The date was July 29, 1938, when plans for a first festival to celebrate the farming and harvesting of the peanut crop were discussed; the celebration was to be designated as the "Floresville Peanut Pow Wow." To promote the farm commodity and to boast world success of Wilson County's diversified farming program. The hanging of peanut plants across the front of businesses heralded the arrival of the harvesting season.
By August 5, 1938 the name changed to the "Floresville Peanut Festival," the occasion was considered the first of its kind in Texas. Governor-elect W. Lee O'Daniel was invited to open the festivities and head the fare with his famous Hill Billy Band.
The August meeting asked for cooperation of every citizen of the county for the festival and Miss Elizabeth Sheehy, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joe T. Sheehy, was selected as the Queen Tunaep I ("peanut" spelled backwards). Mr. Joe T. Sheehy, known as "the Peanut King of Southwest Texas", was Wilson County's pioneer in the peanut industry. He experimented with peanut farming and introduced the Spanish peanut, a viable crop to the farmers of Wilson County. Mr. Sheehy began his peanut business in Sutherland Springs, Texas and later moved it to Floresville in 1916. John Connally, later Governor of Texas, was chosen as the King Reboog I ("goober" spelled backwards.)
Always held on the second full weekend in October, the Peanut Festival is a grand celebration to recognize the importance of the peanut to the Southwest Texas agriculture.
Annual Peanut Festival Activities :
Goober Games kicks off the celebration week on Tuesday afternoon with games and activities for all children. The Goober Games are held on the grounds of the courthouse.
The Coronation of Queen Tunaep, King Reboog and the royal court are crowned during an elaborate ceremony. The gorgeous gowns of the court, with their long, flowing trains, are designed by local talent and constructed by friends, family, and/or professional seamstresses with a different theme each year. The carnival kicks off as the beginning of the weekend festivities on Thursday.
Friday afternoon begins with a Kiddie Parade for children and their friends to show off their floats and costumes. The winners of the Kiddie Parade are invited to participate in the Big Parade on Saturday. Friday night features a Street Dance featuring local talent. Food concessions with the finest favorite festival foods, ranging from pizza to gorditas and the carnival are part of the Friday activities.
Saturday is the grand party, beginning with the Floresville Peanut Festival Parade at 10:00 a.m. The day's activities also include the annual raffle, arts and crafts vendors, various musical, dance groups, local talent and various entertainment located on several stages around the “peanut square” and carnival -- fun activities for the whole family to enjoy. Tours of the Wilson County Historical Jailhouse Museum are available. Peanut products such as peanut brittle, homemade peanut butter, peanut cookies, roasted peanuts (shelled and salted), pies and ice cream are all available to satisfy your peanut palate. The evening continues with a Street Dance provided by local talent. Food concessions remain open to quench your hunger and thirst.
You will not forget the Floresville Peanut Festival and once you visit you will want to come back every year. Make plans now to attend during the second full weekend in October. Don't miss it!