Hull-Daisetta community readies for 39th Annual Mayhaw Festival

The 39th Annual Mayhaw Festival is taking this weekend in Daisetta.

Two days of family-friendly fun are coming to Daisetta on April 30 and May 1 for the 39th Annual Mayhaw Festival. Celebrating a sour little berry called the mayhaw, this sweet festival is aimed at bringing together the communities of Hull, Daisetta and Raywood, and the surrounding area.

Organizers of the event are promising that this year’s event will be bigger and better than previous years due, partly due to the fact that the community was unable to hold the Mayhaw Festival last year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have a lot more participation this year because everyone has been missing each other. The coronavirus pandemic has made us realize what’s really important – our families and friends,” said Emily Berryhill, one of the organizers. “It will be nice to have an event in the community again where people can come together and enjoy time with one another.”

The festival is centered around the mayhaw fruit, which are indigenous to the southern United States. The tart little berries are known for growing in wet, swampy environments, which makes them perfect for parts of Southeast Texas. Similar to crabapples and cranberries, they are typically used for making fruit jelly and syrups.

Daisetta, Texas, is one of a handful of places in the southern United States where mayhaw festivals are held every year. The Daisetta festival raises funds to help graduating seniors at Hull-Daisetta High School.

If you haven’t taken a trip to Daisetta in recent months, you might be surprised at some of the recent efforts to beautify and clean up the town. These efforts have been led by Donna Cain, another of the Mayhaw Festival’s organizers.

As a person who grew up and has lived in Daisetta, Berryhill said that Cain and her husband are helping to restore pride for Daisetta residents.

“We are climbing up the ladder again,” Berryhill said. “I think their work has inspired other people who think, ‘Man, I can help do that, too.’ We’ve even started a community vegetable garden. Soon we will have vegetables that we can share with residents. Gardening is an important skill we all should have.”

Looking back at photos from past Mayhaw Festivals, which used to draw in huge crowds, Berryhill said she realizes how much pride those residents took in the communities of Hull and Daisetta.

“We want to get that back, so come get in where you fit in,” she said.

The event lineup features something for everyone depending on their interests. Here’s the complete schedule:

KIDS’ EVENTS:

  • Beauty pageant – rehearsal on Thursday, April 29, and contest on Friday, April 30, 6 p.m. nightly
  • Jelly and baking contest – turn-in Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 7 to 9 a.m.
  • Jr. Cook-Off – check-in at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 30
  • Parade – line up at 9:30 a.m. with the parade starting at 10 a.m.
  • Split the Pot/Cake Walk – Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Dog beauty contest – Saturday, 11 a.m.
  • Pie-eating contest – Saturday, 12 p.m.
  • Mayhaw Who’s Got Talent? – Saturday, 2 to 3 p.m.
  • Karaoke – Saturday, 3 to 4 p.m.
  • Carnival games – Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Whataburger game truck – Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Crafts – Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

ADULT EVENTS

  • Barbecue cook-off – check-in at 1 p.m. Friday
  • Steak cook-off – check-in at 6 p.m. Friday
  • Senior bingo (18 and older) – 5 p.m. Friday
  • Washer, cornhole, domino and horseshoe tournaments – 5 p.m. Friday
  • Jelly and baking contest – turn in Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 7 to 9 a.m.
  • Mayhaw Fun Run – Saturday, 9 a.m.
  • Basketball Tournament – Saturday registration from 8 to 9 a.m.
  • Volleyball Tournament – Saturday registration from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Parade – line up at 9:30 a.m. with parade starting at 10 a.m. Saturday
  • Split the Pot/Cake Walk – Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Dog beauty contest – Saturday, 11 a.m.
  • Pie-eating contest – Saturday, noon
  • Pounds House Tours – Saturday, 1 to 4 p.m.
  • Mayhaw Who’s Got Talent? – Saturday, 2 to 3 p.m.
  • Karaoke – Saturday, 3 to 3 p.m.

ENTERTAINMENT LINE-UP

  • Gospel singing – 7 p.m. Friday
  • Live Band/Dance – 9 p.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday
  • Live auction – 6 p.m. Saturday night
  • Silent auction – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Silent auction

The event will draw to a close on Saturday with awards being handed out at 5 p.m. Craft and food vendors will be open both days.

Seating will be limited, so participants should expect to bring their own folding chairs.

For more information on any of the scheduled events, send an email to hdmayhawfestival@gmail.com or send a text message to 281-253-7367.

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