Stone Fort Museum to host the Fall Jamboree to kick off Nacogdoches Public Library’s Big Read program

NACOGDOCHES, Texas –– Stephen F. Austin State University’s Stone Fort Museum will host the inaugural Fall Jamboreeto kick off the Nacogdoches Public Library’s Big Read program. The event will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. Sept. 30 at the museum on SFA’s campus.

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest and is designed to broaden an understanding of the world, communities and oneself through a collectively read book. The program’s goal is to inspire conversation and discovery among community members and revitalize the role of reading in American culture.

“The museum’s Fall Jamboree is an opportunity to share the native plants and traditional foodways of East Texas with the SFA and regional community as we enjoy traditional music,” said Carolyn Spears, Stone Fort Museum director. “The event connects the museum’s Spanish history with the Nacogdoches Public Library’s Big Read book.”

This year’s Big Read book, “Nothing to See Here” by Kevin Wilson, follows a pair of young women, Lillian and Madison, during the 1980s and 1990s. When Lillian is asked to spend a summer caring for Madison’s stepchildren, she quickly finds out the children catch on fire when they are upset. Lillian has to learn to care for the children while also keeping them safe despite the unusual circumstances.

The event will consist of music from El Camino Real de Nacogdoches, as well as Dutch oven cornbread and plum jelly made from the museum’s Spanish Colonial Demonstration Garden plums. There will also be a Hatch green chile cook-off competition that is open to everyone.

Students in SFA’s hospitality program will be on hand with treats from the Lumberjack Express, SFA’s mobile food lab.

“Students and faculty members in the SFA hospitality program will preserve the fall harvest of Mexican plums from the Spanish Colonial Demonstration Garden, a living laboratory of plants described by Spanish explorers as they traveled El Camino Real de los Tejas,” Spears said. “Along with Dutch oven cornbread, the Mexican plum jelly, chile peppers and live music, the Fall Jamboree will be an evening to savor.”

Rules for the cook-off are as follows:

  • Only one entry is allowed per individual, or team of two.
  • Recipe must include Hatch green chiles. Contestants will be provided with three Hatch chiles.
  • Recipe may be sweet or savory, but must be homemade.
  • Entry must be fully prepared and brought to the event no later than 4:45 p.m. Sept. 30. Judging will begin at 5 p.m.
  • Entry must be enough for three to four judges to taste.
  • Entries will be judged on appearance, originality, spice and flavor.
  • A donation of $10 per entry is suggested. To make a donation to support museum programs, go to

Three participants will be named winner for one of three categories: sweet, savory and best overall. Prizes include two SFA women’s or men’s basketball season passes, two SFA Mainstage Series season passes, two Culinary Café tickets, and five SFA Planetarium tickets.

Entry deadline for the cook-off is Sept. 28.

For more information or to volunteer for the event, contact To enter the cook-off, visit or call (936) 468-2408.