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Weather unkind to Pecan Harvest Festival

November 26, 2018

Rain brought cool temperatures Sunday afternoon to the third annual Pecan Harvest Festival of Richmond and helped to keep people away.

The event include live music at the park gazebo, vendor booths along Preston Street and a car show lined up on Morton Street.

It was the first Pecan Harvest Festival for vendor Carole Gibbs of Richmond who sold handcrafted wooden Christmas decorations that proved popular with a number of festival visitors who left the festival with her artwork.

Though some vendors had packed up by mid-afternoon after the rain came, Gibbs stayed and said she was surprised.

“We’ve done good. I can’t complain. People were crowding into the booth and buying things,” said Gibbs, who manned the booth with her 14-year-old granddaughter Allison Isbell.

This was the second year for the Three Sisters Farm of Needville to participate in the festival, said Peg Turrentine. She and Jennifer Plihal grow produce that they bring to farmers markets like that at the pecan festival.

The festival included the Fort Bend County Pecan Show. Boone Holladay, county extension agent, said the show had 56 entries, which was more than last year.

“We did good,” he said.

Jeff Wisdom, chairman of the 2018 car and bike show, said they were expecting 120 cars.

“Rain caused the majority of them to back out,” he said.

The show had 26 entries with first- and second-place awards presented in 12 categories as well as best of show, People’s Choice Award and Pecan Committee Choice Award.

The show included a 50-50 raffle, said Wisdom, in which half the proceeds go the winner and the other half to a charity.

“The winner donated his winnings to the City of Richmond Police Department Santa Behind the Badge program,” said Wisdom. “It’s like Toys for Tots but it’s focused solely on the city of Richmond,” he said. The total donation was $53.

David Burnett was named grand champion of the 2018 Bake-Off Contest with his pecan layer cake with brown sugar frosting, said Michelle Moore, Richmond communication specialist. Other bake-off winners include:

Candy: 1st — Sugared Pecans by Helen Medve; 2nd — Pecan Spiced Toffee by David Burnett; and 3rd — New Orleans Pralines by Avery Nycum

Cookies: 1st — Turtle Cookies by Tina Kovar; 2nd — Pecan Fruit Bars by Donna Johnson; and 3rd — Chewy Cinnamon Roll Pecan Blondies by Kenzi Patton

Cakes: 1st — My momma’s Carrot Cake by Elizabeth Morino; 2nd — Butter Pecan Cake by Cathy Pitts; and 3rd — Brownie Carmel Pecan Cake by Karen Helbert

Pies: 1st — Fudge Pecan Pie by Helen Medve; 2nd — Pecan Pie by Karen Helbert; and 3rd — Carmel Pecan Apple Pie by Tina Kovar

Organizers said the festival was busier when it first opened compared with last year and they had anticipated a crowd of more than 5,000. But then the rain came. Organizers estimate about 600 attended.

City officials said, “We are pleased to sponsor and support a community event like Pecan Harvest Festival which brings together so many members of the community, from pecan growers to amateur bakers. And we are excited to see such a diverse offering of things to do at the Pecan Harvest Festival which answers to all age groups, from young to old. We look forward to the expansion of some components of PHF as well as what may be added for the 2019 Pecan Harvest Festival.”

The festival is presented by the West Fort Bend Management District, the city of Richmond and business sponsors.

karen.zurawski@chron.com

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