Peanut Butter Festival: Still stickin’ around

Published 7:45 pm Friday, October 20, 2023

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A full moon was the backdrop curtain for the first Peanut Butter Festival in Brundidge the last Saturday of October 1992.

The idea to host a festival to honor the town’s proud heritage in the Peanut Butter industry took hold in the community. Mr. Jim Frank Hughes donated peanuts for a peanut stack centerpiece. Oscar Kyle McDowell loaned farm antiques and William Smith brought artifacts from his hardware store and mile marker from down the road. Mr. Preston Lott brought his johnny popper engine that ran the Louis-Anne Peanut Butter Mill. Others shared a portable cane mill and a moonshine still. Ladies with know-how churned milk, made butter and rolled out dough. Men sat around and peeled cane for kids and showed kids how to yoyo and spin a top and shoot marbles. Men played checkers and dominoes.

Loreen Hughes made peanut butter in a sausage grinder. Hattie Flowers and friends made apple tarts, cooked turnip greens and cornbread. Charles Adams roasted peanuts and had homemade suckers.

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Jamie Neeley was Miss Peanut Butter Festival and Bill Laney and Hannah Hixon were the Peanut Butter Kids.

Kids chased greasy pigs, shooed hens with feathers and danced the hokey pokey.

On the porches, old-timers played checkers and dominoes and kids play hop-scotch and old Maid cards.

Country and church music was played and sung from a flatbed trailer donated for the day by Wiley Sanders Truck Lines. 

A snake handler was there and kids walked on stilts and tom walkers.

The the Nutter Butter Parade got underway at 1 p.m. It was necessary to wait until the two banks closed for the day so Main Street could be closed for the parade.

Any and everything was in the parade – the high school band marched in jeans, men wore overalls and carried pitchforks, pushed wagons, drove tractors and rattle-trap cars. Kids rode in wheelbarrows, pushed tires, dressed as clowns and scarecrows, ghost, princesses and fairy queens.

Horses, donkeys and cows were on parade and a man high in the sky on an egg-beater contraption circled the city. Pickup trucks, tractors, oldtique cars and the city’s antique fire truck were in parade. Those riding on the vehicles threw candy and bubble gum. What a fun parade it was.

The Peanut Butter Parade was community. It was friends and neighbors and kids and grandmas and grandpas having fun together.

Oh, to have a Peanut Butter Festival once again when people would put aside their cares and their inhibitions and come back to the way it was ….way back when.

The Peanut Butter Festival is October 28 in Brundidge. Everyone is invited. Admission is free.