This October, the City of Brownfield will host an event that will draw thousands. It is the 55th Annual Fall Harvest Festival. A weekend of thanksgiving, celebration and recreation that began way back in 1947. For two years prior to 1947, Terry County had been hit hard by drought and crop failure. Then, in 1947, things finally improved so town businessmen closed up their shops to honor the farmers and ranchers who stuck by their crops and livestock during hard times. Since then, it has become an annual tradition.
Glena Winston, who is now Glena Curtis, has fond memories of the first ever Fall Harvest Festival, and for good reason. "That year was the best because, of course, I was crowned queen," says Curtis.
Fifty-Five years ago, Glena represented all of Terry County by taking the title as the first ever Harvest Festival Queen. Back then, the queen's award was a five day trip to Hollywood, California. "I got to fly on a TWA airplane. My first flight and my mother advised me how not to get sick and I made it just fine, but she kept a barf bag the whole way," says Glena.
Today, all these years later, the Harvest Festival still includes a pageant. Although there are no trips to Hollywood, the queen's prize today is just as good. This year's queen, April Flores, won a college scholarship. Flores plans to use that money next year while attending Lubbock Christian University. "I've created bonds with people in the community. I've studied the culture of Terry County and it's been a really awesome journey," says Flores.
The festival goes way beyond a pageant. The Saturday during the Harvest Festival begins with a colorful parade with unbelievable floats and it is followed by an all day gala with food, fun, and prizes for all event goers. "The grand prize varies. This year's grand prize is a $2,000 shopping spree in Terry County. It's just a hometown, warm atmosphere, great place to take your kids for a family outing," says Brownfield Chamber of Commerce President Tresa West.
It is a festival that life long Terry County resident Glena Curtis says is one of the best events of the year on the South Plains. "It has continued to escalate and be of great interest for a great many people," says Curtis.
This year's festival begins Thursday, October 3rd and goes through Saturday, October 5th. The seven harvest festival queen candidates this year are: