Organizers of the Bertram Oatmeal Festival announced the cancellation of this year’s event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“After careful consideration, it is with heavy hearts we have decided to cancel this years 43rd Annual Oatmeal Festival,” organizers said in a social media statement. “We hope everyone comes back and brings their Sugar for next years 44th Oatmeal Festival. We will be reaching out to anyone that had sent in sponsorship money shortly. Thank you to our community for all the love and support during this time.”
Oatmeal Festival began in 1978 as a spoof of the many chili cook-offs in the state of Texas.
Ken Odiorne, who had lived in the Oatmeal community, dreamed it all up and with a little prodding from some good folks got it all going.
He wrote to all the major producers of oatmeal and asked them for some assistance. Only National Oats, the makers of 3 Minutes Oats, responded.
The festival typically begins on Friday with a barbecue at the Oatmeal Community Center, about three miles southwest of Bertram.
On Saturday, it continues with a 3K run at 8:03, a pet parade at 10:03 and the festival parade at 10:33. There are floats from nearby cities, businesses, the Shriners and political candidates, especially in an election year.