Ennis has bluebonnets, Parker County has peaches and Mansfield has…pickles? Yes! The proud home to Best Maid Pickles and the Pickle Queens, Mansfield is officially the Pickle Capital of Texas. This great honor is celebrated each spring with the now world-famous St. Paddy’s Day Pickle Parade & Palooza, a huge one-day celebration of all things green.
“We’ve hit on something unique, low-cost and fun,” said Bob Kowalski of the Pickled Mansfield Society. “How can you not smile when you see the Pickle Queens? The Pickle Parade also brings community pride because it draws on Mansfield’s pickle history and a downtown that we can be proud of.”
An estimated 25,000 people will gather in historic downtown Mansfield on Saturday, March 18, for the 6th annual event, which starts with early morning races and continues until Grammy-winning country music artists Asleep at the Wheel bring down the house with their free concert sponsored by the City of Mansfield.
“We’re especially excited about our entertainment lineup,” said Kowalski. “Any time that a legendary group like Asleep at the Wheel performs on Main Street — with no admission charge — is something to celebrate. And the other acts are outstanding too. Coffey Anderson is fun to watch and a real crowd-pleaser. Run 4 Cover is always popular. Our Kids Korner Community Stage will have a lot of variety, from Irish dancers to singing groups, and the ShenaniGuns Wild West Comedy Show is a rare treat at a festival like ours.”
In between, guests will find everything from pickle eating contests to a family-friendly festival and of course, the Pickle Parade itself, which will feature more than 90 floats including the famed Pickle Queens.
This year’s theme, “Need More Kowbell,” brings a western-theme to the event in celebration of Mansfield’s historic Kowbell Rodeo and cowboy past.
“We’re ecstatic with how the community has rallied around our Kowbell Rodeo theme,” said Kowalski. “A lot of happy memories are being shared. People really respect that heritage.”
Parking and attendance at the parade, festival and live concerts are all completely free, but visitors are advised to plan ahead and come early in anticipation of ever-growing crowds. Check the group’s website for more details.
Schedule of Events:
Down some muscle-friendly pickle juice and start your day with one of these timed races or fun runs that include a costume contest and dill pickle for all finishers.
10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Vendor Market & Food Court
Visitors to the Pickle Market will be treated to more than 70 arts & crafts, cottage food and other retail vendors. Enjoy a unique array of goods from canned pickles to pickle-themed shirts and everything in between.
10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Baylor Emergency Medical Pickle Playground
The Pickle Playground offers free children’s activities, including crafts, face painting, a petting zoo and bounce houses. The Pickle Playground is free for our guests with a variety of games and activities for the kids. Playground is closed during the parade.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Community Stage
Located near the playground, the Kids Korner stage showcases local musical talents, dance groups, and other performers.
10:30 a.m. Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders autographs
These crazy cowboys are known for the wild west show happening daily at Six Flags Over Texas and they’re bringing the fun right to the middle of Main Street for a show you don’t want to miss.
11 a.m. Beer tent opens on Main Street
11 a.m. Run 4 Cover Band on Best Maid Stage
12 p.m. Pet Parade
Be sure to grab your parade spot early enough to watch Mansfield pets march down Main Street in their best St. Patrick’s Day/Pickle themed costumes. Sponsored by Sellmark
The popular parade down Main Street at 1 p.m. and boasts more than 90 floats, topped by the nationally recognized Mansfield Pickle Queens, with their bright red wigs and shining tiaras, and the giant walking Pickle Dude mascot, who can be seen sporting a cowboy hat and boots this year to fit the Kowbell theme.
2:30 p.m. Nashville Star Coffey Anderson on Best Maid Stage
4 p.m. Kendra’s Kreations Pickle Eating and Mindy Lu’s Pie Eating Contests
Do you LOVE pickles? Do you drink all the pickle juice before you eat the pickles? Enter the Kendra’s Kreations Pickle Eating and Pickle Juice Drinking Contests. Had your fill of green? Try your hand (or stomach!) at the Mindy Lu’s Fried Pie eating contest and see how many sweet creations you can down. Sign up at the Pickle Queen booth at the corner of Oak and Main streets the morning of the parade. Entry is free and limited to the first 12 people over the age of 18 to sign up. One contest per person, pickle prizes for winners.
6 p.m. Asleep at the Wheel Concert
Joining the festivities will be 9-time Grammy Award-winning Western swing legend Asleep at the Wheel. The Texas-based eight-piece band will get downtown rocking with twin fiddles and a boogie piano in a free concert sponsored by the City of Mansfield.
6 p.m. Kids playground closes
8 p.m. Food Court & Market close
The Pickled Mansfield Society is a 501(c)4 all-volunteer nonprofit organization created to produce and promote The World’s Only St. Paddy’s Pickle Parade & Palooza. The Mansfield Pickle Queens, a chapter of the National Sweet Potato Queens organization, help organize the event and spend the rest of each year promoting and showcasing the Pickle Capital of Texas throughout the state. Beneficiaries from funds raised in the Pickle event include Feed the Kids for Summer, the Mansfield Animal Shelter and Trinity Habitat for Humanity.