Jacksonville, home of the luscious landscape and abundant sunshine produce natural beauty and magnificent smiles! The breathtaking charm of the area is reflected in the lives of the people who live here. Each part of the year brings new and exciting activities where visitors are welcomed and entertained. Come stroll through our neck of the woods, where majestic pines and blue lakes are the answer to everyday worries and cares.
Fun Things to do...
Mud Nationals – this muddy adventure brings over 12,000 each March to Mud Creek Off Road ATV Park. www.mudcreekoffroadpark.com
Annual Tomato Fest - held 2nd Saturday in June, celebrating the rich tomato history in Jacksonville. Some ‘tomato’ events include Tomato Eating Contest, Tomato Peeling Contest, Salsa Contest, Best Home Grown Tomato Contest, Tomato Shoot and a Farmer’s Market. Other events include Got Talent Contest, Photo Contest, Soccer/Tennis Tournaments, 200+ vendors, Fried Green Tomatoes, Car/Tractor/Motorcycle Shows, Food vendors, Street Dance, entertainment, kid’s zone and much more.
Tops in Texas Rodeo - beginning the second Thursday – Saturday evening in May, this annual family affair brings thousands of rodeo fans. A variety of activities take place – parade, Chuck Wagon Luncheon and more.
Christmas on Commerce & Festival of Quilts – held the 3rd Saturday in November. Downtown merchants and other merchant’s open house activities include holiday sales before the Christmas holiday season. Vendors are located downtown with entertainment and Santa awaits little ones for a photo with Santa. Just a few blocks away is the Festival of Quilts event which is held Friday – Sunday located inside the Norman Activity Center.
ATV Parks – Jacksonville also known as ‘Mudville’ due to the 2 ATV Parks (Mud Creek Off Road Park and River Run ATV Park). These parks offer a variety of entertainment during their special events throughout the year. For complete listings of their events visit www.mudcreekoffroadpark.com or www.riverrunpark.com. One event brings over 12,000 people to Jacksonville!
Cherokee Neches Paddling Trail – up to an 8 mile floating experience west of Jacksonville. Bring your canoe or rent a canoe from River Run ATV Park. www.riverrunpark.com or call 903-724-4100 for additional information.
Cherokee Trace Safari Park – Nestled in the lush piney woods of East Texas, 12 miles East of Jacksonville, TX. Cherokee Trace Drive-thru Safari is a wildlife park that is home to an amazing variety of wildlife. See over two dozen exotic and endangered species that thrive in an open habitat similar to their native territory. At your own pace, enjoy a self-guided drive through the hills and open savannahs of this 300-acre preserve. From the comfort of your own vehicle, you can observe, feed, and photograph these beautiful creatures. This natural environment has miles of roads that take you into a whole different world. Spot a Watusi (African longhorn cow) mother and calf grazing near a spring-fed pond. Call 903-683-3322 or visit www.cherokeetrace.com.
Lake Jacksonville – made No. 9 for the top largemouth bass fishing in East Texas. This according to the Tyler Morning Telegraph, they used data collected from the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife to generate the list. The 1500 acre lake is home for many but also a weekend getaway. RV hook-ups and huts available through the City of Jacksonville, 903-589-3510 or Bed & Breakfast located on the lake as well, Horseshoe Inn Bed & Breakfast.
Love’s Lookout Scenic Park – One of East Texas’ most breathtaking views that looks over a broad valley with over 30 miles of beautiful scenery. The park includes 5500 square foot facility housing restrooms, vending machines, information center, and Sheriff’s sub-station. Along the lookout ridge are 5 picnic arbors built in the tomato shed style of the main building, reminiscent of Jacksonville’s farming heritage.
Cherokee History Trails – Over 100 historical markers where much of early-day Texas History was made are placed in a map provided by the Cherokee County Historical Commission. www.cocherokee.org
Concrete Tomatoes – Jacksonville known for tomatoes has over 335 cleverly decorated concrete tomatoes throughout the community. These beastly tomatoes weigh 665 lbs. There is a Indian tomato, tin man tomato, hamburger tomato, ice cream tomato and many more for great photo opportunities. Hitting the market in early 2015 are smaller concrete tomatoes, half the size of the 665 lb. tomato to continue the tomato pride in Jacksonville. www.jacksonvilletexas.com/pages/ConcreteTomatoes
Home of the World’s Largest Bowl of Salsa – during the 2010 Tomato Fest, Food Network ‘Glutton for Punishment’ Bob Blumer wanted to break a world record of making the largest bowl of salsa. Jacksonville did that! In one day, 120 volunteers chopped and mixed until they made 2,672 lbs. of salsa. One-half of the bowl is proudly displayed on Highway 69 North entrance sign as you enter tomato country.
July 4th Fireworks on Lake Jacksonville – this beautiful lake is the designation for the annual fireworks. Thousands enjoy boating, skiing, fishing or relaxing before the evening fireworks displayed over Lake Jacksonville.
Cherokee County Jr. Livestock Show – annual event held in March. Livestock show and auction raising scholarship funds for the youth of Cherokee County. www.cherokeecountyexpo.org
Annual Scarecrow Trail – Cherokee County Master Gardeners plans this annual fall event in October. Over 100 expertly decorated scarecrows are displayed for this fall event.
Spooktacular Bull Bash – held the last weekend in October or first weekend in November brings thousands of rodeo fans to a one night bull bash event. www.spooktacularbullbash.net