Chautauqua Festival

Ace Perry of the Ace of Arts shows his work during the Chautauqua Festival on April 8, 2017, at the Longview Public Library.

Longview Public Library’s annual spring festival on April 14 is expected to turn batty – at least during one presentation.

Lisa Egner, a Texas Master Naturalist and Texas Master Gardener from Linden, will present “Batty about Bats,” in which she discusses the benefits of keeping a healthy garden by using the nocturnal mammals.

She joins more than a dozen presenters and acts to be featured during Chautauqua Festival 2018. The free event scheduled from 10:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the library celebrates Longview’s rich, diverse culture with live music and performances, local authors, artists and artisans, food trucks, face painting and other activities, according to library personnel.

“My program focuses on the types of bats that are in Northeast Texas and the conservation efforts, as well as how you can contribute to attracting bats to your backyard, because bats are nature’s mosquito vacuum cleaners,” Egner said.

When Egner begins her 11 a.m. presentation in the library’s Moeschle Room, she will talk about the plants that attract insects such as moths, beetles and mosquitoes on which bats feed, she said.

In past years, she has discussed bats during presentations in Atlanta, Mount Pleasant, Jefferson, Hughes Springs, Texarkana and elsewhere including at her Texas Heritage Gardens-Egner Farms in Linden.

“I address plants and animals when I do my presentations,” Egner said.

Open to all ages, the Chautauqua Festival is named for a 19th-century and early 20th-century movement in which a traveling cultural tent show toured the country bringing culture to communities with speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers, preachers and specialists of the day. Chautauqua is an Iroquois word for meaning “a bag tied in the middle” or “two moccasins tied together,” which describes the shape of a lake in New York from which the movement originated, according to

The Longview-based Downhome Cloggers open the festival at 10:30 a.m. on the library plaza’s Stage 1. Other acts include Theatre Longview Improv, ArtsView Children’s Theatre, Lake Country Harmony Chorus, Kornpop balloon artist, Broughton Line Dancers, local author Sharon Brown Keith, Painting with a Twist, jazz duo Maryah McHam and Martyn Popey, the Fellowship of Christian Swordsmen, flower pot decorating for kids and Longview Martial Arts.

Vendors interested in a booth to promote books, photography, art or other creations should call (903) 237-1351 or email

Jimmy Daniell Isaac covers the city of Longiew and Gregg County. Follow him on Twitter: @jimmyisaaclives.