When the weather starts getting warmer, the fish start biting … at least around Madill! Every spring, the White Bass (or Sand Bass) start the annual “Sand Bass run” or migration. This usually begins because of spring rains or the water temperature rising. Around Madill, we don’t only catch the fish, we celebrate the migration for an ENTIRE week at the annual Sand Bass Festival.
The Sand Bass Festival began in 1963 in downtown Madill. With over 15,000 visitors each year, it’s a big part of the local community calendar. The festival is a mix of free concerts, family-fun events, carnival rides and of course, food.
Before you attend the festival, you need to know a little bit about the history of Madill, which can be found in our Southeastern Region blog. The town was founded in 1900 by William N. Taliaferro who settled in the area in 1886. A post office was quickly created, and the first public school opened in 1903. The town is only a few miles north of Kingston and few miles south of Tishomingo. Over the years, the area has changed because of the development of Lake Texoma in the late 1940s.
We want you to make the most of this week-long event! Read below for highlights of the Sand Bass Festival. For a detailed schedule and to sign up for events, visit https://www.sandbassfestival.org/.
Saturday, June 1:
7 a.m. – The Mack Strafford Memorial Softball Tournament begins at the Madill High School softball fields. Get your team together and sign up soon!
Monday, June 3:
6 p.m. – Start practicing because the talent contest is on Monday! The winners of the contest will perform later in the week.
Tuesday, June 4:
6:30 p.m. – Make your way to the Woody Ford Concert Stage because Real McNiel and Friends takes the stage at 6:30 p.m. And stick around, because the Trio Grande, a ZZ Top Tribute Band, will take the stage at 8 p.m.
Wednesday, June 5:
6 p.m. – Wednesday is Family Faith Night at the Sand Bass Festival. The fun will begin with the Ignited Band at 6 p.m. It will be followed by the Revival Collective and the Kingston FBC Praise Team.
8:30 p.m. – Stick around because American Idol contestant, Colton Dixon, will take the stage this evening!
Thursday, June 6:
9:30 a.m. – Calling all bookworms! The day will start with a book sale from the Madill Public Library.
6:30 p.m. – Live music will begin with the Arbuckle Xpress band followed by the 3rd place talent contest winner.
8:30 p.m. – Get ready to dance and sing to 90s country music because Ty England will take the stage!
Friday, June 7:
5:30 p.m. – It’s time to start training your turtles! The annual Byron’s Bail Bonds Turtle Races are always a kid favorite on Friday night. Remember to decorate yours so it doesn’t get lost with the other turtles.
6:30 p.m. – Another FREE concert will begin with C Seven Band followed by the 2nd place talent contest winner.
8:30 p.m. – Step back in time with classic country singer John Conlee. Remember to bring your lawn chair to sit and watch this iconic singer.
Saturday, June 8:
5 a.m. – Set your alarms because the Fish Bowl Bass and Striper Fishing Tournament begins in the early morning at Catfish Bay. This year the festival has partnered with the Toby Keith Foundation and will be giving a $10,000 payout to the first-place winner!
8 a.m. – Lace up your shoes for the King Sandie 3K and 5K Fun Run. The run will begin at Madill High School.
9 a.m. – Get ready for a day of fun activities, with a kid’s fishing tournament, horseshoe pitching contest, cornhole tournament and a 3 on 3 basketball tournament all taking place at the festival.
6:30 p.m. – It’s the last night of concerts! Get ready for Logan Russell and Young Guns followed by the 1st place talent contest winner.
8:30 p.m. – The festival will end in a grand fashion with Stoney Larue taking the main stage!
The carnival will open at 5 p.m. Monday - Friday, and on Saturday it will open at 12 p.m. Arm band tickets will be available everyday so you can make the most of your time in Madill.
We hope you have a great time at the Sand Bass Festival! Remember to use #VisitChickasaw on Instagram and Twitter so we can follow along!