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Welcome to Weatherford

Antiques dealer Bill Bass polishes his trusty 1940 La Salle taxi in front of Antiques on the Square (817/ 341-2233), where you

ONE OF THE SWEETEST THINGS ABOUT SUMMER in Texas is taking a bite from a luscious, ripe peach you picked fresh off a tree or plucked from a pile at a farmer's market, and letting the juice dribble down your chin. For many Texans, that peach will come from Parker County, which is renowned for its orchards, and lots of those bites will take place in Weatherford.

Sticky faces abound this month as the state's Peach Capital hosts the 23rd Annual Parker County Peach Festival on Saturday, July 8. About 35,000 people are expected to sample peachy treats of all kinds–ice cream, juleps, cobblers, and of course, unadorned peaches–and enjoy live music, arts and crafts booths, and lots of activities for kids.

Nearby orchards produce thousands of peaches each year for the festival. Hutton's Peach Farm, one of the top suppliers, sends about 1,000 half-bushel boxes to the event. "We also provide peaches to some of the churches that make ice cream and cobblers," says co-owner Jimmy Hutton. Despite a late spring freeze, this year's peach crop looks good, Jimmy reports.

Parker County's sun-kissed, blushing bounty may have put Weatherford on the map for summer pleasures, but the town is a peach of a place for more than fruit. Steeped in history and Western ambiance, Weatherford claims fame for something other than peaches–horses. The surrounding countryside is home to numerous big ranches and hundreds of topnotch trainers and champion cutting horses. Locals say the sandy loam here cushions a horse's feet, making it perfect for training and competing. You may see real cowboys and cowgirls, mud on their boots and spurs clinking, at any local café or feed store.

Despite rapid growth in recent years, Weatherford still feels like a rustic small town. You can stroll the square, shop at an old-fashioned farmer's market, and, if your timing is right, even get the county judge to show you around.


Weatherford, seat of Parker Co., is at the intersection of US 180 (Fort Worth Hwy.), Texas 171, and FM 51, about 30 miles west of Fort Worth. The area code is 817.

For information about lodging, dining, and attractions in the area, as well as a map of the historic downtown walking tour and a driving tour of historic homes and churches, visit the Weatherford Chamber of Commerce, which is housed in a 1908 train depot at 401 Fort Worth Hwy. Call 596-3801 or 888/594-3801;


The 23rd Annual Parker County Peach Festival takes place July 8. Call the chamber of commerce.

For information about sesquicentennial events throughout the year, see The play Panorama of the Past II, 1856-2006 will be performed July 1 at the Alkek Fine Arts Center at Weatherford College, 225 College Park Dr.; call 598-6400 or 598-6307.

First Monday Trade Days is held on Santa Fe Dr. at US 180 on the Sat-Sun before the first Mon. of each month. Call 598-4124;


Chandor Gardens, at 711 W. Lee St., opens for tours Sat-Sun, Apr.-Nov., and year round by appt. for groups. Call 613-1700;

Clark Gardens Botanical Park (see story in Mar. 2006 print issue) is between Weatherford and Mineral Wells, one mile north of US 180 at 567 Maddux Rd. Open daily. Call 940/682-4856;

Greenwood Cemetery is at Front St. and N. Main. Contact the chamber for a map of grave sites.

Buy fresh peaches (June-Sep.) at Hutton's Peach Farm. Drive 3 miles west of Weatherford on US 180, and turn left on Greenwood Cutoff Rd. The farm stand is at the first house on the right. Call 594-1273.

The Museum of the Americas, at 216 Fort Worth Hwy., showcases the history and folk art of Native America, Mexico, and the rest of Latin America. Hours: Wed-Sat 10-6; closed in Aug. and Dec. 24-Jan. 15. Call 341-8668;

The Parker County Courthouse is at the intersection of US 180, Texas 171, and FM 51. Hours: Mon-Fri 8-5. Call 598-6148.

The Public Market, at 213 Fort Worth Hwy., opens daily 8-6. Call 599-3644.

Lodging and Dining

The 7 guest rooms at St. Botolph Inn, 808 S. Lamar St., feature antiques and have private baths. Call 800/868-6520;

Downtown Cafe is at 101 W. Church St., on the southwest corner of the square. Hours: Mon-Sat 7-3 p.m., also Fri 5 p.m.-9 p.m., Sun 8-12. Call 594-8717.

The Mesquite Pit, at 1201 Fort Worth Hwy., features tender sliced brisket, juicy pork ribs, steaks, and seafood. Hours: Mon-Thu 11-9, Fri-Sat 11-9:30. Call 596-7046.

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