‘Something for everybody:’ City of Gilmer prepares for 85th Yamboree

“A lot of people say it kicks off tomorrow because there are some other key things start happening like the carnival. A lot of people think of the Yamboree as j
Published: Oct. 19, 2022 at 8:55 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 19, 2022 at 9:07 PM CDT
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) -Residents of Gilmer are buzzing today as the pre-Yamboree events have started for the official kick off of the Yamboree Thursday.

The 85th Yamboree celebration is underway in Gilmer and residents are preparing for all the events that will take place throughout this week.

The Yamboree started in 1935 when the people of Gilmer were looking for something to celebrate.

Volunteer Nan Fowler says the yam harvest was a big deal in the area at the time and so, the Yamboree was born.

“That’s kind of how it began, and it’s just grown since then,” Fowler said

Many events will take place this week such as different contests and shows, the coronation of the Yamboree Queen, the carnival and a big parade.

Some of today’s events included a livestock sale, an art and photo contest and a canning and pie contest.

“Right now, all the livestock is preparing, right now we have people bringing in their yams, and their art. I think the pie contest will be in the morning so lots of people prepare for a long time,” Fowler said.

Yamboree President Jordan Glaze says this festival is in full swing despite people saying it starts tomorrow.

“A lot of people say it kicks off tomorrow because there are some other key things start happening like the carnival. A lot of people think of the Yamboree as just the carnival, but it’s so much more than that,” Glaze said.

Glaze says even in the small town of Gilmer with a population of 5,000 people, they see around 100,000 people come to the Yamboree on any given year.

He says this celebration is something that the entire community looks forward to and has for 85 years.

“It’s just something that has something for everybody. We have people come from Dallas, Louisiana, Arkansas, you know people all over the state of Texas come to it. People all over the state or even all over the world. You’re going to run into somebody that knows somebody from Gilmer and knows about the Yamboree,” Glaze said.

Just a reminder, Gilmer students are out of school the rest of the week to celebrate the Yamboree. Click here to learn more about Yamboree events.