Henderson Holds Annual Syrup Festival

It's a festival that brings thousands of visitors to Rusk County every November, and it drew big crowds again today -- the 17th Annual Henderson Syrup Festival. Music, good food, and friendly neighbors have become the trademark of the event.

"I like to see all the people and the cars and the food," said Kilgore visitor Brenda Finley.

Thousands come each year for the tradition of watching how syrup is made the old fashioned way. But more come now because it has become a very family friendly event, and the price is right.  It's free. Many enjoy the classic cars that line the streets near the courthouse, and those who experience it for the first time see a small town charm about it.

"I'm impressed. I've never seen this many people in one place. Its incredible. Once I found about it, I had difficulty finding my way here," said Sussex England visitor Kenneth Godden.

And the festival brings big dollars to the local economy.

"This is a huge economic boon for our community. It brings in 18,000 to 25,000 people. It brings in thousands and thousands of dollars for our community and it's such an asset," said Henderson mayor "Buzz" Fullen.

Organizers estimate around 18,000 people visited today's festival.

Bob Hallmark reporting, bhallmark@kltv.com