Plains Peanut Festival

Published 8:06 pm Monday, September 25, 2023

The Plains Peanut Festival was held Sept. 23rd. Courtney Stoops, Education Program Specialist at the Georgia Department of Education gave an interview about the postcard awards before the parade.
“Students from across the state submitted postcards that they drew according to the theme peanuts, politics, and peace. They had first place through third place winners and then the superintendent’s choice winner, and we are giving away awards from that.”
“In the past, President Carter would be here to shake hands, but this year, it’s not possible for him to do that.”
Angel Rodriguez and Brenton Tarpley tied for first place for kindergarten, Pierce Shaver won first place for first grade, Emily B. Blake won first place for second grade, Rinoa Schuyler and Catherine Yauck tied for first place in third grade, Haejin Kim won first place for 4th grade, Simeon Stirrup won first place for fifth grade, Lyria McLain won first place for 6th grade, Charleigh Williams won first place for 7th grade, Gabrielle Williams won first place for 8th grade, Kayla Kozel won first place for 9th grade, Ashley Jang won first place for 10th grade, Jack Jaeira won first place for 11th grade, Charlotte Claire Carson won first place for 12th grade. Dontrevius Wicker won first place for Ranger Awards.
Adison Ammons, who tied for second in 11th grade, was willing to give an interview.
“We had to do it as an assignment in my art class. As soon as I heard the assignment, I knew what I wanted to do, and I did it.”
She described the design.
“There’s two hands, and then there’s a peanut, one’s dropping a peanut into it.”
When asked if she had been drawing long, she responded.
“I’ve been drawing since I was in elementary school. I’m a junior.”
Before the parade, First Sargent Leatherbee was willing to give an interview.
“We do this parade every single year and it’s a pleasure to come out here. This year we actually upped our ante a little bit and we asked if we could add a little time on the stage. We’re going to play something patriotic for you, something Georgia specific.”
When asked about the specific selections, he replied.
“Right now we have God Bless America, we’ll play Georgia for ya, and we’ll probably play another lively tune just to get the crowd going.
He also talked about the recent name change of the fort he was stationed at.
“It might just be nice to stress that we are out of Fort Moore, some people don’t know about the name change from Fort Benning. The post is not only named after General Hal Moore but it’s named after his wife as well, Julia. She did great things for the army. She helped out spouses in the causality program so that notifications of soldiers are a lot more streamlined just because of all of her efforts.”
The highlight of the fair was the surprise participation of President Jimmy Carter and Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, riding in a Black Tahoe.
Winners of the Post Card contest were able to march in the parade with the president, along with the marching band. A dancing peanut also made an entrance beside a peanut truck. After the parade, the marching band played on the platform set up on main street, and singer songwriter Reed Elliotte sang from a second story balcony.
Several vendors had set up booths beneath the white oak trees in the park behind city hall. One of the booths was run by Civitan. Member Grant Williams was willing to give an interview.
“Civitan service organization [was] founded in 1917 in Birmingham Alabama. Our main function is aid to the mentally and physically challenged.”
He talked about its history.
“Eunice Kennedy Shriver met with Civitan, and that’s how Special Olympics came about. We committed 10 million dollars to the Special Olympics at that time. Locally, we do give scholarship donations to South Georgia Technical College and Georgia Southwestern, primarily for students who are going into special education. It is a worldwide organization, and like all worldwide organizations, membership is down. It’s hard to get people to commit when everyone is so busy.”
He mentioned where they held their meetings.
“The Americus Club meets twice a month, second and fourth Tuesdays at 12:00 p.m. at the Quality Inn on 19. We are about to age out ourselves, several of us are beyond retirement.”