National Peanut Festival – Largest United States’ Peanut Festival
Do you like peanuts? How often do you eat peanuts every day? Are you likely to attend a festival if you know that you’ll get a chance to encounter over 300 products made out of peanut? If your answer to all these questions is “Yes”, then you’re in luck! The National Peanut Festival is just around the corner!
The National Peanut Festival (NPF) is the United State’s largest peanut festival, which is held each fall in the beautiful city of Dothan in Alabama. Located in the southeast corner of Alabama, Dothan is known to be the Peanut Capital of the World. It’s a prime location for growing peanuts and almost all of the peanuts grown in the United States are grown within 100 mile radius of Dothan.
The National Peanut Festival is celebrated to honor peanut growers and to also show gratitude for the harvest season. It is a ten-day celebration and if you’re a local, you sure can spend all ten days in the city and make the most out of the festival by attending all the events. On the other hand, if you are a vacationer with a limited time, you must prioritize.
You can find the National Peanut Festival fairgrounds located on Highway 231 South, which is three miles of the Ross Clark Circle. Thousands of tourists and locals attend the festival for it features exciting entertainment which is sure to be a hit to any attendee regardless of age.
The History of National Peanut Festival
The very first National Peanut Festival inauguration was held on a freezing Thursday morning, November 10, 1938. It was a three-day event which included a parade, pageant, historical plays, and a grand ball. The guest speaker was Dr. George Washington Carver, a modest and unassuming man from the Tuskegee Institute. He gained popularity and rose to international fame because of his exceptional work in developing over 300 products from the peanut.
Since then, the National Peanut Festival was celebrated each year through the year 1941. It was postponed until after the Second World War. In 1947, the first post-war festival was held and has continued up to the present day.
Throughout its entire history, the National Peanut Festival was held in varying locations. Most of the celebrations were done at the Houston Country Farm Center. It only started using the fairgrounds on US Highway 231 South
since the year 1999. With over 200 acres and 2 exhibit buildings, an amphitheater, an Ag complex, and an open air arena, the fairgrounds are absolutely capable of hosting the year-round events and further promoting the agriculture in the Wiregrass area, aside from hosting the yearly harvest celebration.
The National Peanut Festival Today
Since 1938, the National Peanut Festival has grown from a three-day celebration to a ten-day event with attendees adding up to around 150000 each year. Throughout this ten days, the festival hosts a variety of exciting and fun-filled activities for solo fairgoers and for the whole family. There are about 300 volunteers who give their countless hours and effort to the festival each year, to ensure its success.
Ten-day National Peanut Festival: Festival Events
The ten-day celebration of the National Peanut Festival is no comparable to any other festivals around the world as it packs a lot of activities including but not limited to live music, beauty pageants, parades, live stock shows, costume contests. Cherrleading competitions, and of course, pleanty of peanuts!
If you havent’ been able to attend an exciting and worth seeing festival like the National Peanut Festival, this fall season is your chance. Here are some of the events you can look forward to going to.
- Cheeleading Competitions
Have you always dreamed about being a part of the cheerleading team? Or maybe you have friend and family who are members whom you’ve supported at every event? The National Peanut Festival features cheerleading competitions where you can all go to get new fresh ideas and watch awe-inspiring dancers “break a leg”.
- Costume Contests
The 2015 National Peanut Festival Costume Contest will happen on October 24th, that’s a Saturday at the Wiregrass Commons Mall, near the Center Court. This contest is joined by infants and children two to eight years of age and is divided into several categories and has contest rules that every participant (meaning the parents of the participants) must adhere to.
If you’re a visitor, you don’t necessarily have to be just a spectator in the National Peanut Festival Costume Contest. If you’re going with kids, take the fun to another level by dressing them up so they can also join and experience it! To give you an idea of the rules, here they are according to the organizers.
National Peanut Festival Costume Contest Rules
- Children who will be joining the National Peanut Festival Costume Contest will be divided into three age categories: Infants (children not yet walking), 2-4 years, and 5-8 years.
- Children in the age 2 – 4 category need to be able to walk on stage for the National Peanut Festival Costume Contest without parental assistance.
- Costume will be judged on originality, creativity and incorporating the National Peanut Festival theme “The Fair: Blue Ribbon Memories”.
- Spirit of the Festival (Grand Prize Winner) will be awarded $100 Wiregrass Commons Mall Gift Card, $100 CASH from National Peanut Festival and will ride in the National Peanut Festival Parade.
- Prizes will be awarded in each age category: $30 for 1st Place, $25 for 2nd and $20 for 3rd Place winners of the National Peanut Festival Costume Contest.
- All contest participants will receive a participation ribbon as a proof that they joined the National Peanut Festival Costume Contest.
- The decisions’ of the judges in the National Peanut Festival Costume Contest are final.
- Cubmobile Derby
Going with family? Then the National Peanut Festival Cubmobile derby is going to prove to be a worthwhile activity for you and your loved-ones, especially the kids! For this year’s Cubmobile derby, it is going to be held on Saturday, October 24th at the Highway 84 East Overpass, beginning at 10:00 AM. It is open to girls and boys from 8 to 12 years old. Registration is for $25 if your kids will participate or $45 if you they’ll need wheels and axles.
4. Kindergarten Day
If you have kindergarteners, this is the perfect way to help them be more social and meet new people. The National Peanut Festival’s Kindergarten Day is going to be on November 9, 2015 and is available not only for Kindergarten groups but is extended to Pre-School groups. To take advantage of this, pre-registration is required. Everyone who is interested to join should preregister until October 16, 2015. Take note also that only those who preregistered are allowed access to the grounds and there isn’t an admission fee that will be charged. If you have any questions, please contact the National Peanut Festival office at (334) 793-4323 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. Miss National Peanut Festival
Fancy watching a beauty pageant? Look nowhere else. The National Peanut Festival also hosts the annual Miss National Peanut Festival featuring young ladies who have won in qualified preliminary pageants in peanut producing states like Alabama, Florida, and Georgia.
Aside from that, there is also a Little Miss National Peanut Festival open for the kids. The winners of each pageant are going to be an ambassador of the peanut industry. Miss National Peanut Festival 2014-2015 is Laura McKenny while Little Miss National Peanut Festival 2014-2015 is RayAnna Ausley.
The 2015 National Peanut Festival Parade is scheduled for Saturday, November 14, 2015 at 9:30 AM in Downtown Dothan. You can either join or watch from the sidelines, it’s totally up to you!
7. Senior Citizens’ Day
The beauty of National Peanut Festival is the fact that it has something special for all people, from the youngest ones to the oldest. So if you have a grandma or a grandpa you haven’t seen in a while, this is going to be a perfect time for bonding with them. Take them for a vacation to Dothan so they can join the Senior Citizen’s Day.
If ever you decide to bring them along your National Peanut Festival trip, remember the folloing important information according to the organizers of the event: Senior Citizens Day will be held on Thursday, November 12, 2015. Senior Citizens (ages 55 & over) will be admitted free to the fairgrounds from 12:30 PM until 4:00 PM on this day. Any senior who wishes to come that day will need to enter through the ALFA Commercial Gate prior to 4:00 PM. Beginning at 4:30 PM all entrance gates will be open to the public and senior citizens will be admitted for $5.00.
8. Special Citizens’ Day
The National Peanut Festival is indeed a festival with a heart. It also caters to people with special needs who wanted to join the festivities. There is even a specific day dedicated for special citizens and that is on Tueday, November 10, 2015. Pre-registration to this event is required and if you know someone who would appreciate being a participant in this event, call the NPF office at (334) 793-4323.
National Peanut Festival: Non-Festival Events
To ensure everyone’s entertainment, there are also special shows which were held in the National Peanut Festival. For this year, the Gun and Knife show by the Collectors and Shooters Club of Alabama (CASC) was held last September 26 to September 27. There will be additional shows on December 5 and 6 so you still have a chance to see it.
There’s also the Toadlick Music Festival held last April 23 to 25 at the National Peanut Festival fairgrounds. It’s a three-day outdoor festival featuring the biggest names in country music like The Band Perry and Randy Travis.
Lastly, there’s the Wiregrass Model Railroad show which took place last September 19 to 20 at the National Peanut Festival fairgrounds. There won’t be additional shows for this year so you can catch this awesome show next year around the same month.
National Peanut Festival: Concerts
This year, the National Peanut Festival will host live music concerts by national recording artists. You can catch Tyler Farr at the OneMain Financial Ampitheater at 7:30 PM on November 6, 2015. Mark your calendar and plan your trip with friends who love attending concerts in advanced!
Premium Exhibit Contests at the National Peanut Festival
Depending on what your hobbies is or art and crafts you enjoy, the National Peanut Festival also hosts exhibit concerts like the following.
- 4-H, FFA & FCCLA Exhibits
- Cake Decorating
- Clubs & Organizations Exhibits
- Coloring Contest
- Crafts & Hobbies
- Field Crops
- Food Preservation
- Poster Contest
- Pumpkin Decorating
- Recipe Contest
Last but not the least, if you or someone you know loves livestock, then you should definitely go to the National Peanut Festival for the following livestock shows!
- Boer Goat
- Dairy Goat
- Jr. Hogs
- Lamb Show
- Youth Meat Goat
- Market & Prospect Hog Shows
Experience National Peanut Festival
There are still more activities lined up for the National Peanut Festival. Make the most of your fall by attending the events with friends and family. Plan the trip ahead and be sure to visit the official website for more information: http://nationalpeanutfestival.com.
Visit information about festivals section to explore a full list of festivals happening around the world yearly!