Parker County Today July 2017 - Page 55

Now, going on 33-years-old, the Parker County Peach Festival has evolved into a community tradition, a huge event attracting tens of thousands of people from across the state and around the country. It’s now organized by the Weatherford Chamber of Commerce and is the Chamber’s chief annual fundraiser. The Peach Festival is now a beloved and time- honored tradition, always held in July, due to peak peach season times.  Little did the ladies know that their small event would turn into so much more. “Jo had to go round up all the peach growers the first year just to get peaches, [again] we hardly had any peaches the first year,” said Walter Worthington. “After that she kept in contact with them and they started bring- ing peaches, and it just kept getting bigger and bigger. They [ Jo Worthington and Helen Brogdon] just kept working at and kept working at it, and finally everyone on the square was involved — almost everybody.”  Big things followed. Parker County was officially named the Peach Capital of Texas by the State Legislature in 1991. In 1986, the Texas peach crop was 9.5 million pounds of peaches, selling for a total of over $3.5 million, and equaling 39 cents per pound. The 1986 crop placed Texas as number 18 in