The 23rd annual Plains Peanut Festival is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 28 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, Mars and Hampton Farms 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 Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black will be honored as the Grand Marshall. As a special highlight of this year’s festival, Commissioner Black will ride in Ford factory custom Lincoln Continental that was driven by the US Secret Service in President Carter’s Inaugural Parade.
For over 38 years Gary W. Black has championed sound state and federal policies impacting food safety, science-based environmental stewardship and agricultural marketing. Now beginning his third term, Commissioner Black remains committed to fostering growth in Georgia’s number one industry. Black was first elected to serve as the Commissioner of Agriculture in November 2010.
SAM Shortline will have train rides and President and Mrs. Carter will be signing books. The festival street dance featuring Slaughter Creek 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, Hampton Farms, Hardy Farms, MANA Nutrition, Mars Company, National Peanut Board, National Peanut Buying Points Association, Olam Peanut Shelling Company, 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.