HistoryThe Louisiana Pecan Festival takes place on the first full weekend of November each year. The festival board and the Town of Colfax play hosts to 60,000 to 75,000 visitors each year, who come from all over the parish, central Louisiana, the state and throughout the U.S. for three days of fun, great food, live musical entertainment and much more.The festival grew out of the parishs Centennial celebration 1969. Grant Parish had been created by legislative act in 1869, carved out of portions of Winn and Rapides Parishes. In 1969, Governor Jimmie Davis was the special guest, and a local girl, Nancy Dean of Colfax, was crowned Centennial Queen. Several thousand local residents and visitors took part in the event, and with its success, organizers began to plan even more activities and festivities for the next yearand the Louisiana Pecan Festival was born.Why celebrate the pecan? Well, for one thing, many area farmers grow the crop, and pecans were native to the area. Pecans were staples of the diets of the local Native Americans, and when the settlers began arriving here from the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, large plantations grew pecans along with their other crops. Wild pecans were grafted and new varieties cultivated, and soon the crop flourished in the rich river land soils. Local homesteaders also benefited because almost every yard had one or two trees that produced enough pecans to keep some and sell the rest, providing them a small money crop in the fall.During the early years of the festival, which had Frontier Days as its theme, special guests were invited, including such popular movie and television stars as Fess Parker (Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett), James Drury, televisions The Virginian, Buck Taylor, Dale Robertson and Ken Curtis. The festival goers loved meeting the celebrities, and from all accounts, most of the guests enjoyed themselves as well. Sorrell Booke, Boss Hogg from The Dukes of Hazzard, was probably the most popular of all the early guests, and people still talk about his visit.