Friday, March 7, 2014

Three Weekends filled with Dogwoods, History & Fun

Howard House Museum in Palestine, Texas

The 76th Annual Texas Dogwood Trails Celebration in Palestine, Texas takes place the last two weekends in March and first weekend in April.  Since 1938, locals and visitors alike have been enjoying the delicate white blooms of the Cornus florida, commonly known as the flowering dogwood.

Activities are scheduled each weekend to compliment the long time Celebration, including the Dogwood Festival set for Sat., Mar. 22, 2014 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. in historic downtown Palestine. 

Festival highlights include live music and entertainment, beer gardens, a parade, arts & crafts, food vendors, an antique car show, the Anderson County Master Gardeners Annual Tree Sale and much more.  The fun will continue into the evening with a Doo-Wop Cruise featuring music from the 50’s and 60’s at the Anderson County Historic Courthouse Square.

Members of the Pilgrim Cemetery Association will serve gingerbread and coffee at the Old Pilgrim Church, the first Protestant church in Texas. The reconstructed log church will be open to the public, and visitors can enjoy tours of the historic cemetery and tales of the pioneer family from 2 to 4 p.m. on March 23 and 2 to 4 p.m on March 30.

The 13th Annual Old Time Music and Dulcimer Festival will kick off the second weekend at the Museum for East Texas Culture. The music festival will be held Mar. 27, 28 and 29 with concerts, workshops and jam sessions. For those looking for a culinary treat through the piney woods, the Texas State Railroad will host a Dogwood Special Brunch on Sun., Mar. 30. The historic Texas Theatre will debut a Ghost of Chance on Mar. 28, 29, 30 and April 4, 5, and 6. 

The Palestine Main Street Farm and Flower Market, located at the Farmer’s Market Pavilion, will be open on Sat., Mar. 29 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sun., Mar. 30 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.  This unique outdoor market will feature bedding plants, herbs, trees, fresh produce, jams, yard art and decorations.  Other activities include the Main Street Architectural Scavenger Hunt and tours at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Howard House Museum and much more.

For photography enthusiasts and Instagramers, an ‘InstaMeet’ will kick off the third weekend. The free ‘photo walk’ will be on Sat., April 5 at 10 a.m. in Davey Dogwood Park and 2 p.m. in the Palestine Main Street District.  An Architectural Walking Tour of Main Street is scheduled from Noon – 2 p.m. on Sat., April 5.  The tour, lead by the Preservation Officer for the City of Palestine, will include information on the styles and examples of architecture in Palestine and an interactive discussion of the historic significance. 

Other events happening during the third weekend include the Piney Woods Excursion at the Texas State Railroad and the Boston’s Buckin BBQ Cook-off, sanctioned by the Lone Star Barbecue Society. 

For more information about the 76th Annual Texas Dogwood Trails Celebration and a complete schedule of events, visit, download the free Palestine, Texas Mobile App or contact the Palestine Visitor Center at 903-723-3014.

About Palestine, Texas: Palestine is a charming East Texas town that boasts more than 1,800 historic sites, including the Main Street District. Home to the Texas State Railroad and Dogwood Trails, Palestine is graced with stately homes, gorgeous scenic drives and a Texas friendly welcome that offers a true Southern experience.


  1. Some of us from Houston are wondering whether anything will be in bloom this weekend 3/15. We're limited on weekend availability to travel this month and not sure if we can make it to Palestine during the festival weekends. Do you expect delayed blooming of the dogwoods compared to last year due to the increased amount of cold weather this winter?

    1. Good afternoon! We are looking at the Dogwoods to bloom hopefully by the first weekend of the festival (3/22/14). This evening is suppose to be around 38 degrees but the next ten days looks fabulous. Right now the buds are beginning to slowly open. The neighborhoods have Wild Plum Trees and we are now seeing Daffodils. Keep your fingers crossed for gorgeous weather. We are tired of the ice:). Hope you visit Palestine soon!

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