Peanut Butter Festival marks 25 years

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Peanut Butter Festival in Brundidge will celebrate its 25th anniversary on the last Saturday in October on the grounds of the historic Bass House in downtown Brundidge.

The harvest and heritage celebration is sponsored annually by the Brundidge Historical Society and pays tribute to the town’s proud heritage in the peanut butter industry and to the little nut that help sustain the town during the Great Depression.

“The Johnston Peanut Butter Mill began making peanut butter commercially in 1928 and has the distinction of being one of the first peanut butter mills in the Southeast,” said Lawrence Bowden, BHS president. “The Johnson Brothers, Oscar and Grady, opened the Louis-Anne Peanut Butter Mill around 1930 giving Brundidge two commercial mills that provided jobs and income for the townspeople during ‘Hoover Days.”

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Bowden said peanuts continue to play a role in the area’s economy and peanut butter continues to be a popular foodstuff in Pike County and around the country.  At least one jar of peanut butter can be found in 94 percent of homes in America.

“Although peanut butter has not been produced in Brundidge since the early 1960s, we continue to celebrate our town’s history in the peanut butter industry and pay tribute to all farmers who provide us with food and fiber as well as to our peanut farmers.”

Bowden said the BHS is gearing up for the Peanut Butter Festival’s milestone event that will “throw back” to the first festival in 1992.

“We’ll bring back many of the events of that first festival and we’ll honor our first Peanut Butter Festival Queen and Peanut Butter Kids,” Bowden said. “We’ll construct Alabama’s largest Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich and kids can catch a greasy pig and dress a goat. We’ll have lots of things old and many things new.” The festival will feature demonstrations of old-time life skills and old-time crafts, foods cooked in pots, cane juice ground with a mule-drawn mill, and a Nutter Butter Parade that features the novelty or tradition of Pike County communities and also highlights the agricultural “culture” of the county and its bordering communities.

Bowden said the 25th Annual Peanut Butter Festival will also feature non-stop entertainment, games and contests including the Peanut Butter Recipe Contest, and arts and crafts, and food vendors.  Those who would like to be part of the Peanut Butter Festival’s 25th Anniversary Celebration as vendors are encouraged to call 334-344-9601 for availability. Arts and crafts booths are $45 and food booths are $80. Space is limited.