Editor's Note: This article previously ran in September of 2020. We're sharing it again as part of our monthlong celebration of Texas.
September has us wanting to stockpile all things pumpkin and pumpkin-flavored, which definitely means scheduling a trip to Floydada, Texas. Located about an hour outside of Lubbock and Texas Tech University, Floydada is known as the Pumpkin Capital of Texas and produces 1800 acres of pumpkins annually.
Floyd County loves pumpkins so much, its residents established an annual celebration of the festive fruit. On the second Saturday of October, Floydada kicks off its Punkin Days festival, which includes a BBQ and chili cook-off, a street dance, a pancake breakfast, a petting zoo, pumpkin decorating, a pumpkin seed-spitting contest, a pumpkin pie eating contest and even pumpkin bowling. The town has been celebrating Punkin Days for over 30 years and it has become the perfect way to celebrate fall before its time for Halloween.
The Pumpkin Capital of Texas
So how did Floydada become Pumpkin Capital USA? It all begins with farmer B.A. "Slim" Robertson, who started growing pumpkins on 10 acres of land and selling the crop on the side of the road near his home. Demand for Robertson's pumpkins quickly increased, leading the farmer, who becomes known as "The Pumpkin Man," to begin shipping his product across the country.
Today, Robertson's legacy lives on. Floydada is home to several long-running pumpkin patches, including the family-owned Assiter Punkin Ranch & Pumpkin Patch, which grows 45 acres of pumpkins and offers 71 varieties of pumpkins. There's also the famous Pumpkin Pyle, another family-owned business that provides the 75,000 pumpkins, gourds, and squash that decorate Autumn at the Arboretum each year.
So what are you waiting for? It's officially fall. Throw on your favorite sweater (ok, maybe your favorite autumnal T-shirt, since it's still 80 degrees in Floydada), drink some cider, and head to the Pumpkin Capital of Texas for one of the best pumpkin patches you'll ever see. And whether you plan to use them for pumpkin pies or a family of jack-o-lanterns, be sure to pick up some Floydada pumpkins while you're there.
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