It’s peach season and although the annual festival is not taking place this year, Weatherford will still be serving up all things peach July 11-18.
Parker County Peach Week, organized by the Weatherford Chamber of Commerce, will feature special treats and activities done by local businesses.
“While we are disappointed in not having the big, one-day festival this year, we are excited seeing Peach Week come together,” Weatherford Chamber of Commerce President Tammy Gazzola said. “There are some creative ideas coming out of the planning and we look forward to implementing many of these in the years to come leading up to the Parker County Peach Festival.”
Back Home Bakery will be hosting a peach cooking competition and peach cookie decorating, along with many other peachy treats; Jerry’s Chevrolet will be hosting The Peach Pit Toss, a cornhole tournament; Film Alley will host a PEACH Bowl all week; Painting with a Twist will be doing a peachy painting class; The Malt Shop will have peach ice cream all week; Northside Remedy and Antebellum Ale House will be serving up specialty peach drinks; Balentine’s Bakery will have peach donuts and other treats all week; Peacock’s Feed and Boutique will have pony and train rides on July 18; the Lions Club will hold a Peach Horseshoe Tournament on July 11 at Love Street Park; Recaptured Charms will host a peach Christmas ornament class; Sweet Emilia’s will have peach gelato, peach soda and peach cotton candy; the Texas AgriLife Extension Office will host peach preserve and peach salsa classes; and Shep’s Scoreboard will be serving up a special Parker County Peach Burger.
Virtual and online events will include the annual Peach Pedal, peach recipes shared by local celebrity chefs on the Peach Festival Facebook page and a scavenger hunt, which will feature a big peach prize.
Gazzola said they are also hoping to show James and the Giant Peach in the park, but have not confirmed at this time.
The Weatherford Farmer’s Market will have peach cobbler and peach ice cream available July 11, July 15 and July 18, and will be collecting peach recipes to produce a peach cookbook.
Hutton Peach Farm will also be stationed at the farmer’s market and will be selling the locally-grown peaches at the farm itself.
The state and Hutton Peach Farm owner Gary Hutton are reporting good peach crop quality this year as well as high demand despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The market’s good. It’s been actually a little busier this year than it was last year at this time. People come in with their mask and I don’t know if it’s that they buy more when they’re here and come in less, but it’s been good traffic flow out here at the farm,” Hutton said. “I’ve noticed a few days during the week are a little bit lighter, but overall we’re just as busy.”
Hutton said they could use more rain, as always around this time of year.
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Fruit Specialist Jim Kamas also reports good quality this year.
“Peaches are relatively easy to grow under normal conditions but selling them is the hard part,” Kamas said. “Everything seems to be working well. Some producers have had to be creative, but the demand for fresh fruit is there.”
Hutton said although he won’t know until after Peach Week, he doesn’t think the cancellation of the Parker County Peach Festival will affect them much.
“We’ll just spread out what we’re doing in a different way. We’ll sell them here at the stand and then over at the farmer’s market,” Hutton said. “We won’t go anywhere special or set up a special stand though, the manpower is just not there. I’ve heard reports of a lot of people going to the lakes and so we will get a lot of lake traffic going to [Possum Kingdom Lake], so I anticipate being busy as always.”
Hutton Peach Farm is open daily at 210 Greenwood Cutoff Road.
Even though the annual peach festival — which had 60,000 attendees last year — isn’t taking place, Gazzola said she feels Peach Week will be a success.
“The Parker County Peach Festival is about more than just peaches, it’s about community, sharing the charm of Weatherford and supporting our local businesses. So, hosting Peach Week was an easy decision,” Gazzola said. “By hosting Peach Week we are giving locals and visitors the opportunity to enjoy some yummy Parker County peaches and support businesses in Parker County. It’s a win-win. The challenges we are facing this year will make the festival even better in the years to come.”
Those interested in adding an event to Parker County Peach Week can contact the Weatherford Chamber of Commerce at 817-596-3801 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information and updates about Parker County Peach Week, visit the Facebook event page or the Parker County Peach Festival Facebook page.