In 1909, J.B. Henry, a businessman from Athens, began to grow black-eyed peas in large quantities after discovering how to dry them, making them a more practical agricultural product to ship across the globe. In the late 1930s, canning plants popped up all across East Texas. By the 1970s Athens became the leading distributor for black-eyed peas earning the title of Black-Eyed Pea Capitol of the World. In 1971 the Black-Eyed Pea Jamboree was born drawing visitors near and far to Athens, Texas to celebrate the heritage and what put Athens on the map.
Over 50 years later we continue this celebration the 4th weekend in July with traditional harvest season. While the festival has had some upgrades over the years the traditions are still alive and well with pea shelling competitions, watermelon seed spitting competitions, a black-eyed pea cook-off and even terrapin races! Join us for some East Texas hospitality at the newly restored Cain Center. The Cain Center is a hub for Athens and offers plenty of space for indoor and outdoor festivities as well as featuring a pool to cool off from the Texas heat. Patrons will be able to enjoy FREE swim from 10 AM to 4 PM while vendors display their treasures inside and out. Be sure and come out to Athens, Texas for the Elder CDJR Black-Eyed Pea Jamboree on Friday, July 22nd and Saturday, July 23rd for an annual event you won't want to miss!
Don't forget to register for the Elder CDJR 5K & 1K Fun Run! Saturday will be a full day of festivities starting with the 5k & 1k Fun Run hosted by Miller Athletics. The 5k route will guide you through beautiful Cain Park and along, Robins Road and back to the Cain Center where all the action will await.
The gun will sound at 9 a.m. for the 5K and will be followed by a 1k Fun Run/Walk that will be great to enjoy with family or fur babies. Either option will allow the beauty of East Texas to engulf you as you race across the finish line. All early registries will be guaranteed an original Black-Eyed Pea 5k & 1k Fun Run t-shirt and a $5 discount from weekend of registration price. Be sure to stick around and enjoy all that the Elder CDJR Black-Eyed Pea Jamboree has to offer withe the wide variety of artisans, food, activities, and even terrapin races!
BBQ Cook Off Registration hosted by Masonic Lodge #165
Weekend Registration for 5K & 1K Fun Run hosted by Miller Athletics
*Food Vendors on site all evening
8:00 AM -
Registration opens for 5K & 1K Fun Run hosted by Miller Athletics
9:00 AM -
Black-Eyed Pea Jamboree 5K hosted by Miller Athletics START
Athens TX Farmer's Market Opens for business
9:30 AM -
Black-Eyed Pea Jamboree 1K Fun Run hosted by Miller Athletics START
10:00 AM -
Performance by Category 5 Cheer & EMPOWERMENT
Black-Eyed Pea Jamboree Historical Pop-up Museum Inside Cain Center
903 Jeep Club Car Show
Vendor sales Inside the Cain Center Multipurpose Room Music on the main stage
Athens Chamber Member Booth Activities
Free Swim at the Cain Center Begins
10:30 AM -
Deadline for BBQ Competition: Chicken
Registration for Watermelon Seed Spitting Competition
Watermelon Seed Spitting Competition START Sponsored by Athens Rotary Club
Deadline for BBQ Competition: Ribs
11:30 AM -
Deadline for BBQ Competition: Brisket
12:00 PM –
Concert by "Johnny & June, Oh What a Good Thing We Had"
Deadline for BBQ Competition: Pork Butt
Registration for Terrapin Races
1:00 PM -
Terrapin Races Sponsored by Athens Kiwanis Club
Winners of BBQ Cook Off Announced & Awarded
2:00 PM -
Deadline for Black-Eyed Pea Cook Off entries Categories: Sweet, Savory, and Chef’s Choice
Pea Shelling Competition sponsored by the Athens TX Farmer's Market
3:00 PM -
903 Jeep Club Car Show Winners Announced & Awarded
4:00 PM -
Winners for the Black-Eyed Pea Cook Off Announced & Awarded
Free Swim Concludes inside the Cain Center
Miller Athletics Black-Eyed Pea 5K and 1K Fun Run Sign Up Link
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