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Page 4 – Peanut Festival, Suffolk News-Herald, Sunday, September 30, 2012
'Still Nutty After All These Years!'
table of contents
Peanut Fest 2012 Your guide to Suffolk’s peanut festival
Dear Festival Friends,
elcome to the 35th annual Suffolk Peanut Fest! As the 2012 Festival Chairman, I am excited to share our nutty hometown tradition with you and your family. This year’s theme is “Still Nutty After All of These Years!” And after 35 years of gathering as a community and celebrating our agricultural heritage, we are an established Suffolk mainstay and a popular Hampton Roads event. The infants cruising through the fairgrounds in their strollers in 1977 during our first festival are now the parents returning with their own children, making memories to pass down to the next generation. I, for one, am still nutty about the quality and diversity of activities Peanut Fest continues to offer. From bingo and horseshoes to fireworks and a demolition derby, there is truly something for everyone. We take great pride in providing a safe, family-friendly environment where festivalgoers can enjoy live concerts, a truck and tractor pull, a petting zoo and mouthwatering fest food. For the first time in Peanut Fest history, we will be offering camel rides. That’s one memory kids are not likely to forget. Make sure you have your camera ready! This year’s entertainment line-up is teeming with country music, rock and roll, gospel and even bluegrass. American Idol stand-outs Kellie Pickler and Casey Abrams will be featured at the Budweiser Main Stage. For three-plus decades, we’ve watched our festival grow and evolve into a premier event supported by the hard work and dedication of volunteers and a two-person staff. I continue to be amazed by all of the tasks associated with producing such a large-scale event, and I’m even more impressed by the friendships that have developed from years of working side by side to make the Peanut Fest an annual occurrence. Community pride and a sense of tradition have never been more strongly embodied than when October rolls around and the pitter-patter of the next generation scampers through the festival grounds. Here’s to 35 more years!
Queen of the Legumes Choosing a Queen is a tradition that goes back to Peanut Fest’s beginning.
Hitting the road The Suffolk Swamp Roar will take bikers on an 80-mile journey around the perimeter of the Great Dismal Swamp, raising money for nature education and swamp restoration.
letter from the peanut fest chairman
Sincerely, Joseph C. Patterson 2012 Suffolk Peanut Fest Chairman
Pickler loves peanuts, festivals Kellie Pickler, the headlining performer, says performing at festivals is her favorite, and attending one celebrating peanuts is just a bonus.
A long history The Peanut Fest has been around fo 35 years, and we've got the proof. Take a look at some of the fun festival-goers have had over the years in our retrospective.
CMYK Peanut Festival, Suffolk News-Herald, Sunday, September 30, 2012 – Page 5
Festival celebrates 35 years By Tracy Agnew News Editor
The 35th annual Peanut Fest is bigger and better than ever this year with exhibits, activities, rides, food, contests, amusements and, of course, peanuts. “We’re excited, as always,” Suffolk Festivals Executive Director Lisa Key said. The group produces
the Peanut Festival. All of the favorites from past years are back — the demolition derby, truck and tractor pull, shrimp feast, monster truck rides and more. It will be an “American Idol” reunion on the main entertainment stage, with Casey Abrams on Saturday night and Kellie Pickler on Sunday night. “It’s just a hometown-type county
fair,” Key said. “It’s a good time, it’s lots of good food, good entertainment, and it’s something in Suffolk I believe everybody looks forward to.” But despite all the entertainment lined up, Key said the main attraction isn’t anything the Suffolk Festivals staff or committee could provide — it simply exists. See CELEBRATE, 6
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Page 6 â€“ Peanut Festival, Suffolk News-Herald, Sunday, September 30, 2012 CELEBRATE continued from page 5
â€œItâ€™s kind of like a homecoming,â€? she said. â€œYou always see somebody you havenâ€™t seen for a while.â€? The first Suffolk festival celebrating the peanut was held in January 1941 and included a parade, dances and balls and the coronation of a queen. About 10,000 people turned out for the first festival, and the event was so successful it was held again later the same year, in October 1941. The modern predecessor of Peanut Fest was the Harvest Fest that began in 1978. Held in downtown Suffolk, the festival included a parade, hot-air balloon event, carnival, dances concerts and, once again, a festival queen. It was moved to the airport off Carolina Road in 1981, where it has stayed and grown ever since. Roughly 125,000 people attend every year. Parking is $10 per vehicle, per day, or $20 per vehicle for a four-day pass. Parking decals are available in advance at the Suffolk Visitor Center, 524 N. Main St., or can be purchased at the main gate. There is no admission charge. The airport is located at 1200 Gene Bolton Drive, off Carolina Road. For more informaCMYK tion about the festival, visit www.suffolkfest. org.
Parade: The Plan ters festivals and Pean Company float moves down Mai Photo n Street during th ut Queens, see pa e first Peanut Fest courtesy of the Suffolk-Nansemond His ge 31. ival, held in 1941 torical Socie ty . For more histor ic photos of past
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CMYK Peanut Festival, Suffolk News-Herald, Sunday, September 30, 2012 – Page 7
Volunteers, ‘Idol’ and the derby By Tracy Agnew News Editor
The chairman of the 2012 Suffolk Peanut Festival readily admits what his favorite part of the festival is. “I’m kind of a demolition derby kind of guy,” said Joe Patterson, a 31-year veteran of the Suffolk Police Department. “Where else are you going to see cars crash into each other and not have to fill out forms?” Patterson is now retired from the police department and works at the sheriff’s office. Thanks to his former position, he has been working Peanut Fest almost since its modern beginnings — but he used to get paid for it as a police officer, working traffic control and security. “I work there for free now,” he said. When he took on the chairman’s job, he said, “I didn’t know how much work it was going to be.” Even so, he says he’s enjoyed the experience. The job of the chairman, as described by Patterson, is to choose the entertainment and
“answer a lot of questions.” But he has tried to leave his mark, cultivated from decades of experience, on this year’s festival. “I thought back through the years about what I liked the most, what drew people in,” he said. He liked the “American Idol” theme he created by choosing Kellie Pickler and Casey Abrams, two former contestants on the television show. But the best part of being chairman doesn’t have anything to do with all the choices. “It’s just been the camaraderie,” he said. “A lot of the other festivals use paid people. Peanut Fest is mostly just volunteers. They’ll take their vacation time to come out there and work at Peanut Fest. That’s every year.” Patterson said the longevity of the festival also has contributed to its station as one of the bestknown festivals in the region. “You don’t find a lot of festivals that last consistently for 35 years,” he said. He thanked the many volunteers and sponsors PhotoX_creditXX for their continued support. Derby guy: Joe Patterson, the chairman of the 2012 Suffolk Peanut Festival, says his “Without them, we wouldn’t be able to have favorite part of the festival is the demolition derby. CMYK this,” he said.
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Page 8 – Peanut Festival, Suffolk News-Herald, Sunday, September 30, 2012
NFL’s Scott to give autographs From Staff Reports Suffolk News-Herald
Greg Scott, a retired NFL defensive lineman, will be signing autographs from the Cover 3 Foundation informational booth at the 35th annual Suffolk Peanut Festival. The exhibit will consist of information about Cover 3 Foundation and its programs and upcoming events. The Foundation will sell 50/50 raffle tickets throughout the festival weekend, with the winner to be contacted Oct. 8. Beginning at noon on the Saturday of the festival, Scott will pose for photos with and sign autographs for the first 50 people who donate 10 canned goods or $15 to Cover 3 Foundation. The Foundation staff will take the photo, print it on site and CMYK have Scott autograph it on the spot. The canned goods, monetary donations and proceeds from the 50/50 raffle will benefit the C3’s Kid’s Meal and Snack Program. This program provides healthy, balanced and free meals and snacks to all children enrolled at qualified sites throughout Southampton County, Greensville County, Sussex County, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk, Emporia and Franklin. The food supplements are served after school and during summer vacation, winter break, spring break and whenever school is not in session. The Cover 3 Foundation works to encourage full physical and cognitive development through good nutrition by combining free, healthy snacks with educational development. In 2011, C3’s Kid’s Meals provided at-risk Virginia children with 260,000 snacks, 44,000 lunches,
Scott 50,000 suppers and 27,000 breakfasts. C3’s Kid’s Meals has an average enrollment of 2,800 children daily. During the 2012 Summer Food Service Program; C3’s Kid’s Meals helped nourish 1,500 to 1,700 children daily by serving 11,133 breakfasts, 30,424 lunches, 4,346 suppers and 24,785 snacks. The Cover 3 Foundation is a nonprofit organization working to inspire and motivate youth to achieve their goals and conquer adversity through positive, personal and passionate coaching, mentoring and community service. The Cover 3 Foundation works to provide positive experiences for children through teaching them teamwork and by establishing mentors and father figures for young men and women. Strong, positive male role models interact with young participants through football, mentoring and community fellowship. For details about Cover 3 Foundation, visit www.cover3foundation.org.
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CMYK Peanut Festival, Suffolk News-Herald, Sunday, September 30, 2012 – Page 9
Action-packed festival From staff reports Suffolk News-Herald
A variety of activities is planned for the 35th Annual Suffolk Peanut Festival, promising something for everyone. Among the major attractions at the airport venue, the Nation-Wide Demolition Derby, sponsored by General Rental Center, will get under way in the arena area at 6 p.m. on Oct. 5. According to the NationWide website, the demolition derby was invented by stock car driver Larry Mendelsohn, who staged the first such event
at Islip Speedway in Long Island in 1958. “He had noticed how spectators were attracted by the crashes and smashes of stock car racing,” the website reads. “Many of the fans … stuck to the edge of their seats (were) not as anxious to witness skilled racing but to see the trauma and violence of the WRECKS!” The Nation-Wide organization was born in 1967, when fair manager Dick Wortman joined with Variety Attractions President George Moffett for a demolition derby at Champaign County Fair in Urbana, Ohio
on Aug. 5, 1967. “During the past quarter of a century, Nation-Wide Demolition Derby has staged over 2,000 contests from coast to coast and border to border,” the website states. “In the process, well over 18 million fans have been entertained and 200,000 cars have been destroyed.” The World’s Only Peanut Butter Sculpture Contest, sponsored by Producers Peanut Co. Inc., is at 2 p.m. on Oct. 6. Each year, the competition draws politicians, celebrities See ACTION, 10 CMYK
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Page 10 – Peanut Festival, Suffolk News-Herald, Sunday, September 30, 2012 ACTION continued from page 9
and locals as contestants, who get their creative juices flowing with a block of peanut butter. Also on Saturday, the action will start to heat up with the Jalapeño Eating Contest, at 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Cash and prizes will be up for grabs in the Air Conditioning Specialist-sponsored event, as contestants attempt to down as many of the peppers as possible. A keenly anticipated Saturday event for many is the 250 Truck and Tractor Pull, by Big Daddy Motorsports Inc., from 3 p.m. Bid Daddy has been in the truck- and tractor-pulling and monster truck business, bringing “supercharged events,” for 12 years, its website says.
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“Big Daddy has the same rules no matter where we are — have fun and be safe while doing it,” it says. Folks have reportedly been calling the festival office to confirm the wildly popular event will again be on this year; the excitement will begin when the first truck sends its tachometer into the danger zone for cash and prizes. The 10th Annual Peanut Fest Horseshoe Tournament, hosted by Portsmouth Horseshoe Club and sponsored by Parr Funeral Home & Crematory and AmeriGas, gets under way with the Luck of the Draw at 6 p.m. on Oct. 5. On Oct. 6, Open Competition registration is at 8 a.m. and the competition gets under way at 10 a.m.
Truck and Tractor Pull
CMYK Peanut Festival, Suffolk News-Herald, Sunday, September 30, 2012 – Page 11
Court: Members of the 2012 Peanut Queen Court include: standing, from left, Janet Ehmer of Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, Christyna Mencarini and Rachel Childs of Nansemond River High School, Sierra Leickert of Lakeland High School, and Octavia Gould of King’s Fork High School; and seated, from left, Brittany Brooks of Lakeland High School, Janna Williams and Michaela Jones of First Baptist Christian School, Laura Smith of King's Fork High School, and Meghan Babb of Nansemond-Suffolk Academy. CMYK
Queen of the legumes
By Matthew A. Ward Staff Writer
It’s not quite Miss America, but it’s certainly distinctly Suffolk. The Queen’s Luncheon and Fashion Show, held at noon Thursday at the National Guard Armory, officially kicks off the Peanut Festival.
See Us At the Peanut Festival
Before an appreciative crowd, the Pilot Club of Suffolkproduced event coronates the Peanut Queen and presents her court, as has been the custom since 1981. Tickets for the Planters Peanuts- and Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Centersponsored luncheon cost $15. Fashion is a big part of the lun-
cheon, with outfits this year by Ann’s Dress Shop. For a chance to become the Peanut Queen or a member of her court, “The girls have to be rising seniors at one of the five high schools,” festival co-organizer Angie Twiford said. “Usually (the schools) put it out for the girls interested.” The Peanut Queen and Queen’s
Court members are selected based on a written essay (40 percent), activities (15 percent), awards and achievements (15 percent) and community service and volunteering (30 percent). A panel of judges from outside Suffolk is charged with the painstaking task of selecting who makes the cut, Twiford said. “This year’s theme is Still
Nutty After All These Years. They write an essay on that and send it blind to out-of-town judges,” she said. After being revealed at the luncheon and basking in some flash photography, the 2012 Suffolk Peanut Fest Queen then gets down to work. See QUEEN, 14
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Page 14 – Peanut Festival, Suffolk News-Herald, Sunday, September 30, 2012
Meet the Peanut Fest Court Octavia Gould – King’s Fork High School
Laura Smith – King’s Fork High School
Jones is involved in the Beta Club, the National Honor Society, cheerleading and two Eureka Baptist groups, to name a few. She was her school’s homecoming princess, has won academic excellence awards for English and Spanish, and is CPR- and first-aid certified. Jones has volunteered in a range of groups and programs, including for the Salvation Army, OBX Ministries and Taste of Suffolk.
Gould has been a cheerleader since 2009, was on the varsity girls’ track team in 2011, and does tumbling classes. She was 2011-2012 Varsity Cheer Captain and Most Outgoing Junior. She has been a Counselor in Training for Parks and Recreation, taken part in K-9 Connection at Hillpoint Elementary School and Unify to Beautify at King’s Fork, and volunteered at the Lake Prince Woods retirement community.
Smith is a diploma candidate in the International Baccalaureate program, president elect of the International Club, Vice Chair of the Technology Student Association, and mentors at Oakland Elementary. She was a bronze medalist in the National Spanish Exam, has been published in Teen Ink magazine, and is a Certified Peer Educator. She volunteers with St. John’s Episcopal Church and Sentara Obici Hospital, and previously volunteered with Creekside and Nansemond Parkway elementary schools.
Sierra Leickert – Lakeland High School
Brittany Brooks – Lakeland High School
Janet Ehmer – Nansemond-Suffolk Academy
Leickert plays varsity soccer, is on the swim team and is a member of the Future Business Leaders of America, the National Honor Society, and the National Spanish Honor Society. She won a book award from the College of William & Mary, as well as the president’s award, and has received various academic awards. She volunteers at a homeless shelter and participates in community service activities through the clubs she has joined.
Activities include majorette in the school marching
Meghan Babb – Nansemond-Suffolk Academy
Janna Williams – First Baptist Christian School
Michaela Jones – First Baptist Christian School
Activities include volleyball, basketball, singing, piano and horse riding. Williams was the Most Valuable Player on her varsity basketball team and won a Glover Scholarship Award in a piano competition. She has been on mission trips to West Virginia and Baltimore, is active in her church, and has volunteered in various evangelistic and community service programs.
band, the church choir, competitive clogging, dancing and compiling the school yearbook. Brooks captains her school’s marching band, won third place in an essay contest and has won first places in band competitions and in a clogging competition. She has danced at the Windsor School of Dance for 12 years, and has volunteered at the Lake Prince Woods retirement community.
Babb has been a cheerleader for five years and is also trained in jazz and tap dancing. She plays basketball, softball and piano, and was a Miss Virginia contestant. Babb has exhibited in her school’s art show, winning a second place for photography, and won Most Spirited Cheerleader two seasons running. She has volunteered with the Bra-ha-ha event against breast cancer, fasted in the 30 Hour Famine, and cheered runners in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
Activities include tap dancing, ballet, field hockey, softball, art class, musical theater, swim team, history club, Relay for Life and the National Honor Society. Ehmer has won a National Honor Society award, was the Best All Around Camper at field hockey camp, and was Most Improved Swimmer. She helps make sets, costumes and props for musicals, volunteers at school events like science night, helped start a recycling program, and was part of a group that donated clothes to disabled veterans.
Christyna Mencarini – Nansemond River High School
Rachel Childs – Nansemond River High School
Activities include the Suffolk Leadership Academy, the Superintendent's Advisory Council, and the Future Educators of America. Mencarini received honorable mentions from the Suffolk Art League and Suffolk Sister Cities. She has been involved in family reading nights at Creekside Elementary School and volunteered on the concession stand at the Driver baseball complex, with the Nansemond Parkway Elementary School Academy, and with Odyssey of the Mind.
Childs was a Beta Club member for two years and an East End Baptist Church Vision Youth Choir member for three years. She has attended the Governor’s School for the Arts for three years, playing with the orchestra in Europe in 2011. She won first place in the Omega Psi Phi Talent Hunt in 2012. Childs’ community work has included 86 hours of volunteering with the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, training to be a counselor at her church and taking part in the Autism Walk in Richmond.
Queen continued from page 11
An integral part of festival activities, she will attend events, judge competitions and wave to the crowd. “It’s just one way to bring community involvement into the Peanut Fest and hopefully
bring the girls into being part of the Peanut Fest in later years,” Twiford said. “It’s a fun time for those girls, and it’s the official kickoff for Peanut Fest. I think the girls consider it a pretty good deal. They
seem to think it’s a real thrill — they get a lot of attention … and it looks really good on their résumés.” Suffolk has been crowning a Peanut Queen since 1941, when Olive Cawley of New Jersey was
bestowed the honor, according to the festival website. Cawley wore a gown made of peanuts and was accompanied by 50 princesses from dozens of communities and neighboring states.
Detroit’s Patricia Donnelly, the 1939 Miss America, was the second festival queen; dignitaries including peanut baron Amedeo Obici met her at the airport, scattering roasted peanuts at her feet in place of rose petals.
CMYK Peanut Festival, Suffolk News-Herald, Sunday, September 30, 2012 – Page 15
Riders to hit the road
Photo courtesy of Suffolk Tourism
Hitting the road: Riders in a previous Suffolk Swamp Roar Motorcycle Rally motor out of town on a grand adventure. About 1,000 riders took part in the event last year.
By Matthew A. Ward Staff Writer
undreds of motorcycles and even more riders are gearing up to circumnavigate the Great Dismal Swamp on Sunday, Oct. 7. Participants in the 80-mile Suffolk Swamp Roar Motorcycle Rally will depart from the festival grounds at 10:30 a.m., arriving back for a grand parade and special function about 1 p.m. “It raises money for nature-based education, interpretive programs and (swamp) restoration,” city Tourism Development Manager Theresa Earles said. “Last year we had about 1,000 people participate on about 600 bikes,” she continued, adding that participants come from all walks of life. “We have doctors and lawyers who ride on the weekends to people whose motorcycles are a main source of transport. CMYK It’s really just a nice ride, with some very beautiful scenery.” The route winds through Suffolk, Chesapeake and North Carolina, taking 2½ to three hours and sticking to the tarmac, Earles said. See BIKERS, 16
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Page 16 â€“ Peanut Festival, Suffolk News-Herald, Sunday, September 30, 2012 Bikers continued from page 15
â€œThey have the ability to stop at the welcome center in North Carolina to get a drink of water, that sort of thing, before coming back to the airport,â€? she added The VIP reception includes food, drink, music and â€œa couple of hours sitting around and
Association of Convention and Visitors Bureauâ€™s VIRGO Travel & Tourism Award. â€œItâ€™s a wonderful event for us,â€? Earles said. â€œItâ€™s also raising money for the Great Dismal Swamp, and a lot of the funds go to support the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife
printed design changes year to year. They also can purchase a lapel pin commemorating the ride. â€œEvery year the T-shirt changes, and people are always very excited to see what the art is,â€? Earles said. Last yearâ€™s ride won a Virginia
Refuge Birding Festival in the spring, which encourages more people to come to the swamp and teaches respect for the environment.â€? Riders come from across the surrounding area, Earles said, with many attending the festival just for the ride.
by Rayâ€™s tent
Enjoy a COOL bottle of water and Conversation Batton with Ray at his Round Table. R AY
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chatting, everyone sharing their adventures.â€? Biker registration begins at 9 a.m. at the airport, and pre-registration (visit www.suffolkfest. org/specialevents.aspx) is recommended. The rally costs $20. Riders receive a T-shirt whose screen-
CMYK Peanut Festival, Suffolk News-Herald, Sunday, September 30, 2012 – Page 17
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Page 18 – Peanut Festival, Suffolk News-Herald, Sunday, September 30, 2012
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CMYK Peanut Festival, Suffolk News-Herald, Sunday, September 30, 2012 – Page 19
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The Peanut Lounge Sponsored by: Craftwork Sound 11 a.m. Show Me Boys 1 p.m. S.P.D. Blues Band 3 p.m. H.M. Johnson Band 5 p.m. Bobby Blackhat Band 9:30 p.m. Black, White & Blues Band
Page 20 – Peanut Festival, Suffolk News-Herald, Sunday, September 30, 2012
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CMYK Peanut Festival, Suffolk News-Herald, Sunday, September 30, 2012 – Page 21
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Page 22 – Peanut Festival, Suffolk News-Herald, Sunday, September 30, 2012
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CMYK Peanut Festival, Suffolk News-Herald, Sunday, September 30, 2012 – Page 23
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Kristen Barlowe photo
Headliner: Kellie Pickler will perform Sunday night at the Peanut Festival. She won’t look the same as in this picture, though — she recently shaved her head as a show of solidarity with a friend who is battling breast cancer.
Pickler loves peanuts, festivals By Tracy Agnew News Editor
For Peanut Festival music headliner Kellie Pickler, the festival will be almost like coming home. The North Carolina girl who starred on “American Idol” in 2006 feels at home in the country. And even better, she loves peanuts. “My favorite is boiled peanuts,” she said. “Anytime my husband and I take a CMYK
road trip, he knows he’s going to be in trouble if he doesn’t pull over at the first boiled peanuts sign.” Pickler had a good run on the show, making it to the Top 6 before being eliminated. But her fans may not recognize her when she steps on the main stage at Peanut Fest — she recently shaved her head in support of a friend who is battling breast cancer. See PICKLER, 24
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Page 24 – Peanut Festival, Suffolk News-Herald, Sunday, September 30, 2012 PICKLER continued from page 23
But the heavy Southern accent and traditional country music will be familiar to her fans. Pickler has spent the past six years touring, recording three albums including her new one, “100 Proof,” and answering questions about “American Idol.” Pickler’s television experience was almost derailed before it started when Hurricane Katrina wiped out the auditions planned for Memphis, Tenn. “I never thought where I came from I had the ability or the resources to even do anything like that,” she said. “We couldn’t even really afford to go out there anyhow.” When the hurricane canceled the auditions, she thought it was over. But then they rescheduled the auditions even closer to her — in Greensboro, N.C. “It was meant to be,” she said. Pickler soared through the competition, choosing songs by Martina McBride and other female country musicians whenever she could. She had never come up in the feared Bottom 3 category until the night she was eliminated after singing “Unchained Melody.” “I can only say great things about my experience,” she said. “I really enjoyed being able to be a part of something so special and so big.” Since leaving “Idol,” Pickler has been on the move. She’s currently in the middle of a grueling nationwide tour of which Peanut Fest is a one-night stop. She’ll be playing a show in Georgia the night before. “My favorite place to be is on Kellie Pickler the road,” she said. “My tour bus country music star has become my home and my sanctuary. There’s really no other place I want to be.” Pickler said festivalgoers can expect to hear songs from her first two albums, as well as “100 Proof,” and a few covers of traditional country artists. Pickler says she loves playing at fairs and festivals because “you feel like you’re really singing to the die-hard country fans.” Plus, she said, fairs are cheap family entertainment for tough times. “You get more for your money,” she said. “It’s something you can go to and not have to take a loan from the bank to take your family out for a fun night.” So it’s easy to see why this country girl from North Carolina is excited to come to the Peanut Festival. “I’m really excited,” she said. “Put the word out that I love boiled peanuts.”
'My favorite is boiled peanuts. Anytime my husband and I take a road trip, he knows he’s going to be in trouble if he doesn’t pull over at the first boiled peanuts sign.'
Kristen Barlowe photo
Peanut lover: Peanut lover: Kellie Pickler, who competed in “American Idol” and will be headlining the entertainment schedule on Sunday at this year’s Peanut Fest, says she loves boiled peanuts and is hoping to be able to find a few at the celebration. Another “American Idol” contestant, Casey Abrams, will perform Saturday night.
CMYK Peanut Festival, Suffolk News-Herald, Sunday, September 30, 2012 – Page 25
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Page 26 – Peanut Festival, Suffolk News-Herald, Sunday, September 30, 2012
More than 3,000 expected at Shrimp Feast By Titus Mohler Staff Writer
CMYK Feast: Even though the shrimp is the star of the meal at the Suffolk Ruritan Club Shrimp Feast, guests can also dine on barbecue, fried chicken and all the fixin’s.
The 35th Annual Suffolk Ruritan Club Shrimp Feast will once again kick things off on the Peanut Festival site Oct. 4 at the Suffolk Executive Airport. Floyd Byrd of the Suffolk Ruritan Club expects approximately 3,000 people to come this year, which is down a bit from previous highs. “Several years ago, we probably had, I don’t know, over 4,000 people there,” Byrd said. “Of course, we’re impacted like everything else
is, and I’m hoping to do as well as we did last year, but I don’t know that we’re going to do (that).” While turnout may be different from last year, there will still be 3,000 pounds of shrimp, and the laudable purpose of the event will be the same. “All the money, a hundred percent of it, goes back to the community in some sort of way,” Byrd said. The majority of the expected $30,000 in proceeds will go toward scholarships for middle school, high See SHRIMP, 28
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CMYK Peanut Festival, Suffolk News-Herald, Sunday, September 30, 2012 – Page 27
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Page 28 – Peanut Festival, Suffolk News-Herald, Sunday, September 30, 2012 Shrimp continued from page 26
school and nursing school students. Other community organizations that receive donations from the Ruritans as a result of the Shrimp Feast include the American Red Cross, the Western Tidewater Free Clinic, a local food bank, a couple of Boy Scout troops and more. “There’s a lot of stuff within Suffolk that we support,” Byrd said. “Anything that basically has a worthwhile cause and need that helps somebody, then our board will approve it.” The Shrimp Feast will, of course, feature all-you-can-eat seasoned shrimp, but there also will be fried chicken, North Carolina-style pork barbecue, potato salad, cole slaw, rolls, iced tea and adult beverages. The entertainment this year will include country music singer James Wesley, who has multiple songs that have charted on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. Local band Island Boy will open for Wesley. Around a hundred people, including the 60 members or so of the club and CMYK 30 or 40 volunteers, will be active in preparing all the different details that go into making the event happen. For the Suffolk Ruritan Club, Byrd said members work all year to make sure the Shrimp Feast is a top-quality event.
4Tickets Tickets for the 2012 Shrimp Feast Tickets can be purchased at the following Suffolk merchants: Aamco Bennett’s Creek Pharmacy Dr. Jeffrey Robertson Line-X Major Signs Mike Duman Auto Ricky & Roy’s Catering Suffolk Quality Cleaners Suffolk Tourism Virginia Commonwealth Bank Xenith Bank (Three Suffolk locations)
“This is our one fundraiser, and all that money goes back to the community,” he said. “We appreciate any support we can get, so come on out and get your tickets.” Tickets can be purchased for $30 in advance at participating Suffolk businesses, and they are also available online at www.suffolkruritan.org for $32, and $35 at the gate. The feast will run from 3 to 7 p.m.
Shrimp: The Suffolk Ruritan Club Shrimp Feast provides all-you-can-eat food for visitors and raises money for a variety of local organizations.
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CMYK Peanut Festival, Suffolk News-Herald, Sunday, September 30, 2012 – Page 29
42012 Peanut Festival Layout
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12. Amusement Rides 13. Fest Stage 14. Police, Festival Office, EMS 15. Arts & Craft Tent 16. Harvest Family Stage 18. Family Area, Pony Rides, Petting Zoo, Diaper Change 19. Parking Area 20. Parking Area 22. Horseshoe Tournament
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Page 30 – Peanut Festival, Suffolk News-Herald, Sunday, September 30, 2012
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CMYK Peanut Festival, Suffolk News-Herald, Sunday, September 30, 2012 â€“ Page 31
Photos courtesy of the Suffolk Nansemond Historical Society
Peanut royalty: Queens have been part of the peanut festival since its beginnings. At left, Queen Patricia Donnelly rides on a float in a parade in October 1941. Below left, Olive Cawley of New Jersey was the first peanut queen in January 1941. Below, Donnelly sits atop a pile of peanuts with a crown made of peanuts.
Page 32 â€“ Peanut Festival, Suffolk News-Herald, Sunday, September 30, 2012
Festival through the years CMYK
Photos courtesy of the Suffolk Nansemond Historical Society
Starting the festival off right: Historic festivals in Suffolk have always started out with a parade. Above, a marching band entertains the crowd during the first peanut festival in January 1941. At left, the Royal Crown Cola and Peanuts float touted the health benefits of peanuts during the same parade.
CMYK Peanut Festival, Suffolk News-Herald, Sunday, September 30, 2012 â€“ Page 33
Festival through the years CMYK
Photos courtesy of the Suffolk Nansemond Historical Society
Clowning around: Clowns are generally a midway sideshow these days, but they once were a big part of the festival parade. All these photos of clowns entertaining during the festival come from 1941.
Page 34 – Peanut Festival, Suffolk News-Herald, Sunday, September 30, 2012
Festival through the years CMYK
Photos courtesy of “The Suffolk Peanut Festival” by Patrick Evans-Hylton and the Suffolk Nansemond Historical Society
Scenes from the festivals: Clockwise from top left: Peanuts are shown off at a Harvest Festival in the late 1970s; revelers scale a pile of peanuts on the street during the 1941 festival; festival chairman Wayne Boyce works on his winning peanut butter sculpture during the Peanut Butter Sculpture Contest during the 2000 festival; pigs race during the 1987 festival; a larger-than-life model of a peanut is on display during a 1940s festival.
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Get everything you need to know about Suffolk's Peanut Festival, plus a retrospective of festivals past.