If you've got tickets to attend the Lufkin Bistro for your first time, I've got a few tips to make sure you have a good time.

I went last year, and it was a fun night out with my wife, but I wish I had been told a few things beforehand.

  • 1

    Get Ready To Save

    Pretty much all the downtown shops will stay open later than usual with some great mark downs on their best stuff.

  • 2

    Pop In

    Even if you aren't intending to do any shopping, it's still a good idea to pop into some of the shops because they may be serving snacks and drinks you won't be able to find outside.

    I think someone was serving margaritas last year, so ... yeah.

  • 3

    Patience & Planning

    The vendors will be giving out sample portions of their food and drinks.

    It's a fine amount if you don't want to overdo it, and if you feel like standing in each line for a taste of the great local food and drinks.

    Towards the later quarter of the evening, the vendors may be more inclined to give out larger portions after the fear of running out is no longer an issue.

  • 4

    Split Up

    If you go with friends, it might be worth it to try splitting up and having each person wait in a different line for food samples.

    They may not be able to get multiple portions, but once you all make your way back to the table, you can go "family style" and share a taste with everyone.

    Find out what you like, and which vendor gave it out, and you can stock up on what you truly like.

  • 5

    Where's The Party?

    Even if you have a full table, it will be good to find out which of your other friends will be attending the bistro.

    You don't want to find out one of your best friends was there the day after, and you both totally missed one another.

  • 6

    Make An Impression

    It's a pretty snazzy event, so most folks will be dressed nice.

    It's a great opportunity for the entrepreneurial types to rub elbows with the who's who of East Texas, and maybe unload a few business cards.

  • 7

    Cold & Hot?

    Just because the Lufkin Bistro is later in the evening doesn't necessarily mean it will be cold. We are still in Texas after all.

    Dress accordingly to be able to take off a jacket or something if it is a little warmer due to humidity or the body heat of the other attendees.

  • 8

    Relax & Laugh

    Remember to enjoy the night. Get all the pictures you want out of the way so you can experience the electricity of the night.

    Have a conversation with someone you didn't know before, and make new friends.