The Magnolia Festival attracts many people for many reasons, and one of those staples each year is the variety of booths selling, informing and feeding the attendees.
In 2017, as is likely the case in every year, there were booths making their debut appearances in the Bryan County event.
Some of those booths are run by people and establishments that have been around locally for many years, but this was the first time to get in on the show at the Choctaw Event Center.
Bill Cox is owner of Durant Medical Pharmacy and Supply. It has a relatively new location on 1028 Criswell Drive and had a spot with the vendors at Magnolia Festival for the first time this year.
Cox said he and his staff have had great response with the booth helping people achieve health care for life.
“Mainly, we’ve reached so many people, not only in Durant, but also in the Texoma area,” Cox said. “And this (booth) gives us the opportunity to meet more people to help in the area and that is the primary reason to be here.”
Cox talked about the venue serving as a point of connection.
“We meet so many new people. Texoma has almost 500,000 people now and this show, I believe, will have over 82,000 people in attendance, so it’s just a great opportunity to meet so many more people than just at our storefront.
“Also, we interact with a lot of these folks online, with e-commerce we sell a lot of products online, it’s amazing how we meet people that we’ve never met, they only buy from us online and we meet them at the show.”
Maddison Williams is a part of a family that has served the area for generations in various capacities. Working with her mother and grandmother and more, Generations, a dealer in formal wear and more on 134 W. Main in Durant, Williams spoke how they are handling their first year.
“We’re using this as a publicity piece because we’re members of the Durant Chamber of Commerce,” Williams said. “We’re here displaying our Vera Bradley and out Yellow Box flip flops, our tuxedos, our makeup – everything – we’ve set up a pop-up shop for the weekend.”
And as a member of the Durant Chamber, running a booth seemed to be a god thing to do.
“The Chamber of Commerce puts on the Magnolia Festival every year, so we just figured it would be a good way to support the chamber and get our name out,” Williams said. “This is the first year for Generations to be here, but our family has gone back with the Magnolia Festival since the beginning, so it’s like coming home.”
And for those who spend a lot of time wandering around the Festival, inside and outside, needing to stop for a bite to eat can become a necessity.
Rick Eggenberg is one of those who have stepped up to provide some of the always-great food that has been made readily available.
A long-time resident of the area, Eggenberg set up at Magnolia Festival for the first time and said he knows exactly what his booth is all about.
“Smoked meats,” Eggenberg said. “Barbecue at its finest.”
And besides giving the Festival attendees a great meal, there are other reasons for him to take his show on the road from 902 NE 2nd in Durant to the Event Center.
“It’s very much to let people to know where we are. Our location is not the best – our meats and flavors are bringing people in. But this is something good to let people know where we’re at.”
The booths have again in 2017 been mutually beneficial for festival attendees and vendors alike.
And each has his or her favorite things about Magnolia Festival.
“The corn dogs and the funnel cake,” Williams said.
“But our favorite part with the booth is getting to spend time with the customers and clients and just say Hello.”