There are many telltale signs that fall is just around the corner. The nights are starting to cool off; the days are getting slightly shorter; and of course, the perennial festival season is here. From the Pottsboro Frontier Days to the Sherman Arts Fest, there are a myriad out there.

After spending nearly six years in this business, I’ve covered more than my fair share of festivals to the point that they seem to blur together. On Saturday alone, I covered two festivals with each bringing its own flavor and feel.

On the other hand, covering them year-after-year helps me figure out who I need to speak to and exactly where they will be. The key to writing the stories though is what separates them from the other festivals we have in the area.

The ones that I have always enjoyed the most are the ones that can do just that. Whitesboro’s Peanut Festival immediately comes to mind as one that has its own distinctive brand and feel. Not only does the peanut bring in some of the city’s history, but it also gives a theme and feel for the event.

The size and the scope of the event certainly doesn’t hurt, either.

The other festival that immediately comes to mind is one of my favorite festivals of the year — Denison’s Dia de los Muertos festival in November. The celebration takes a tone, feel and approach that is completely different than any of the other regional festivals. I can appreciate that.

It only helps that the festival draws from its own history — in this case Mexican and Latino culture — to add to the meaning and purpose of the event.

Happy birthday Sunday to Bridget Leatherwood, Virginia Horn, Mary Drain and Jaiden Evans, all of Sherman; Tommie Dotson of Whitewright; Sissy Higginbotham Williams of Mansfield; and Brian Barnes of Ivanhoe.

Happy anniversary Sunday to Dorothy and Bob Carlisle of Sherman.

Happy birthday Monday to Erika Curry of Allen; Anita Ferman of Howe: Mike Nurre of Dallas, Glenda Cain Saylor of Balch Springs; Regina Foster, Randall Chaney and Jo Carolyn Terry, all of Sherman; and Raquel Butler of Denison.

Happy anniversary Monday to Connie and Don Martindale of Sherman, 51 years.