For the past 41 years, New Bostonians have looked forward to August with great anticipation. No, not because of the sweltering heat, but because of the annual Pioneer Days and Rodeo, an event many proudly refer to as ‘The Hottest Festival in Texas.’

“I remember going as a little girl,” says New Boston Chamber of Commerce Administrator Nancy Satterfield. “It is always so much fun!”

This year, the 42nd annual celebration will be held in downtown New Boston at the T&P Trail Head Park, beginning Monday, Aug. 13 and lasting through Saturday, Aug. 18.

The party starts with a treasure hunt with clues posted daily at the Chamber of Commerce beginning Monday morning at 9 a.m. “People really get into this,” says resident Darla Faulknor. “They line up outside before we even open!”

Wednesday, Aug. 15, the carnival comes to town and the rides start whirling, spinning and soaring at 6 p.m. at the festival grounds.

Love gospel music? Head to the festival grounds again on Thursday night for the Branded & Relentless concert sponsored by the First Baptist Church, starting at 7 p.m.

Friday night, the fun gets even bigger as the rides continue, concession booths start up, an arts and crafts show with quilts, hand crafts and homemade cooking opens, the rodeo kicks off, and Greg Gardner & VooDoo Cowboy take to the main stage for a street dance.

The hottest fun of all, however, is saved for Saturday as the fire station hosts a pancake breakfast beginning at 6 a.m., followed by a volleyball tournament behind the police department.

At 10 a.m., the Cowboy Boots and Country Roots parade starts and the Chamber of Commerce is challenging businesses, churches, schools and more to participate and create a float for the event. Call 903-628-2581 to enter.

Other daytime events include comedy magic at the Community Center, an antique tractor show, a turkey shoot at Scout Lake, a 4-wheeler mud race on North Front, $500 and $1,000 raffles, a bunco tournament and a 42 tournament. The rodeo starts again at 7:30 p.m.

All day long, families can also enjoy inflatables, concessions, pony rides, amusement rides, mechanical bull riding, watch a knife forging demonstration and play Texas Bubble Bumpers!

And if you love great entertainment, show up early for all kinds of free music! The concerts are free and start with the Kosmic Girlz at 11 a.m., Cool Wind at 12:30 p.m., Psychadelic Radio at 2 p.m., Firewater at 3:30 p.m., and Marlon Sharpe & Cowboys at the Cross at 4:30 p.m.

The Hottest Festival’s headlining event is country superstar Janie Fricke, who will take to the stage at 8 p.m., where she’ll perform new and classic hits like “You Don’t Know Love” from her latest album, Country Side of Bluegrass.

Tommy Alverson will cap off the night with a street dance from 10 p.m. to midnight. This is one hot event you can’t afford to miss!