Tammy Gazzola, Weatherford Chamber of Commerce President, said things couldn’t have been more “peachy” in downtown Weatherford as thousands gathered for what could almost be described as a pilgrimage to Parker County to celebrate the 30th Annual Peach Festival.
The event, which took place on Saturday drew record numbers, perhaps on news that the peach crop many have been one of the best in recent memory.
More than 200 arts and craft, food and activity vendors were on hand for the day’s festivities, which marked the special anniversary. According to organizers, more than 35,000 people flocked to Weatherford for the one-day event last year and by all accounts easily surpassed that number early in the day this year.
“This is such a wonderful event,” Gazzola said. “Each year, it just seems to get better and better and we couldn’t do it without our sponsors and volunteers who we are so thankful for.”
Festival goers got plenty of their favorites with the event kicking off at 8 a.m. Visitors got their fill of homemade peach ice cream, peach cobbler, peach pie, peach juleps, peach tea, peach smoothies, ice cream topped with fresh peaches and more.
The 26th Annual Peach Pedal Bike Ride was another hit, according to organizer Brent Baker.
“This was the smoothest Peach Pedal in years,” Baker said. “We had 2,227 riders - such a great turnout.”
He said folks keep coming out for the ride and that they're proud that the Peach Pedal is one of the largest rides in North Texas.
“The funds support scholarships and other projects for the Weatherford College Foundation and the promotion of Weatherford through the Weatherford Chamber of Commerce,” Baker added. “We have unbelievable volunteers. To spend the day in this heat carrying ice chests, helping stranded riders, serving Gatorade, etc. is a real sacrifice. I can't thank them enough.”
The festival provided family-friendly entertainment all day long.
Kids loved the Kiddie Corner with bounce houses, games and activities. They also enjoyed a kids area that featured a popular mini-train ride, which was big enough for both kids and parents to take a spin around the Festival, sponsored by StoneWater Church. Three entertainment stages had a variety of performers to keep patrons entertained as they passed by or as they rested a while in the shade under the tents. Roger Williams Auto Mall presented the musical talent on Stage One, and the Rockin’ Red Dirt sounds of Stage Two was sponsored by Plains Capital Bank.
The Weatherford Art Association announced its winners of the annual Art Competition and the Artist of the Year at the closing of the festival on Saturday. Local and out of town artists entered more than 150 entries for this year’s prizes.
•Student’s grades 10-12:
•In the adult category
- Work on Paper (watercolors)
•Works on Canvas
(oils and acrylics)
•Best of Show
was awarded to Rhonda Barefield.
• TheAdult People’s Choice Award
winner was Kathy Cunning with a watercolor called “Old Blue” andPeople’s Choice Award for the Students
was Elvira Bazan.
• WAA member John Allen was awarded theBetty Murray Award
for his selfless contributions to the Weatherford Art Association in 2014.
• The WAAArtist of the Year
is Carroll Richardson.