Alabama has a rich history in peanut growing and harvesting. Approximately half the peanuts grown in the United States are grown on nearly 200,000 acres in or around the Wiregrass Region. Harvesting more than 400 million pounds of peanuts annually, Alabama has the third-highest ranking of peanut production in the United States. In 1938, Local groups founded the festival to celebrate the heritage and dedication to this industry.
The celebration takes place Nov. 2-11 in Dothan, the self-proclaimed “Peanut Capital of the World.” Nov. 2-11.
The first National Peanut Festival was a three-day event with a pageant, parade, historical play and grand ball. It kicked off with a guest speaker, George Washington Carver, who is internationally known for his scientific and agricultural work. George Washington Carver’s work at the Tuskegee Institute secured Alabama a permanent place in peanut history. His development of more than 300 products from the peanut are a valuable part of our agriculture today.
Throughout the years, The National Peanut Festival grew in popularity. In 1953, the Chamber of Commerce added a carnival to help fund the event. The National Peanut Festival purchased 150 acres of land on U.S. Highway 231 South, securing a permanent site for the annual festivities.
With more than 163,000 guests in attendance, this once small celebration has turned into a nationally-known occasion. In addition to the carnival, this year’s event features a Sea Lion Splash, Demolition Derby, Eudora Farms Petting Zoo and more. The Eli Young Band will perform on Nov. 8 and the Charlie Daniels Band will perform on Nov. 9. Original events from 1938, such as the Miss National Peanut Festival Pageant and recipe contest, are also on the 2012 schedule.
Peanuts not your style? Check out The Alabama Pecan Festival Nov. 2-4. Pecan groves and orchards are plentiful among the Gulf Coast, so it’s only fitting that the Alabama Pecan Festival is held in Mobile. The 25th annual Alabama Pecan Festival celebrates the state nut with live entertainment, crafts, food vendors and more.
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