Thousands descended on downtown Marshall Saturday to celebrate the 39th annual Fireant Festival hosted by the Greater Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce.

“It was a beautiful, hot day in historic downtown Marshall as we welcomed many new local vendors, had a wonderful parade and so enjoyed the new presence of C & M Services and Rentals with their inflatables and children’s games,” Chamber Executive Director Stacia Runnels said Saturday. “There was something for everyone, from an array food and treats to a variety of booths offering an eclectic mix of products and home goods.”

Runnels said schools, businesses and organizations from across East Texas got in on this year’s action.

“A Fireant king and queen was crowned from area high schools, and performances were quite entertaining throughout the day,” she said. “People loved being out doors enjoying something fun and lighthearted for a change of pace.”

The sunny fall weather made for a perfect day as festivities kicked off with a color run Saturday, followed by the annual Fireant Festival parade, which saw dozens of organizations, businesses, individuals and school groups march down the streets of downtown Marshall to celebrate the 39th annual event. Martha Josey of Josey Ranch served as this year’s Grand Marshal for the parade.

Following the parade, event goers made their way to the dozens of vendor booths, food trucks and concession stands, games, organization booths and petting zoo.

There were also some new additions to this year’s festival, with a memorial raffle benefiting a planned memorial for former Chamber Board President Tim Huff who recently died. The chamber raffled a 6.5 Creedmoor Browning Limited Edition to one lucky winner.

Also new this year was a celebration within a celebration as the Marshall Police Department hosted its National Night Out event within this year’s Fireant Festival. Marshall Police Chief Cliff Carruth was on site with several officers to meet with community members.

“We also enjoyed having our law enforcement’s National Night Out as part of the festival this year,” Runnels said. “Families loved engaging with them in a family friendly atmosphere, which was also educational.”

Runnels said with this year’s Fireant Festival in the can, the Chamber is already looking forward to next year’s 40th anniversary event.

“We truly look forward to the 40th anniversary of the festival in 2022,” she said. “Save the date for the second Saturday in October each year.”

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