People from all across Texas will gather in its Deep East corner for the First Annual Texas Purple Hull Pea Festival in the historic freedman’s community of Shankleville.
Festival activities kick off at 9:00 a.m. with a number of pea-related contests – pea-picking, pea-shelling, pea-shooting, and pea-football. A contest for inventive pea-cooking will be held later in the day at 12:30 p.m.
The Festival symposium begins at 1:00. Cathy Pearson, Newton County Extension Agent will offer insights on the nutritional value of purple hull peas, as well as tips on planting and preserving them.
The Austin-based, award-winning food and nutrition journalist, Toni Tipton-Martin (www.tonitiptonmartin.com, www.thejemimacode.com), will discuss her ongoing project and upcoming book, The Jemima Code.
Marvin Bendele, Executive Director of Foodways Texas (www.foodwaystexas.com), will present excerpts from that organization’s oral history project, focused on the farming and foodways of rural East Texans.
Austin restaurateur, Hoover Alexander (www.hooverscooking.com) will also be on hand, demonstrating his unique and traditional takes on cooking Purple Hull Peas. Live entertainment will be provided by two Houston groups – the 60s/70s style “Third Ear Caravan,” and Texas blues-band, “Richard Cagle and the Voodoo Choir.” (www.thirdearcaravan.com and www.richardcagle.net)
The Festival Marketplace will feature vendors and farmers from as close as Newton and as far away as Dallas and Washington State. More festival information may be found at www.shankleville.org/purple-hull-festival.html and on the festival Facebook page: Texas Purple Hull Pea Festival.
The Texas Purple Hull Pea Festival is organized by the Shankleville Historical Society, Inc., with the support of the Deep East Texas Council of Governments, Foodways Texas, Newton County, and the Office of State Representative James White.