Pickle Parade



The Annual St. Paddy's Day Pickle Parade


Mr. Dalton rides as The Big Dill


The Pickle Parade pays tribute to a the traditions of St. Patrick's Day but it also pays tribute to the contributions of the Dalton family and their Best Maid "pickle factory" to the history and economy of Mansfield. Best Maid Products, which was founded in Mansfield in 1926 and now ships over 50 million pickles a year.

"I think it's setting a tone for Mansfield as a fun-loving place," said Ann Smith, one of the 17 Pickle Queens who organized the event. "It's weird enough," Smith added, "but not Austin's weird." The Pickle Queens wear queenly green dresses, with large white sashes, tiaras and red wigs.


Mansfield's Pickle Story

"The year is 1926. Tucked away in a small rock home on a quiet road in a small rural Texas town called Mansfield, Mildred Dalton is busy in her kitchen making pastries and pies. Her husband, Jessie Otis Dalton, operates a one-room grocery store in Fort Worth, Texas. Each day he takes to work with him more of her pastry creations and merchandises them alongside other food items for sale. Times are tough and extra money is needed. Mildred and Jessie have 3 children to care for. Mildred is using a lot of egg whites for pastry meringues, but hardly any of the leftover egg yolks, so she decides to use the egg yolks and begins making homemade mayonnaise.

Before long Mildred's mayonnaise is a best seller in the Fort Worth grocery store and a favorite amongst family friends. In fact it's such a hit that neighbors begin to pay for it, and grocery store customers call in orders ahead of time to make sure that product is available. Mildred decides to compliment the popular mayonnaise by making an equally impressive homemade sandwich spread. This item, however, requires pickle relish as a main ingredient. As such, a relish supplier is secured but he soon raises prices to what are considered ridiculously high levels, Jessie and Mildred are left with no other option but to plant a pickle patch in their home garden. The ensuing harvest is so abundant that the family begins packing pickles."

Text reprinted from the Best Maid Pickles web site  http://www.bestmaidproducts.com/about/



Parade photos by Dave Goodwin's Green Doors Studio