Skip to content

It’s Almost Here! Cherokee Rose Festival’s This Saturday!

The Cherokee Rose Festival is finally here this Saturday, May the 7th from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m… Chair Alise Nolan, Credit Union of East Texas – Lindsay Hitt and Gilmer Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Gloria McLuckie are excited with the sponsorship and interest for the festival and events thus far.

“The Turtle Race continually proves to be our most popular event with the Cherokee Rose Prince and Princess Pageant a close second,” said Nolan. It’s fun to see both adults and kids so excited and already trying to find a ‘fast’ turtle. Get there early as there is always a crowd for this fun contest each year!”

The new addition of live music sponsored by Credit Union of Texas on their stage beginning at 3:00 p.m. with Borderline and then at 6:00 p.m. with Lee Mathis and Brutally Handsome Band, and headliner Cory Morrow at 8:00 p.m. is sure to bring in the crowds for these great cover and Texas Country Bands. 

Three streets surrounding the Upshur County Courthouse on the Gilmer square will be closed to traffic during the Cherokee Rose Festival. These are Davis, Buffalo, and Simpson Streets for the times of 7 a.m. to 8 a.m., Sunday, May the 8th

Contest slated during the Cherokee Rose Festival are the Turtle Race at 9:00 a.m. sharp, Hula Hoop at 10:3, 15, Rope at 10:45, and Bubble Gum at 11:15 a.m. The Turtle Race will have prizes of $100 for first place, $50 for second place and $25 for third place in both Youth and Adults Divisions. Youth Division: Ages 2- 17 and Adult Division: Ages 18 and up. 

The popular Baby Crawling Contest will be at 11:45 before naptime, and the Cherokee Prince and Princess Pageant will be an event at 1:00 p.m. in front of the CUTX Stage on the north side of the courthouse along with Pause for a Cause Dog Show at 2:00 p.m. in this vicinity as well. All these contests have cash prizes and/or ribbons.

Make sure to find your teams for the new Cornhole Contest that started at the 2021 Cherokee Rose Festival Cornhole Contest at 5:30 p.m. at the CUTX Stage. Cash prizes and bragging rights on the line for this fun adult contest!

Early registration Google Doc links can be found on posts the Festival’s Facebook page, but participants can register on-site for all contests 30 minutes before each contest or at the registration table in front of the CUTX Stage. A $5.00-dollar fee is only due for the Paws for a Cause Dog Show as monies will benefit Silver Paws. 

Footlights Dance Studio will dance on the square beginning at 10:00 a.m. in front of the CUTX Stage along with Pro Comp Martial Arts and Gilmer Taekwondo as well.

Face Painting by the Gilmer High School Cheer Department on the courthouse lawn will be available for all kids, young and old. 

A FFA Last Chance Plant Sale will be housed on the left side of the Upshur County Courthouse off Tyler Street for local Gilmer & Harmony FFA Chapters. They will sell an assortment of flowering pots, hanging baskets and vegetables.

Local vendors and crafters will be showcased for your shopping on the Simpson, Jefferson, and Davis Street sides of the courthouse lawn along with food trucks all day and evening. 

Local storytellers from the Bluebonnet Literacy Club of Gilmer will read books on the square and in the Upshur County Historic Museum where Native American history and Cherokee Rose Festival memorabilia will be set up during the all-day event. 

A Native American Teepee with exhibits will be set up on the Jefferson and Simpson Street corner of the Courthouse with live demonstrations as well Bob & Kim Pennett sponsored by the Historic Upshur County Museum.

For contest details and online registrations, find us on The Cherokee Rose Festival Facebook page, LiveGilmer, and CUTX – Credit Union of Texas websites. Registrations will be accepted on the day of the Cherokee Rose Festival thirty minutes before each contest. 

For more information, please contact Alise Nolan 903.841.2726 or or Gloria McLuckie – The Gilmer Area Chamber of Commerce – 903.843.2413 or @

Leave a Comment