About Us

Tyler Countians have paid tribute to the glories of Spring and the lovely dogwood trees since 1940 by creating a growing and more beautiful Dogwood Festival each year. In 1938 James E. Wheat called a meeting of the state’s leading citizens near the Polk and Tyler County line hoping to enlist aid in promoting the completion of U.S. Highway 190. His guests were so impressed with the natural beauty of East Texas that he hit upon the idea of an annual event that would focus attention on the area. The first festival was held on April 6, 1940 before a crowd of approximately 300 people.

The festival now spans three weekends beginning with the Festival of the Arts focusing on the arts, history and cultural heritage of the region. Over 2,000 trailriders travel by horseback and wagon to the county seat of Woodville during Western Weekend in an effort to preserve the heritage of the East Texas cowboy and enjoy the region’s beauty. The final weekend of the festival, known as the Queen’s weekend, is celebrated with a beautiful pageant during which a queen is crowned and she and her court are entertained with a historical play about Tyler County.


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