For over six decades, the Advent of Spring has been welcomed by Beaumont’s Good Neighbor event – the Neches River Festival. The purpose of the Festival is to celebrate two of Beaumont’s most precious resources – our youth and our river.
The beautiful, cypress lined Neches River, on whose banks our community rests, supplies us with life-sustaining natural resources, economic vitality and boundless recreational opportunity. Similarly, our children are indeed our future and our most precious resource. The Festival honors our High School Seniors, as they embark on their lives ahead and reflect on the benefits of living in this community. Through the Festival we thank them, we engage them to be ambassadors of our community, and we also encourage them to return as leaders of tomorrow.
The heart and soul of the Festival reside within the Knights of the Neches. These men are invariably leaders of the community, all dedicated to the vitality of our community and the Festival, as well as to the children who we honor each year. The dues paid by the Knights are used to fund many of the activities and events of the Festival. The Knights raise funds for the Neches River Festival Otho Plummer Scholarship to Lamar University. Likewise, they operate our Board of Directors and through literally thousands of hours of volunteer time they help make the Festival great.
Princesses come from within Beaumont. They are sponsored by local business and civic organizations. From the Princesses, a Queen, First Lady in Waiting and Second Lady in Waiting are selected.
Duchesses elect to participate in the Festival from all around the country. Frequently, Duchesses are friends of Princesses, relatives of Knights or their friends, or relatives of Past Queens. From the Duchesses, a Grand Duchess is selected.
Escorts are young men from area High Schools. Their character and involvement in the community help them stand out as representatives of the community. From the Escorts, a "Best Escort" is selected by their peers among the young men and women in the Festival.
In recognition of the renewal our community receives through its river and its youth, younger children also participate in the Festival as Pages, Attendants and Junior Escorts. These children enjoy a fairy-tale like adventure, and frequently grow to return to the Festival when they are seniors in high school.
Our gratitude to the Knights of the Neches and the many volunteers without whom the Festival would not exist. They are responsible for the success of this week of merriment and pageantry. To the many businesses who have generously supported the Festival, we are indeed grateful. Your support has made these events possible. To all who participate – a heartfelt Thank You.