The 22nd annual Plains Peanut Festival is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 22 in Plains, Georgia, home of President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter. The event highlights the harvest of its cash crop, peanuts, which has big potential across the globe by providing a sustainable and nutritious product and fighting malnutrition.
Georgia leads the nation in annual peanut production, accounting for nearly half of all the peanuts grown in the United States.
Farmers across the United States have begun harvesting peanuts, the sustainable crop that helps to replenish the soil with nutrients. Peanuts are also known for their health benefits. Peanuts contain more protein than any other nut and research continues to show that consuming a little less than a serving of peanuts a day is an effective way to reduce heart disease.
Globally, peanuts are helping fight malnutrition by providing a therapeutic, ready-to-eat peanut product made in Fitzgerald, Georgia, from MANA Nutrition.
Festival events begin on Saturday at 8:00 a.m. with a One Mile Fun Run followed by a 5K road race. Mr. Peanut will be cheering on the runners in the Fun Run. Additional festivities throughout the day include free entertainment, historical and educational displays, food vendors, as well as arts and crafts booths.
The Peanut Institute, National Peanut Board, American Peanut Shellers Association, Georgia Peanut Commission, Planters, Jif, National Peanut Buying Points Association and Mars will display exhibits in the Planters Peanut Pavilion beginning at 9:00 a.m.
The parade will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, and the American Peanut Shellers Association will be honored as the Grand Marshall. The American Peanut Shellers Association is the oldest organization in the peanut industry and celebrates its 100th anniversary this upcoming year. The association, based out of Albany, Georgia, was incorporated in 1919 and handles 90 percent of the peanuts grown in the United States.
SAM Shortline will have train rides and President and Mrs. Carter will be signing books. The festival street dance featuring Good Vibrations will perform live on Main Street beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Sponsors of this year’s peanut festival include American Blanching Company, American Peanut Shellers Association, Birdsong Peanuts, Georgia Federal-State Inspection, Georgia Peanut Commission, Golden Peanut & Tree Nuts, Hardy Farms, MANA Nutrition, Mars Company, National Peanut Board, National Peanut Buying Points Association, Planters/Heinz/Kraft, Premium Peanut, The J. M. Smucker Company and The Peanut Institute.
The Plains Better Hometown Program coordinates the festival annually. For more information and to view a schedule of activities, visit the official website of the Plains Peanut Festival here.