GILMER, Texas (KETK) — East Texans are celebrating Independence Day in Gilmer with food trucks and vendors gathering with their hand-made crafts like laser-carved decor, quilts and woven blankets. There were also fun activities such as a bubble booth for kids and family to enjoy.

“The yamboree was started in 1935 and it was done in celebration of the sweet potato. They had been in quarantine for a few years because of the weavel. Once it was lifted, that’s when they started having the yamboree event and now it’s the second-largest and oldest festival in Texas,” said Randy Hill, founder and chairman of East Texas Yamboree.

The celebration kicked off with an air show hosted by Flight of the Phoenix Aviation Museum and showing support for our first responders and veterans.

“I know how important it is to be needed as first responders. So, we appreciate those guys very much, especially at this time of year. It is so dry… we got a lot of danger out there,” said Hill.

Vintage T-6 airplanes showed off their flips and spins and the firework show was enjoyed by many while music and live coverage were aired on 99.1 FM.

For those who have battled for our country’s freedom, it’s all about remembering the sacrifices that they made.

“Is just a wonderful holiday and we should all come together on July fourth and remember and think about our founding fathers, remember how great our country was and how great our country can still be,” said Air Force veteran, Jody Pearson.

For future events with East Texas Yamboree, click here.