A toast to the 1015 onion

Commemorating the sweet Texas onion, which was pioneered here in the 1980s, the Texas Onion Fest will be celebrating its 30th anniversary Saturday at the Mayor Pablo G. Peña City Park.

Featuring the traditional onion eating contest, cooking demonstrations and kiddie rides, Weslaco Chamber of Commerce Marketing Director Laura Espinoza said that attendees of all ages are welcome on Saturday to enjoy the event.

Espinoza also said that to make this year different, the planning committee decided to rearrange the setup of the festival.

“What is new this time around is that the layout is different,” Espinoza said. “We changed where the main stage and culinary area will be. We wanted to squeeze everything closer and make it tighter so it can be a more cohesive event.”

Cooking demonstrations will be held at the Frost Culinary Stage at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
Complimenting the event with music will be the Weslaco East High School mariachi ensemble, and performances from various artists such as Texas Sweethearts, Jealous Heart, and headliner Siempre Selena, who will be performing at the Hermes Music Main Stage at 9 p.m.

Guests will also have the opportunity to learn about the development of the sweet Texas onion by agriculture research scientist, Dr. Leonard Pike in Weslaco. This is the first festival without Pike, who died Jan. 12.

The Weslaco event has averaged around 6,000 attendees every year, and Espinoza said that the importance of the event goes beyond the crop.

“I would love for attendees to come and have a good time, and leave glad that they joined us,” said Espinoza. “For them (guests) to have an appreciation for the Weslaco community and being proud of our city’s festival — it’s not as big as other festivals, but it is ours.”

Onion Fest Schedule