Texans take their home-grown foods seriously. Let’s face it, we are proud of our ability to grow and consume locally grown foods. Festivals across Texas are hosted each year to honor these fruits and nuts (and yes, mushrooms). Mark your calendars, it is time to visit small towns across Texas.
1. Watermelon Thump
The Watermelon Thump in Luling is a four-day festival of fun. Thousands enjoy this Texas tradition honoring the watermelon. If you haven’t participated in a watermelon seed spitting contest, this one is for you.
The Watermelon Thump hosts a carnival with kiddie rides, main stage entertainment, plenty of food booths and children’s entertainment. This year the festival will be held June 25-28, 2015.
2. Parker County Peach Festival
Get ready to have a peachy good time! Take a trip back in time at the Parker County Peach Festival, held in Historic Downtown Weatherford near Dallas / Fort Worth. You can find homemade peach ice cream and other peach desserts, a carnival and an entire town square full of activities for kids of all ages. 2015 marks the 31st annual Peach Festival which always takes place on the second Saturday in July.
3. The Lone Star Gourd Festival
The Lone Star Gourd Festival is the biggest gourd festival in the State. Held in New Braunfels each year, the festival observes gourds of all types. Gourds are one of the most functional fruits. Historically, they’ve been used as vessels for food and water. Each year, artists will carve and paint gourds into high-dollar art. You can find gourds made into beautiful statues or hand-made baskets. This year the festival will be held July 31-Aug. 2.
4. De Leon Peach and Melon Festival
The De Leon Peach and Melon Festival features a Peach Dessert Contest. Need another reason to hit the roads to the De Leon Fairgrounds? If that doesn’t interest you, enter the “5K/10K Watermelon Crawl” or take your kids to the Kiddie Tractor Pull. At night, you can enjoy the bright lights of the carnival rides and go back in time to when you were just a kid. This year the festival is set for Aug. 4-8.
The annual GrapeFest is the perfect time to sample the Fruit of the Vine. In addition to live music, the festival features Texas wines, as well as some other domestic and worldwide favorites. Texas is the fifth-largest wine producing state in the nation, and Grapevine (near Dallas / Fort Worth) has earned its reputation as the headquarters of the Texas wine industry. This four-day festival will celebrate grapes and products made from grapes. This year GrapeFest will be held September 12, 2015.
6. Texas Mushroom Festival
Madisonville is home to the Texas Mushroom Festival. The festival features cooking demos, a grape stomp, a Biergarten and a small town Gala. If you are interested in participating in this year’s events, enter your arts and crafts as a vendor or enter the poster, art or photo contest. The only requirement is to have fun! This year the festival will be held Oct. 24.
SEE ALSO: 15 Tiny Texas Towns You Need to See
7. Floresville Peanut Festival
The annual Floresville Peanut Festival showcases a grand parade, kiddie parade, washer tournament, arts and crafts, a carnival and a street dance (or two). If you haven’t tried freshly made peanut brittle, you might want to head out to Floresville in October. You can also buy raw peanuts for your own baking. Be sure to check out the festival royalty. This year the festival will be held Oct. 8-10.
8. Poteet Strawberry Festival
The Poteet Strawberry Festival is held in April of each year. The festival highlights strawberry products and includes a BBQ cook-off and entertainment. Come out to enjoy the small town parade with a big town feel. You may have missed this year’s event, but be sure to add it to your 2016 calendar. You won’t want to miss this small town fun. Poteet is located just south of San Antonio.
9. Stockdale Watermelon Jubilee
The Stockdale Watermelon Jubilee is held in June each year. Day events include vendors and a parade. You can enjoy a rodeo on Friday and Saturday night where local cowboys take to the arena to show off their skills. This year’s entertainment includes Gary Allen and Wade Bowen. It may be almost a full year away, but it’s time to mark your calendar for the third weekend in June 2016. Stockdale is located just to the southeast of San Antonio.