This weekend we traveled to my hometown of Grapeland, Texas for the 63rd Annual Grapeland Peanut Festival. Every year on the 2nd weekend of October my little town of 150o people hosts around 20,000 people for a couple of fun filled days. The weekend kicks off on Friday with homecoming festivities, a street dance after the game and old friends getting together at parties, usually around a bonfire. On Saturday morning there is a parade and then everyone heads out to the city park for music, food, carnival rides and craft booths. The weekend concludes with the coronation of the new Peanut Queen. I've been a part of 33 of the 63 Peanut Festivals and look forward to it every year. My friends and I consider this weekend another holiday, in fact, Trumon calls it Christmas in Grapeland. It is so wonderful to see old friends and their families, and catch up on what is going on in their lives. This was Lauren's first "Fest" as we like to call it, Walker tried to fill her in on what would take place since this was his fourth year to experience things. For years, my family has played a big role in the "Fest". My grandfather served as Master of Ceremonies for as long as I can remember and now my little brother Jon-Michael has stepped in to announce the parade. Until the last couple of years we were always part of the entertainment, singing at the park and sometimes the coronation, and yes, I am a part of the elite group of ladies who can say they were once a Peanut Queen. I try to use this royalty status to get to the front of the corn dog/funnel cake line, but it never seems to work. Speaking of which, the weekend is also an eating festival, at least for me it is. I probably consume half of my yearly calories in this one weekend, and enough fat grams for 2 years - but I love fair food! Trumon and I schedule our activities at the park around which food vendors we plan on stopping by. Now that Walker is big enough, he of course, just wants to get on the carnival rides. He and Trumon rode everything Walker was tall enough to ride on. The boy is scared of nothing! There is no way I would get on some of the things he rode, and if I did I would be dizzy and nauseous for days afterwards. We brought Lauren out to the park just long enough to get some pictures, its just too busy and dusty for one so little, but she did go to the parade and met lots of new people. Walker was upset because he wanted to ride a horse in the parade, but Uncle Caleb worked on a float this year so there was no one to ride with. So, after the parade was over, Uncle Caleb borrowed a horse from one of his friends and Walker got to ride, we told him it was his own parade - he was a happy boy again.
The weekend was a success as always. I'm amazed at how Grapeland pulls off such a big event each year, everyone works so hard to make it all happen. We enjoyed visiting with my family, and it was the first time I had been with all of my siblings in probably two years, it was really nice. Thanks to Nana and Mike for all of the cooking, babysitting and the cleanup that it must have been after we all left - you had a full house, but it sure was fun!