Peanut Butter festival planning underway in Brundidge

Published 9:41 am Sunday, September 21, 2008

With the first vague hint of fall in the air, the folks in Brundidge begin to think “Peanut Butter Festival.”

This year will mark the 17th annual harvest and heritage celebration which pays tribute to the town’s proud heritage in the peanut butter industry and to the little nut that continues to play an important role in the economy of South Alabama.

One of the highlights of the Peanut Butter Festival is the Nutter Butter Parade which gets under way at 1 p.m. on Peanut Butter Festival day on the last Saturday in October.

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Lawrence Bowden, president of the sponsoring Brundidge Historical Society, said the Peanut Butter Festival invites the community to come back to the way it used to be when folks came to town on Saturday to shop, visit with neighbors and friends and were in no hurry to get back home.

“With the Peanut Butter Festival, we try to recreate those times and we try to generate as much fun as possible,” Bowden said. “The Nutter Butter Parade is a lot of fun for everyone because it’s a parade of nutty things and nutty acting people.”

Bowden said this year, the BHS is inviting merchants, schools, churches, civic and service organizations and individuals to be a part of the Nutter Butter Parade.

“You don’t have to have anything as elaborate as a float or a fancy decorated car,” he said. “An entry can be something as simple as a goat on a leash or a wheelbarrow full of flowers.”

The Peanut Butter Festival celebrates the heydays of the peanut butter mills in Brundidge, from the late 1920s to the mid-1950s.

“It’s not set in stone but we would encourage the parade entries be within this time frame,” Bowden said. “But actually anything goes because it’s a nutty parade and the nuttier the better.”

Bowden said local merchants are encouraged to have an entry that is associated with their business during those early years.

“Kids roll tires down the street for Steed’s Tire Service,” he said. “And that’s the kind of thing that we like to encourage. So, we’re challenging the merchants to be creative and come up with some really nutty ideas for their businesses and we want others to do the same. We want the Nutter Butter Parade to be the most fun parade anywhere around.”

To register an entry for the Nutter Butter Parade, call Rue’s Antiques at 735-3125 or stop by the shop and pick up a form.

The Peanut Butter Festival also features demonstrations of old-time crafts. Anyone who is interested in being a demonstrator may call 735-3675 or 670-6302. Arts and crafts booths are also available by calling 735-5013.