Etex Makes East Texas Yamboree

Accessible to All

Gilmer, Texas


close up photography of mining rig

Tiny Gilmer, Texas (population 5,000) hosts the annual East Texas Yamboree every fall, which draws more than 100,000 attendees for the four day event. This popular festival has something for everyone in the family to enjoy – from a barn dance and concerts to carnivals and competitions and of course including crowning a Yamboree Queen and a a parade. The festival even has its very own Yam Pie Recipe.

Local communications company Etex got its start back in 1952 in Gilmer when the original 743 cooperative members each paid a $10 membership fee and an initial investment fee of $40 for installation.  The company now serves 710 square miles with more than 12,600 members and customers, progressing from open wire strung along fence posts and outhouses to the digital fiber optic network in place today.

As a long-standing local business, Etex is a proud sponsor of the Yamboree Livestock show, where students from surrounding schools show their animals. Making the most of the technology they provide, Etex livestreamed the various Livestock Show events in 2022, which got a lot of positive response locally.

“We heard about family members who could not make the show in person, some out of state, some out of the country, who watched online,” said Charlie Cano, Etex general manager and CEO. “One mom, whose son was participating in his senior and final year, said her father-in-law was too ill to attend in person, but cheered him on by watching the streaming event.”

Etex also reached out to a local radio station to conduct interviews with the students on the final day to further promote the event.

“Etex is always working to make technology work for our hometown,” added Cano, “and helping make the Yamboree accessible to all is a great way to support the community.”