If the beginning of October has you stockpiling all things pumpkin and pumpkin-flavored, you need to take a trip to Floydada, Texas. Located about an hour outside of Lubbock, Floydada is known as the Pumpkin Capital of Texas and produces 1800 acres of pumpkins annually.
The town loves pumpkins so much, its residents even 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.
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 become 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 and 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, drink some cider and head to the Pumpkin Capital of Texas. 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.