Fairs, fests, and other reasons to get together.
The Royal Coronation, one of the most anticipated events of the festival, takes place on January 27. Among those honored will be the new King Citrus, whose identity is top secret until the night of the ceremony. Jud Flowers, 2004’s king, shares his secrets for reigning with zest.
So is it good to be king? It’s a real honor. I’ve enjoyed it a lot. You serve as an ambassador for the citrus industry and represent the Texas Citrus Fiesta association at other state festivals.
What experience do you need? You must be in the citrus business, first of all, and be a pillar in the community. At the festivals you attend, you sit on a real nice float. It’s loaded up with pretty girls and you smile and wave. I hadn’t done much of that before, but it’s easy to get used to.
What’s the royal attire? I have a robe and a crown. That may sound kind of ordinary, but you should see this robe—it’s a beautiful work of art. It’s a stitched representation of citrus fruit, really detailed. It’s been passed down I don’t know how many years. A team of sisters custom-makes the crown for each king.
Spit it out. Who’s the new king? A society of ex-kings nominates the new king, and I’m part of that tradition this year. But the only thing anyone else can know before the coronation are his height, weight, and hat and shoe sizes. KATHARYN RODEMANN
See Elsewhere: Other Events for details and directions.