Celebrate fall at the 25th Fest

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 5, 2002

This city’s premier party people, Suffolk Festivals Inc., always know how to throw a celebration and they are recognized as the elite crew that puts together many city events including the fantastically popular &uot;Peanut Fest.&uot; This year, they ask local citizens and the150,000 visitors from as far away as Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and North Carolina to join them in celebrating the &uot;Silver Anniversary Peanut Fest and Parade.&uot;

There is no charge to gain entry to Peanut Fest, which kicks off at 2 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 10, at Suffolk’s Municipal Airport (on Airport Road, of course!) just off Route 13 South.

William D. &uot;Billy&uot; Wyatt serves as the chairman of Peanut Fest this year and he’s done everything possible in organizing the huge team of volunteers. Together with Suffolk Festivals Director Linda Stevens, they have what they believe to be a spectacular silver anniversary party for the people.

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Naming all the events, entertainment and live performances by a variety of bands, musicians and others would require too much space for one story so look for follow-up stories on those items in the News-Herald. However, let this story begin the telling of this celebration of the fall season and the harvest of crops.

Wyatt said this year’s Fest would feature something for everyone from small toddlers to those living as &uot;Golden Oldies.&uot;

One event that makes its debut this year is the &uot;Gourmet Goober Cook-off,&uot; in which that indomitable crew, the Goober Gang, will test their knowledge of the hundreds of peanut recipes that can be turned into succulent delights for the most discriminating taste. Right along with that, the &uot;National Peanut Tour&uot; featuring the &uot;World’s Largest Peanut,&uot; will take the spotlight for the first time in Suffolk. More about the peanut that even beats the famed &uot;Virginia-type&uot; goober on another edition of the News-Herald.

Each year

prior to Fest, questions abound. People want to know, who’s going to be the nationally recognized performer to take center stage at the festival? The answer this special anniversary year is none other than the highly acclaimed, &uot;Jefferson Starship&uot; and national recording artist, Jon B.

Jefferson Starship consists of musicians from the world-renowned &uot;Jefferson Airplane,&uot; and they perform a great variety of oldies and some more up-to-date pieces. They come to Suffolk’s Peanut Fest by way of a world tour of special concerts, and this year they celebrate an anniversary of their own. They’ll be celebrating the 35th anniversary of the release of Jefferson Airplane’s &uot;Surrealistic Pillow.&uot;

Jon B. – Jonathan David Buck – is a Los Angeles-based vocalist who performs with a variety of instruments and along with his own stylings on R&B hits, he’s a recognized songwriter/producer. Buck learned the keyboard at his mother’s side at the age of nine, and shortly learned bass and drums. He recorded his debut album while working with several top artists including Toni Braxton. He currently has a CD out, &uot;Are U Still Down: Jon B Greatest Hits.&uot;

Tracy Byrd, a highly popular country singer/musician, will also perform cuts from his latest album, &uot;Ten Rounds.&uot; This CD features his own particular brand of Texas-style country with &uot;Ten Rounds with Jose Cuervo.&uot; With this performance, he’ll rekindle many memories of the days when he performed good ol’ &uot;honky-tonk.&uot;

In the Ten Rounds album, Byrd seems to join the nation in remembrance and the lessons learned in the Sept. 11, 2001 events. He sings about those lessons at 4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 13.

&uot;It’s about my love of life and career, and taking advantage of every minute of every day,&uot; said Byrd. &uot;It’s about having fun, loving your loved ones and paying attention to the true meaning of life.&uot;

Of course, there will be live entertainment all through this exciting four-day event. Look for it on the Harvest Stage, the Peanut Stage, and in the Midway Area. Follow Goober Boulevard, Peanut Fest Way and many other aptly named little paved streets within the festival grounds to discover what could be America’s next &uot;American Idol.&uot;

One not to be missed event; the &uot;Peanut Butter Sculpture Contest,&uot; and this year’s event should be a blast.

The Peanut Butter Sculpting Contest is always a big event because of its contestants. Past participants include the ubiquitous Mr. Peanut, &uot;Mickey Mouse,&uot; a &uot;Miss Virginia,&uot; a &uot;Little Miss Suffolk,&uot; a Channel 3 news personality, and Suffolk Mayor Dana Dickens. Joe Hoppel, of WCMS-FM fame, will be on hand again this year to MC the event.

While the music and entertainment are the primary reasons many of the 150,000 people show up for Peanut Fest, they promised something for everyone and that comes through in many specially featured shows and exhibits.

Keep an eye on the News-Herald for more information on Peanut Fest 2002, A Silver Anniversary Celebration!