Floresville Peanut Festival History
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" and 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 and 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.
Beginning October 9th, 2011, the Floresville Peanut Festival is expanding to Sunday. The Sunday events will be held at
the new Floresville Event Center located on State Hwy 97 W. The inaugural expansion will be loaded with fun activities.
We will host a Ranch Rodeo, an International Chili Society (ICS) sanctioned chili cook off (the winner qualifies for the
Worlds Championship and a shot at $25,000.00), a menudo cook off, live music on two stages, commercial vendor booths,
assorted entertainment, and much, much more. We hope to make it an annual part of the Peanut Festival.
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!