By Amanda Rogers
Downtown Mansfield goes green on St. Patrick’s Day, but it’s not just the luck of the Irish or a fear of getting pinched that makes the historic area colorful.
On March 17-18, Mansfield celebrates its status as the Pickle Capital of Texas (unanimously voted by the State Legislature) with the World’s Only St. Paddy’s Pickle Parade & Palooza.
The two-day event brings thousands to the Main Street for beer keg races, a baby parade, pet parade, pickle-eating and pickle-juice drinking contests, Mindy Lu pie-eating contest, food and retail vendors, Pickle Playground, plus live music from Stevie Ray Vaughan tribute band Texas Flood, Mansfield’s own Southern rockers LanceBattalion, Penny & the Flamethrowers and Run 4 Cover.
Action kicks off Friday night with a cornhole tournament, beer keg races and live music, then hits the ground running Saturday morning with the Pickle 10k, 5k and fun run.
The highlight of the event is the Pickle Parade, reigned over by the Pickle Queens, Mansfield’s red-headed well-preserved audacious royalty.
“The Pickle Parade is a must-have experience for all ages,” said Mansfield’s newest Pickle Queen Karen Schrock. “It’s a magical weekend that begins the moment you cross over the bridge on Main Street; you can feel the welcoming atmosphere as if Mansfield itself were saying, ‘Hi! So glad you came!’”
The free event, produced by the all-volunteer non-profit Pickled Mansfield Society, began in 2012 with a group of friends that wanted to put on a quirky, family-friendly parade for their community.
“This event was birthed out of a love for the people of Mansfield which quickly grew, as love does, and each year it continues to embrace all who come to visit,” Schrock said. “Every activity is a beautiful gift to all who participate, and we have something for everyone! From the original gems to the newbie sparkles, the Pickle Queens are more than beauty and bling, we are heart and soul. Every volunteer is energy and devotion. How could you not feel welcomed?
“Come celebrate with us, check out all the fantastic activities, enjoy the live music, savor the amazing food, sign up for the run and the pickle contests, but most of all, come see what love gifted, you’ll be glad you did,” Schrock said. “Don’t forget to bring your friends and family, share the love!”
Free parking is available at Alice Ponder Elementary, Worley Middle School, R.L. Anderson Stadium, and a free shuttle will run from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. from Legacy High School.
For more information, go to pickleparade.org.
Mansfield, Texas, is a booming city, nestled between Fort Worth and Dallas, but with a personality all its own. The city’s 76,247 citizens enjoy an award-winning school district, vibrant economy, historic downtown, prize-winning park system and community focus spread across 37 square miles. The Mansfield Record is dedicated to reporting city and school news, community happenings, police and fire news, business, food and restaurants, parks and recreation, library, historical archives and special events. The city’s only online newspaper launched in September 2020 and will offer introductory advertising rates for the first three months at three different rates.