Author: Karen Gerhardt Fort and the Mission Historical Museum, Inc.
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
Copyright: January 2015
The Texas Citrus Fiesta has remained an exciting celebration since its beginnings in 1932. At that time, Mission civic leaders decided to promote the citrus industry through a festival featuring decorated streets and store windows, a parade, coronation of a king and queen, a court with ladies-in-waiting, a queen’s ball, exhibits for citrus growers, and a variety of contests and activities. Social leaders, working through their clubs, added a style show of costumes covered with fruit, vegetable, and flower pieces. Children marched in their own unique parade. The Golden Grapefruit Golf Tournament was added in 1934. Today, directors of the Texas Citrus Fiesta continue these traditional events and others added since 1932. The creativity inspired by the festival, the recognition of regional participants, and the experienced planning needed to accommodate thousands of residents and visitors combine to make Mission’s annual Texas Citrus Fiesta a premier event in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
Images from the archives of the Mission Historical Museum, Inc., illustrate the first 50 years of the Texas Citrus Fiesta (1932–1982). Author Karen Gerhardt Fort, a native Texan, has written many books and articles on Texas history and four previously published titles for Arcadia.