PLAINS — The 2013 Plains Peanut Festival kicks off Friday and Saturday with a street dance, parade and lots of peanuts. The festival is held annually in Plains, home of President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter.
The parade will begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday, and Rev. Dan Arial will be honored as the grand marshal. Rev. Arial is retired from Maranatha Baptist Church of Plains and has been of active in service to the Plains community.
Mr. Peanut will lead the parade. Created in 1916 by a 12-year-old boy as part of a contest, Mr. Peanut has been an American icon for almost a century. Dressed in the formal clothing of an old-fashioned gentleman, complete with top hat, monocle, white gloves, spats, tights and a cane, Mr. Peanut first appeared in advertising in 1919. He is now one of the best-known icons in advertising history. He has been a part of American culture for the last hundred years, even supporting the troops during World War II. In 2005, Mr. Peanut was inducted into the Advertising Walk of Fame. He was given a makeover in 2010 and a voice on TV for the first time.
The University of Georgia, The Peanut Institute, National Peanut Board, Farm Credit, Planters, Jif, National Peanut Buying Points Association, and Mars will display exhibits in the Planter’s Peanut Pavilion. The Georgia Peanut Commission will be on hand oil roasting delicious Georgia peanuts in the pavilion.
Saturday events begin at 8 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. SAM Shortline will have Train Rides, and President and Mrs. Carter will be signing books. The Swinging Medallions band will perform live on Main Street beginning at 8:30 pm on Saturday. Advance tickets are $20.
Sponsors of this year’s peanut festival include Kraft Foods-Planters, Smuckers-Jif Peanut Butter, Georgia Peanut Commission, National Peanut Buying Points Association, National Peanut Board, The Peanut Institute, Mars and The Plains Better Hometown Program. For more information and to view a schedule of activities, visit the official website of the Plains Peanut Festival at www.plainsgeorgia.com.