As the Peach Capital of Texas, Weatherford draws around 50,000 people annually to the Parker County Peach Festival, the city’s biggest event. People come from across Texas to savor treats like homemade peach ice cream, peach juleps, and peach salsa, and take part in festivities like the Peach Pedal Bike Ride and the Peach Pageant.
This year’s festival was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns, but that doesn’t mean the city will stop celebrating its summer bounty. Instead of a one-day affair, Weatherford is hosting an entire week of smaller celebrations from July 11 to 18. “It’s a bummer not to have the Peach Festival, but we’re trying to remain flexible,” says Erin Thiem, co-owner of Back Home Bakery, which participates annually in the festivities. “In 2020, if we’ve learned anything, it’s been to be creative with our business.” Businesses throughout town are throwing events and providing goodies all week in order to allow people to celebrate on their own time, rather than receiving 50,000-plus people in downtown on one day. “We’re kind of excited to spread that business out over one week,” Thiem says. “Hopefully we’ll see more people who might have stayed home to avoid the crowds of a one-day festival.”
The Malt Shop will have peach ice cream—made with fresh peaches from local grower Hutton Peach Farm—all week, Sweet Emilia’s will craft peach gelato and peach cotton candy, and Back Home Bakery will host a peach-themed baking contest. For a unique twist on a classic dish, head to Shep’s Scoreboard for a Parker County peach burger.
The Weatherford Farmers Market is selling local peaches from Hutton Peach Farm, peach cobbler, and peach ice cream, as well as hosting a peach recipe contest with winning entries to be compiled in a cookbook. Local chefs will also be sharing their peach recipes on the Peach Festival page.
New activities include the Peach Classic Horseshoe Tournament at Love Street Park, the Peach Pit Toss corn hole tournament at Jerry’s Chevrolet, and free cooking classes focused on creating peach preserves and peach salsa.
Visit the Peach Festival Facebook page for updates and to check out the numerous other festivities that are taking place throughout Peach Week. “We haven’t done a Peach Festival like this before,” says Tammy Gazzola, president of the Weatherford Chamber of Commerce. “But people have been very receptive. The whole town is going to be painted peach.”