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Brundidge Historical Society talks fall schedule

Supper may be late at the We Piddle Around Theater in Brundidge this fall or not at all.

Due to the restrictions of COVID-19, the Brundidge Historical Society held its first meeting since March on Thursday. The main topic of discussion was the future of the BHS’ annual fall events, the Peanut Butter Festival in October and the production of Alabama’s Official Folk Life Play, “Come Home, It’s Suppertime” in November.

BHS President Lawrence Bowden said the restrictions in place would make it extremely difficult to host the 29th Annual Peanut Butter Harvest and Heritage Celebration.

“Although the festival is outdoors, it would be almost impossible to practice social distancing,” Bowden said. “I just don’t believe we could do that with people watching the entertainment and demonstrations and in line for funnel cakes, and other festival favorites. The barnyard is full of kids and people pack the streets for the Nutter Butter Parade.”

The society members were in agreement that hosting the Peanut Butter Festival would mean considering a larger and more open area for the outdoor festival and the change of many activities and events.

The discussion about the BHS’ folk life play centered on whether social distancing would be a possibility in the family-style supper theater.

“We seat eight to the table, and we would have to cut that back to four,” Cathie Steed, ticket chair, said. “And, we would probably have to take out a table or two to give enough space for people to be seated six feet apart.”

Steed questioned whether, at 50 percent occupancy, it would be financially feasible to have the play.”

Ann Register mentioned the interaction between the servers and the guests and also among the actors and entertainers could be concerning.

Although show business mandates that ‘the show must go on,’ these are unprecedented times, even for show business.”

Not wanting to cancel “Come Home” too early, the membership was hesitant to do so.

Johnny Garrett suggested that more time be taken in making a decision about the immediate future of Alabama’s Official Folk Life play.

“We’ve got some time between now and then,” Garrett said. “I don’t want us to make a decision too early.”

A motion was made and approved to wait until the BHS’ August meeting to make a decision. At that time, a decision will also be made about Peanut Butter Festival.

The BHS also sponsors the annual Chili Country Christmas event in early December and the Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival in January.

Mernette Bray, a member of the storytelling committee, said the storytelling committee will meet to discuss both of those events. However, contracts for the Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival are made a year or two in advance in order to bring nationally acclaimed storytellers to the festival.

“Hopefully, before we have to make that decision, we will be back to some kind of normal,” Bray said. “Plans for storytelling festival are already set and we are looking forward to our 14th Annual Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival.”