, Port Arthur, Texas


September 20, 2006

Fun for all at Pecan Festival

GROVES — The rides and games are set up, the food is on its way, and the carnival workers are looking forward to hearing the laughs and squeals of Pecan Festival attendees on the rides.

“We special ordered this weather and are ready for everyone to come out and celebrate this year’s festival with us,” said Groves Chamber President, Patti Wolfe.

Wednesday evening, the committee members of the Pecan Festival served dinner to the carnival workers and their families just as they’ve done for the past 16 years.

Karen Theis, co-chair of the event and owner of the Courtyard Cafe in Groves, cooked the chili and red beans and rice served at the dinner.

The same group of workers have put on the carnival for the past 33 years. Patsy Ivy and her brother, Albert Wagner, who is in charge of the rides, are the minds behind the magic of the Texas Pecan Festival. Hailing from the Conroe area, the brother and sister carnival team travel with their games and rides bringing joy to different festivals in the area. Because she’s done so much for the festival and the people of Groves, in 2003 Patsy was named Parade Marshall of the festival.

Even though Patsy and Albert had most of the festival set up last year when Hurricane Rita came, she was excited to come back for the unexpected Rita Fest.

“Rita Fest was good to us last year, but this year will be even better,” she commented.

The annual Pecan Festival Treasure Hunt is still in full swing, but the pecans are not being found. Tuesday and Wednesday’s pecans are still in hiding somewhere in the Groves city limits as no hunters have called in to the Chamber to claim their $50 prizes. So be on the look out for those golden pecans and the $600 grand prize.

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