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Stonewall Peach JAMboree a peach of an event

The 54th annual Stonewall Peach JAMboree and Rodeo is June 19-20.

Nearly 60 years ago, folks in Stonewall decided to throw a party with an open invitation to see its peach crop and orchards.The event caught on, and today, the Stonewall Peach JAMboree and Rodeo continues to draw crowds to the small Hill Country community on U.S. 290, where peach trees outnumber residents.

Always the third full weekend of June, the annual event takes over the rodeo grounds at 250 Peach St. in Stonewall.

You’ll find plenty of peachy activities, including a peach show and auction, a peach-eating and peach-spitting contests, and the Peach Queen coronation. A rodeo and live music highlight Friday and Saturday nights at the JAMboree. Artists such as Mark Chesnutt, Tracy Lawrence, the Bellamy Brothers, Josh Ward, and Two Tons of Steel have performed at the JAMboree.

Saturday packs a full day of events into its schedule. Admission to day events is free with gates opening at 7 a.m. Day events include the 10 a.m. parade followed by washer pitching, dominos, live music, and a slew of peach-related competitions. Peach events include baking, preserves, and salsa contests. The peach show and baking contest auction are other fun ways to join the festivities.

Peaches from Stonewall and Gillespie County, the stars of the day event, are on full display. You can purchase peaches to eat, but larger quantities can be found at peach stands along the highway. Peach cobbler and peach ice cream also are sold on the grounds. Other food includes barbecue, potato salad, and beans. Drinks sold on the grounds include water, soda, beer, and wine.

Competitors during the day Saturday pay a fee to compete, but spectators can take in the whole show at no cost. Day events wind down at about 4 p.m., when officials clear the grounds and prepare for the night’s activities when gates reopen at 6 p.m.

Mutton bustin’ for the kids begins about 6:45 p.m. with a second heat during the main rodeo performance. The Peach Queen contestants make their entrance just before the rodeo begins at 8 p.m.

A dance follows each night of the rodeo at about 10 p.m.

Although the rodeo features sheep, cattle, and horses, personal pets are not allowed on the grounds.

Tickets each year can be purchased in advance at stonewalltexas.com or at the gate the day of the event. Only cash is accepted for tickets at the gate, but an ATM is available on the grounds.

Go to stonewalltexas.com or call (830) 644-2735 for more information.

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