In the early days of the area , local Indians would come down from the hill country to plant corn in the fertile valleys of the Helote area. After the annual harvest, there was a time of great joy and celebration before the Indians returned to their native land in the surrounding hills. The Indians celebrated the spring corn feast after the tribal medicine man declared the corn ripe and ready to be eaten.
The name “Helotes” is derived from the Mexican / Central American Spanish word for stalk corn or corn on the cob, “elote.” Since the 1800s, and recently as the early 1950s, feed maize has been a major crop in the northwest of Bexar County and South Texas. Helote and Cornyval are a tribute to the heritage of the area. The harvest in this historic era is celebrated annually in Helothes during the spring.
The first Helotes Cornyval was held in 1966 to celebrate the building of a new local post office and was financed primarily by the late John T. Floore, founder of Floore’s Country Store, which still operates in downtown Helotes.
The event was a huge success and has continued throughout the years as a fund-raiser for participating local non-profit organizations. Among those who benefited, either from sales at their own booths or from profits distributed by the Helotes Festival Association, are the Helotes Lions and Lioness chapters, all the area churches, the Helotes 4-H Club, the Masons, the Eastern Star Order, the Casa Helotes Senior Citizens Center, the Helotes Police Department, the Helotes and Gray Forest Volunteer Fire Departments, and the Helotes Optim Fire Department.
In 1989, the Helothes Festival Association entered into a purchase contract for Cornyval, a 15-acre permanent site located on Leslie Road, three-tenths of a mile from Highway 16 (Bandera Road). In 1996, an additional 9 acres were purchased by the Helotes Festival Association. Later in 1997 the Helotes Festival Association purchased additional acreage bringing the Cornyval site to 44.2 acres of beautiful tree covered.
The growing popularity of festivals and ever-increasing crowds — about 75,000 in recent years — were key factors in gaining a larger site. Work continues on the ground every year. Volunteer planners have taken their time to design facilities to make the most of the area. A roofed pavilion and dance area, a rodeo arena with box seats, permanent toilets and an office building have been added. Permanent booths to be used for ticket sales and local non-profits have been added. Plans for further improvement throughout the park are underway.
In addition to the Miss Helothes pageant, Helothes Cornyval combines four days of food, dance , music, rodeo, arts and crafts, carnival and competition. The Festival Grounds are available for rentals by various organizations throughout the year.
This amazing shopping destination is located in beautiful Helotes, Texas, along with these other must-see amazing stores for you to check out:
- The Palms Pet Resort & Spa
- The Home Depot (9115 N Loop 1604 W, San Antonio, TX 78249)
- Plato’s Closet San Antonio
- H-E-B plus! (9238 N Loop 1604 W, San Antonio, TX 78249)
- Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods (11751 Bandera Rd, San Antonio, TX 78250)
- Santikos Entertainment Silverado
- Bricks & Minifigs Helotes
- Analytical Scientific
And after your visit make sure to stop by the best Tobacco Store in Helotes, Mary Jane’s CBD Dispensary, on Bandera Road!