race takes place every year during the celebration of Texas' independence. This unique Western event welcomes visitors to come early and bring their horses, mules, and wagons. Enjoy the many activities or just set back and watch. On-site camping is available starting April 14.


Folk Festival

April 22

Mission Tejas State Park, 19343 SH 21 East

This annual event provide visitors a variety of educational experiences and activities to experience 19th-century Texas pioneer life in the area around what is today Mission Tejas State Park.


Village Creek Fun Day

April 22

Village Creek State Park, 8854 Park Road 74

Camp with a ranger, practice yoga, go for a bike ride or paddling adventure, learn dutch oven cooking, participate in craft activities, and get camping 101 how-to tips at this event.



May 4

UT Tyler Cowan Center, 3900 University Blvd., FAC 1120

This laugh-out-loud love letter to the theater tells the story of Michael Dorsey, a talented but difficult actor who struggles to find work until one show-stopping act of desperation lands him the role of a lifetime. Featuring a hilarious Tony-winning book by Robert Horn and an outrageously clever score by 2018 Tony-winner David Yazbek, this "New York Times" Critics Pick is a delight that's packed with punchlines.


Historical Pilgrimage: Home Tours of Jefferson

May 4-7

Various locations

Four of Jefferson's finest historical homes and featured gardens open their doors for tours. Docents dressed in period attire help provide information about the homes.

"The Diamond Bessie Murder Trial"

May 4-7

Jefferson Playhouse, Corner of Market and Henderson streets

"The Diamond Bessie Murder Trial" is a unique adaptation of the last stages of a nationally famous trial which actually took place in Jefferson in the late 1800s. After more than a half century of production, this play has become a tradition in itself during the annual Historical Pilgrimage.

Battle of Big Cypress Bayou Reenactment

May 5-6

Downtown and Cypress River Ranch

Experience full-scale reenactments of a Civil War battle on the Big Cypress Bayou, complete with infantry, cavalry, and artillery. Over three days, there are three different battle reenactments and a downtown skirmish on Saturday morning.

Pilgrimage Weekend: 19th Century Social Events

May 5-7

Various locations

Immerse yourself in the 19th century—period attire is optional but always fun. Events take place on different evenings and include the Illumination ceremony at old Oakwood Cemetery (where hundreds of Civil War veterans are buried and candles illuminate the headstones), a ladies tea, the Grand Ball, and the Presentation of Colors.


Full Moon Night Trek

May 5

Village Creek State Park, 8854 Park Road 74

Join this ranger-led hike for a chance to see the unseen and learn how nocturnal creatures communicate and what effect the moon can have on natural cycles of plants and animals. This hike explores the sights and sounds of the night, illuminated by the Flower Full Moon of May, and how the ecosystems have changed over the last 100 years. Explore nocturnal creatures with black lights and listen to their languages with amplifying devices.


New Experiences, New Membories, A New You

May 13

Daingerfield State Park, 455 Park Road 17

At this brand new event at Daingerfield State Park, visitors can learn about a variety of Texas Parks and Wildlife resources and get ideas on how to enjoy nature and the world outdoors. Activities include fishing with a ranger, kayak and canoeing, and a program about the animals you might see in the park.


Wine Down Shop Small

May 13


Spend an evening sipping, snacking, shopping, and strolling around historic downtown. The event offers wine tastings from 10 Texas wineries and snacks from local food vendors.


Train Days

May 15-16

Various locations

Everyone is welcome aboard this two-day event that features four in-town destinations: the Historic Jefferson Train Show, RD Moses Railroad display, a Jefferson Historic Railway excursion, and the "Atalanta" railway car tour.


Memorial Day Gospel Bluegrass Festival

May 25-28

Salmon Lake Park Texas, 247 Salmon Lake Road

Musicians and singers from around the state converge in Grapeland for the 26th annual festival, with music starting after noon and going well into the night.


Piney Woods Express Steam

May 26-29

Texas State Railroad Palestine Depot, 789 Park Road 70

This four-hour round-trip train adventure departing from Palestine, with an hour layover at the Rusk depot, takes passengers on a journey through the impressive Piney Woods and 135 years of history. Unplug for a tradition that merges comfort and adventure for the whole family. Relaxed seating, thoughtful décor and friendly, responsive attendants add to the ambiance of the scenic journey afforded travelers a century ago.

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