National Sand Bass Festival kicks off in Madill with talent show

The weeklong National Sand Bass Festival kicked off in Madill on Monday at the county...
The weeklong National Sand Bass Festival kicked off in Madill on Monday at the county courthouse square.
Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 12:37 AM CDT
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MADILL, Okla. (KXII) - From traditional festival favorites, like funnel cakes and corn dogs, to jambalaya, you can find it all at the National Sand Bass Festival.

Bobby Corbin with Connie’s Louisiana Kitchen said they’ve been attending the festival for a decade.

“We love it here,” Corbin said. “People are great, the event’s great, and we’re just a real big fan of sand bass and catching them”

The family friendly tradition started in the 1960s. Businesses wanted to thank lake texoma tourists for spending their money in Madill with a free fish fry and entertainment.

The festival was discontinued in 1974, and since it’s restart in 1988 has drawn thousands of tourists annually from across the country.

There’s no fish fry these days, but there’s still great food from 18 different vendors.

It’s not just the food that brings people out. For some, like Paul Abbott, it has become a family tradition.

“The people and the vendors,” Abbott said. “Everybody is so nice.”

There’s home-grown talent, and later in the week more widely known talent will take the stage.

But the first night is always the talent show.

Abbott and his family are here to see their nephew.

“He does a pretty good job, too,” Abbott said.

The festival runs through the week till Saturday night.