LUFKIN, Texas (KETK) — Lufkin is our first feature of the next season of the series, the Small Town Live, which will be featuring the towns of Edom, Grand Saline, Malakoff and Hallsville.

Lufkin is the largest city in Angelina County, Texas with a population of 35,021 and home to the Texas State Forest Festival.

KETK’s Emmy award winning reporter, Neal Barton, ventured out to the city of Lufkin to see what all festivities, music and food that was available for the local community to enjoy.

Neal’s first stop was with a mechanical bull operator from Silsbee, Texas. The owner explained how business has been going and what it is like for him to bring excitement and entertainment to festivals and events. Neal joked with the operator about his hometown and said that he would not be attempting the ride the bull.

Neal continued his exploration the Texas State Forest Festival and met up with Angelina College representative. He learned that Angelina College is a valuable resource for not only Angelina County but for all of East Texas, offering over 60 degree and certificate courses. Neal Barton actually took a few meteorology courses there in the 1980’s. Angelina College is offering a first year free to residents that graduated from high schools in Angelina County in efforts to increase the local workforce and college graduates.

The rain decided to meet Neal on his third stop, and the sound was music to East Texans ears as we have been experiencing drought in the area through this summer. Neal was able to locate his umbrella and keep trekking.

The last stop for Neal was with an economic development representative for the City of Lufkin. This community was just recognized by State of Texas Governor Greg Abbott as ‘music friendly. As a Music Friendly Community, Lufkin enjoys the prestige of the award and also now has access to a network of economic development of the local music industry.