Dear Potential Vendor,
Hello, my name is Susan. The Mineola Chamber of Commerce and I are preparing for the annual Mineola Iron Horse Heritage Festival that will be on October 29, 2016 in the Historical Downtown Mineola. We are interested in having an event that is unique and “one of a kind”.
“Mineola’s fortunes have been tied historically to railroads. Mineola was born in the summer of 1873, as the Houston and Great Northern (later International and Great Northern) and Texas and Pacific Lines raced to a predetermined crossing point. The company arriving first could secure ownership of rail facilities, so construction crews worked day and night, with the I&GN Building northwest from near Tyler and T&P extending westward from Longview. The two lines neared this point on the same day and the crews were within sight of each other that morning. Accounts differ on which railroad won the competition. With disagreement over the exact surveyed location and whether being first meant the first tracks or first train to arrive. The City of Mineola incorporated in 1877 and the railroad success continued as the Missouri, Kansas and Texas lines extended to Greenville in 1881. This connected the growing trade center with major cities in all directions. The railroads also brought new settlers to Mineola, and a new depot opened in 1905. The T&P moved its terminal here in 1929, bringing about 200 employees and making a significant economic impact on the city. Its presence sustained Mineola while other towns suffered through the Great Depression. The city became a shipping center for agriculture, notably watermelons, sweet potatoes and cotton. Passenger service was suspended in 1973 and returned in 1996.”
We are asking vendors and all persons involved to try to keep the theme of “Trains” throughout the event. There will be awards given for the best use of the theme.
This year’s event includes a 5K Fun Run, Car Show, great food choices, a Children’s Area, Entertainment (including Headliner), and more. Please check our website and sign up, as soon as you can, or call to get an application emailed or mailed, if needed. Payment needs to be made by cash, check or Eventbrite before vendor location can be determined. In order to keep the uniqueness of the event, we will be taking applications on a first come basis and will discourage duplicate vendors. We also will expect vendors to stay on site until after the concert, unless their application indicates that vendor intends to leave at 5pm. This year vendors will need to be in their space from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, October 29.
We have enjoyed working with some of you in the past and welcome all of you to this year’s event.
I hope to see you in October,
Board of Directors, Mineola Area Chamber of Commerce