‘Mad Dog’ Hershey to serve as 2002 Peanut Fest Parade Marshal

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 28, 2002

This year’s &uot;Peanut Fest Parade&uot; is set for 10 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 5 and this assembly could be one that won’t soon be forgotten. The incomparable &uot;Mad Dog,&uot; Maralyn Hershey, from CBS television’s &uot;Survivor&uot; program will be the Grand Marshal of the &uot;Peanut Fest’s 25th Sterling Silver Parade.&uot;

Hershey said she is thrilled and honored to act as parade marshal and she made a few promises concerning her appearance.

&uot;I am so pleased to show people that &uot;Mad Dog&uot; still has a bark or two left, maybe even a bite if presented with the right snacks,&uot; said Hershey. &uot;I do promise though to wear my bra and I won’t be taking my teeth out on the parade route, but if a stray insect gets in front of me, he’s history!&uot;

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Hershey may have lost out on the million dollars in the &uot;Survivor&uot; program on CBS, but she surely hasn’t lost that biting sense of humor.

&uot;I took my teeth out on the show when I had to eat that mangrove worm,&uot; she said. &uot;I was not going to bite down on that thing! I was just going to let him slide on down and I took my lower dental plate out so he wouldn’t get stuck on the wires!&uot;

One thing Hershey does plan to eat is some of Suffolk’s world-famous Virginia-type peanuts, however, she insists that it’s debatable as to where the best peanuts come from.

&uot;I always thought Wakefield, where I live, is the &uot;Peanut Capital of the World,&uot; said Hershey. &uot;Oh, well, wherever they come from, I will be chowing down on some of our great Virginia peanuts. How could you live in peanut country and not love peanuts? I’m already on a diet so I can eat as many as I want.&uot;

Prior to Survivor experiences in the Australian Outback, Hershey was a 26-year veteran of the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C. She was one of that city’s first women to be assigned to street patrol and she quickly proved herself enough to move up the rank and file from sergeant to inspector. During her tenure, she also served as captain over the MPD 911 Communications. She retired in May 1996, after amassing more than 70 letters of commendation and four award for Outstanding Performance.

Hershey said she finds it hard to believe that in mid-October it will be two years since she pulled some of the toughest time she’s ever known as a Survivor contestant. She’s had little time to think of such things, she said, because she stays so busy with public appearances but she added, this parade is special to her because it is a celebration of the peanut harvest.

&uot;I would like to encourage everyone to come out to the Peanut Fest Parade and I promise to behave, but I’ll also promise that we’ll all have a lot of fun,&uot; said Hershey. &uot;Everyone should also go out to the Peanut Festival and support the economy of our area. Every time I’ve been to the event, I’ve had a great time. This year, instead of those nasty ol’ worms, I’m gonna’ have an elephant ear!&uot;