A Texas Fall Festival fit for a Queen

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Calvert’s Fall Festival, a joint effort of the Discover Calvert Merchants Association and the Calvert Chamber of Commerce, was everything a fall festival should be and maybe a little bit more—how many similar fall fests get a visit from Britain’s most famous monarch—Queen Victoria?

Just after the cold front came in on Friday evening, announcing that Fall had come indeed, the barbeque pits were set up in preparation for a long morning of slow cooking. On Saturday, children and their parents woke up to crisp autumn breezes and a long day of family fun, starting with the parade at 9:30. The children’s games and art contest, supported by two local churches and a host of volunteers, produced lots of smiles as face art was applied to kids’ cheeks and kids, in turn, painted pumpkins for Halloween. A barrel train pulled kids around the Chamber lot and between rides; children played games and produced art.

When it came time to announce the barbeque winner, the Grand Champion and winner of most of the individual contests was Mary Praytor, the only lady contestant. Throughout the afternoon, the Full House Blues Band entertained an appreciative audience that took time from shopping the Trade Days to relax and enjoy a wide variety music—Rock oldies, County, classics.

The Harvest Ball topped off Saturday with great food, music, costumes and dancing. The food, provided by Carol Allen of The Wooden Spoon, included pecan roasted chicken with a plethora of favorite southern sides like creamed potatoes, squash, spinach salad, pumpkin pie and apple cobbler. Dancers in 1800s costume swirled around to foot-stomping fiddlin’. It was something between a ninetieth century barn dance and a southern ball where Scarlett O’Hara takes the floor. Eighty to eighty-five guests attended the Harvest Ball for a rare and delightful experience.

After a hayride tour of Historic Calvert Sunday morning, one of the weekend’s signature events, the Victoria Tea, was held on the front lawn of Sandy Hudson’s fabulous Texas Street house. Tea and dainties were served to about 60 ladies and gentlemen, but the highlight was Queen Victoria’s contribution—judging the hat contest and giving a little speech about why the Queen of England would come to Texas on her North American tour. She told the audience that, though she was cautioned about going to Texas, she remembered that one of the first new countries she recognized as a young queen was the Republic of Texas, presented to the court of St. James in 1837.

Blue skies, cool breezes and fun for just about everyone made Calvert’s Fall Festival a weekend to remember. Organizer Carla Barker said, “The event was a wonderful success, and we were happy to welcome so many visitors to Calvert.”

Melissa Freeman | Robertson County News

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