Plenty to get excited about. 52nd Groves Pecan Festival nears kicks off.

Published 12:34 am Wednesday, October 20, 2021

GROVES — If the strong turnout for this year’s Pecan Festival Pageant is any indication, the festival itself will be a success.

And that’s what officials are hoping for.

The Groves Pecan Festival is set for Nov. 4 through Nov. 7 at Lion’s Park. The event was canceled last year due to COVID.

“I just feel like we’re finally getting to get out,” said Beverly Hereford, president of the Groves Chamber of Commerce.

“For the festival, we have the carnival and more vendors, food and craft vendors. It’s actually an overflow. This is showing a spectacular response.”

MORE COVERAGE: PHOTOS — How the Pecan Festival got its start.

Spectacular enough for pork chop on a stick, perhaps?

Hereford has heard from one vendor who said she would be bringing this style of festival food.

“We have some different vendors that we have not had before but will have our homemade pecan pie again,” she said. “It’s all falling into place. It’s almost too good coming together.”

Some changes

There are a few changes this year including the fact there will be no Mega Passes sold.

Ronnie Boneau, executive director of the Groves Chamber, explained after the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in the state of Texas, officials with the group sprang into action to find a carnival for this year’s festival.

“After making a few contacts, we were lucky enough to find Wagner’s Carnival, LLC,” he said. “This carnival had spent many years here in Groves making the Texas Pecan Festival a very special event. The Groves Pecan Festival Board has met on several occasions and the following changes have been decided for 2021.”

After negotiating with the carnival, it was decided no Mega Passes would be sold as it would not be in the best interest of the public.

Tickets will be sold for $1 at the festival with rides requiring two to five tickets.

Wristband info

Daily carnival ride wristbands can be purchased for the carnival rides for each day of the festival, and are good for only one day, the day they are purchased for.

Carnival wristbands will be sold as followed:

  • Nov. 4, 5 to 10 p.m., Wristbands $25
  • Nov. 5, 5 to 11 p.m., Wristbands $30
  • Nov. 6, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wristbands $30
  • Nov. 7, noon to 6 p.m., wristbands $25

For further information contact the Groves Chamber of Commerce office at 409-962-3631.

Treasure hunt

The annual treasure hunt will commence Nov. 1 with clues appearing on the Groves Pecan Festival Facebook page at 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

If needed, bonus clues for the golden pecans will be released the following day at 7 p.m.

Hunters can find daily Golden Pecans worth $50 (Monday-Thursday) and there will be a

grand prize of $400. This year’s sponsor will once again be Levingston Funeral Home.

The treasure is hidden in the city limits of Groves and destruction of property is not needed

to find it. Please note: The treasure IS NOT located in the Horseshoe Pit or in Celebration Park located at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Coolidge. All treasures are on property accessible to the public.

Boneau said while the schedule of events isn’t quite ready to publish, it should soon be.

Plus they’re bringing back some crowd favorites such as the Pet Show, concerts by local middle school choirs and performances by local dance studios.

Plus there’s still the washer board tournament, Cooking with Pecans event and the Mayor’s horseshoe tournament.

A word from the mayor

Groves Mayor Chris Borne said it’s amazing to have the community come together and share a common ground for a good time.

“It’s really a spectacular small town event,” Borne said. “It really shows the community can some together.”

Borne grew up going to the festival with his parents, transitioned into working the booths with church groups and then was able to bring his children to it

It shows the community can come together and have a good time, he said.

“It’s heartbreaking that we couldn’t have it last year, but at the same time it was something that needed to be done to try and protect everyone,” he said. “We’re just really glad it is back on schedule this year. We hope everything turns out great and we have a wonderful year.”

Borne has a lot to look forward to. The food is wonderful, he takes part in the horseshoe tournament every year.

“I’m looking forward to walking around, shaking hands, talking to people you may not have seen for awhile,” he said. “That is really the part I missed the most last year. This year, one of the things I will make a point of doing is going out there as much as I can to be with everybody and see everybody.”

Fans of the event

Ashley Bodiken, owner of Groves Nutrition, has been an actively attending the festival for a decade. It’s something she and her family look forward to every year.

“It’s very important and a great thing for our families,” she said. “There’s not much to do here and not having it last year was hard.”

Her kids — ages 6, 14, and 16  — were “devastated” by last year’s cancellation due to COVID. But this year everyone is ready to head out and enjoy the annual event.

“We love the whole thing,” she said. “The food is great, the kids love the rides.”

And as for her favorite food?

“Anything barbecue.”