National Sand Bass Festival Draws Thousands to Texoma - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

National Sand Bass Festival Draws Thousands to Texoma

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MARSHALL COUNTY, OK.- - A whole lot of home town fun but with a big payoff for Texoma.      The National Sand Bass Festival is going on this week in Marshall County. Meredith Saldana spent the day on the square, she has more on this story.

Doug Blevins, one of the organizers, says each year the festival continues to grow.     

In fact, this year they spent more than $50,000 on entertainment.

That's up about $10,000 from last year alone.     

This is the 35th year of the National Sand Bass Festival, in Madill.     

The six day event brings in about a 25% increase in tax revenue to Marshall County.     

But organizers say, that's not what it's all about.  

"It's not so much about all the spending, it's what we can give back to the tourists that come here during the summer," says Doug Blevins.     

For the last 9 years, the Wiggins have traveled from Amarillo, Texas to set up shop, in Marshall county.      

Cheryl Wiggins says they travel across the country to fairs, festivals and bike rallies.       

"The sand bass festival is one of our better festivals," says Wiggins. "It's ran really well, we like the people here, we know a lot of the vendors. So it's like old home week when we come up here."     

And despite the economy, she says business is already off to a good start and she's hoping it continues.

"Oh goodness, it's nothing for me to sell probably 1,000 chickens on a long week show."     

You'll find music, vendor tents set up and all kinds of different food at the festival.     

Jim Beaty came from Yukon, Oklahoma to set up for his first year at the festival.     

He's selling old fashioned soda and it's quite different from your average soda.

"The flavor, the pure cane sugar brings out the flavor in everything. It's all natural, no preservatives and it's great," says Beaty.     

And not only will you get a tasty drink, it also has a little bit of history behind it.

"Sarsaparilla was your original drink back in the Wild West. They didn't have root beer, it was all sarsaparilla. But you didn't go into a bar and ask for sarsaparilla or you probably get thrown out," says Beaty.     

But the best part of the festival?

It's for all ages.

"All ages, from the little bitty ones to the great big ones," says Blevins.     

The festival ends Saturday night at midnight and Blevins says at 12:01, they'll start planning for next year's festival.

-Meredith Saldana, KTEN News