Brundidge businesses, industries prepare for October 30 ‘Homecoming’

Published 8:12 pm Tuesday, August 31, 2010

More than 200 towns across Alabama will welcome their people home this year during the Great Alabama Homecoming, which is part of the Year of Alabama Small Towns and Downtowns – a celebration of everything that is “Sweet Home Alabama.”

The small town of Brundidge will take its celebration turn in a big way on the last Saturday in October, which is traditionally the day of the Peanut Butter Festival, sponsored by the Brundidge Historical Society.

For 20 years now, the town has celebrated its proud history in the peanut butter industry with the annual harvest and heritage celebration. So that was the day Brundidge chose for its Great Alabama Homecoming celebration, said Chuck Caraway, spokesperson for the event’s business and industry committee.

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“By tying the Great Alabama Homecoming with the Peanut Butter Festival, we should have a huge number of people in town on Saturday, Oct. 30,” Caraway said. “Our committee is concentrating on involving our present businesses and industries as well as honoring those of the past by inviting their employees to be a part of this great day of celebration.”

Caraway said a business and industry tent will be set up for the employees of present and past businesses and industries to gather, renew friendships and reminisce.

The business and industry tent will have light refreshments and door prizes but most of all it will be a gathering place for workers who, literally, share a common “thread.”

For more than 40 years Brundidge was the home to glove and factories. At one time, the “shirt factory” employed up to 900 workers.

The town has been home to food industries since 1928 when J.D. Johnston opened a commercial peanut butter mill in a two-story wooden building that is now a museum (in progress) of local history.

Brundidge continues to be home to a couple of food industries, as well as other industries, and a strong business community.

“We are sending invitations to as many former business and industry employees as possible but, of course, it’s not possible to get names and addresses of all of those who have been a part of the industrial and business communities,” Caraway said.

“But everyone is invited to be a part of this great celebration.”

Plans for the business and industry reunion within the Homecoming celebration are still being made. The plans include possible entries in the Nutter Butter Parade.

“This will be a great time of celebration in Brundidge and we are encouraging everyone to mark Saturday, October 30 on their calendars and plan to be in Brundidge for the Great Homecoming Celebration,” Caraway said.