East Texas Yamboree
This Venue is a Favorite of
1935 was a great year for Upshur County because it was the first year we had the East Texas Yamboree. We owe all the years of great celebrations, memories and success and the hard work and perserverence of the few who had the vision to see what the Yamboree could become.
The "founder" of the Yamboree is Upshur County Chamber of Commerce Secretary John Brogoitti. He saw the success that Tyler's Rose Festival (1933) and Jacksonville's Tomato Festival (1934) were generating for their respective cities and knew that Gilmer could also benefit from having a yearly festival.
The two cash crops in the area at the time were cotton and yams. The yam was the cash crop chosen to celebrate when it was announced that Upshur county had a weevel free yam crop that could be shipped anywhere. This was very important at the time because Upshur was only one of 41 counties designated weevil free at the time.
With the help of Gilmer High Ag Teacher J.L. Sowell, County AD Agent Marion Bank, County Home Demostartion Agent Lorene Stevens and the 1935 Chamber of Commerce the First East Texas Yamboree was celebrated October 22nd - 25th, 1935.
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