Wharton County’s largest festival was born out of two boys who became friends in the first grade. At age 12 they made a pact that whoever became the most successful in life would help the other out. Paul Kearney headed in to the education field, and James Simmons Jr. headed into the business world. Simmons now owns his own business, Total Premier Services/J. Simmons Group in Houston and Nigeria.
Together they revived the Wharton County Juneteenth Festival. In its third year, the festival has continued to grow each year. It is sponsored by business owner Simmons and musical entertainment is arranged by Kearney.