Punkin Days History
Named for Dolphin Floyd Ward, a volunteer from Gonzales who died at the Alamo, Floyd County was created by the Texas Legislature on August 27, 1876. For a little over a hundred years, this area has relied on farming and ranching for it's sustenance and economic maintenance. For the most part Floydada farmers have relied on cotton for their primary source of income, however, many other crops have emerged, including corn, wheat, milo, onions, peppers, alfalfa and others. But the most widely publicized crop in the area has become the legendary pumpkin.
The history of the pumpkin dates back to 1841 when a Santa Fe expedition passed through and stumbled upon a group of Indians. The Indians were startled and ran away leaving behind pumpkins that were quickly eaten by members of the expedition. However, the real patriarch of pumpkins was long-time farmer, B.A. "Slim" Robertson. Robertson originally began with only ten acres of the orange crop and as demand increased, so did his acreage. He became affectionately known as "the pumpkin man" and sold his pumpkins on the roadside next to his home, and later he began shipping truckloads elsewhere. Robertson's claim to pumpkin fame was reinforced when a number of years ago, he received a letter from out of town addressed to "The Pumpkin Patch Southwest of Floydada, Texas". Today the legacy left by "Slim" Robertson has triggered a surge of community pride and enthusiasm as Floydada has eagerly risen to fame as "The Pumpkin Capital. USA".
How did Floydada earn the privilege of becoming the "Pumpkin Capital"? The facts and figures tell it all. Although only about fifteen hundred acres of the crop is grown annually in this county, pumpkins produce about 20,000 to 50,000 pounds per acres. That's approximately ten to fifteen million pounds of pumpkins, or in layman's terms about one million pumpkins! Pumpkins are among the crops which are harvested almost entirely by hand from the picking to the loading on and off trucks. This time consuming task is complicated by the number of the sizes and varieties of pumpkins being produced.
Floydada's varieties currently focus on the jack-o-lantern (12-25 lbs.), pie pumpkins (5-8 lbs.), Big Mac (100 lbs. and up) and the mini pumpkins (8 oz.) A few Atlantic Giants are produced weighing over 100 lbs., but they are difficult to ship. These varieties are loaded onto trucks and shipped to over seventeen states at the present. As the profitable production of pumpkins began to increase an idea began to take shape in the mind of a local producer and was passed on the the Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber enlisted a few very determined citizens and the first "Punkin Day" was born in 1987.
Within three years, "Punkin Day" was to receive kudos from several
local and state-wide television stations, area newspapers, national
magazines and recognition on nationally broadcast programs. The event
gathers several thousand tourists to watch and participate in a fun
filled weekend of activities. The "Punkin Day" committee's philosophy of
"fun for everyone" continues to lay the groundwork for creative contest
ideas which draw hundreds of young and old, intellectual and downright
Costume contests for all ages, pie baking, pumpkin carving and
coloring, pumpkin decoration, pumpkin pie relays, Cow Patty Bingo, seed
spitting contest, Trunk or Treating, pumpkin bowling, pumpkin rolling,
pumpkin guessing and pumpkin weighing are just a few of the activities
offered during the extravaganza held each year on the 2nd weekend in
October. Boasting several meeting buildings large enough to accommodate
from one to one thousand, two large parks, swimming pool, several
restaurants, motels and a wonderful museum, Floydada is the perfect spot
for family reunions and other gatherings. The RV park provides hookups,
a new meeting building and a play area next to the City swimming pool.