Pineywoods Royalty, 1962

1962 Diboll Day Queen and Court at Forest Festival Parade” via

This photo is from the digital archives of The History Center in Diboll. It shows a group of young women in formal dresses, representing their town on Diboll Day at 1962 Texas Forest Festival.

In the Pine Curtain, it makes sense that the annual civic event is a Forest Festival. Since 1938, East Texas forest region communities have gathered for a weekend of special exhibitions and demonstrations, carnival rides, youth team performances, and since 1985, the famous Hushpuppy Olympics Cookoffs!

“The event is no longer the ‘Olympics.’ Lufkin had its hands slapped several years ago when the real Olympics said it owned the trademark to the name. So now it’s the Hushpuppy Cookoffs.”
– Bob Bowman, Texas Escapes

The Texas Forest Festival is such a big deal for East Texas, that at one time, it even had its own commemorative publication! I love the ads in this one from 1948:

(Fun Fact: My mom’s church group won a prize in an early Hushpuppy Cookoff, dressed not in beautiful evening gowns, but homemade costumes as skunks, deer, squirrels and of course, big green net pine trees, complete with real embedded pine cones. They did a little rap and even made the local TV news! I was 12 and as you can imagine, very excited about this. *cue pre-teen eye roll*)

As of now, the 2021 Forest Festival is still scheduled for September! Our East Texas neighbor, Nacogdoches, hosts the also impressive annual Pineywoods Fair, planned for October. So, if you like to celebrate the mighty pine tree, Fall in East Texas is your time to shine.

As I am more of an artist and less of an academic historian, please explore these links for citations and further reading:

Lead Image Citation: The 1962 Diboll Day Queen and Court prepare to ride on a float in that year’s Forest Festival Parade through downtown Lufkin.

Vintage Forest Festival Program collection, Angelina County Chamber of Commerce Publications collection, The History Center.

Bob Bowman, “Hushpuppies,” Texas Escapes.