We wish to thank the community for its support of the East Texas Taco Fest. Without your assistance and your encouragement, the first year of the East Texas Taco Fest would never have gotten off the ground. Thank you to all the residents, vendors and participants for making the first year of the East Texas Taco Fest a successful one.

The well-attended event brought in over two thousand guests from Jefferson, Hallsville, Longview and as far away as Tyler, Nacogdoches, Austin, Dallas, Texarkana, Louisiana and Arkansas. The Taco Fest put heads in beds, filling hotels around Marshall and bringing much needed HOT funds to the city during the summer season. And while staying in Marshall, guests shopped at our local retail stores, ate at our local dining establishments and purchased gas for their vehicles. Marshall’s downtown merchants were busy all day long as patrons attending the Taco Fest shopped in Marshall and enjoyed the day in our town. The summer months are often slower for local merchants and this provided a needed boost for the local economy, creating a “win” for everybody.

We appreciate the interest and the excitement each of you brought as we embarked on the first year of a tradition we plan to continue for a long time to come. Thank you for taking the journey with us.

Many of you have made suggestions for next year, encouraging expansion and ways to tweak the festival in order to make next year’s event bigger and better.

We are especially grateful to our sponsors and the City of Marshall for believing with us in this endeavor and partnering with us throughout the year as we went through preparations for The East Texas Taco Fest.

We created the East Texas Taco Fest for the community of Marshall, just as the Wonderland of Lights and the FireAnt Festival were designed years ago, as a way to bring more economic dollars and tourism to the city. Over 30 years ago, under former publisher George Smith, The Marshall News Messenger created both the Wonderland of Lights and the FireAnt Festival under the belief that being a newspaper is more than delivering news accurately and timely – it’s about helping and uniting the community. We strongly support the Wonderland of Lights and the Fire Ant Festival for what they bring to the community.

Community makes people better. When we come together we create wondrous things – we make businesses grow, we help each other and we grow stronger together. In short, we make good things happen together.