Get your fingers sticky at the annual Peanut Butter Sculpting Contest

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 25, 2004

Special to the News-Herald

How would you like to be a featured guest at the &uot;27th Annual Peanut Fest?&uot; Festivals Inc. can put you right into the spotlight along with the 2004 Peanut Fest Chairman Larry Underwood, the Peanut Fest Queen and her Court, and Suffolk Mayor Bobby L. Ralph.

Peanut Fest takes place Oct. 7-10, and it is one of the biggest parties held in Hampton Roads with more than 200,000 people visiting the festival site, at Suffolk Executive Airport, each year.

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All it takes to be one of the stars in the 2004 &uot;Peanut Butter Sculpting Contest&uot; is a hankerin’ to get involved with a five-pound block of peanut butter and an idea of what peanuts mean to you. The theme each year for this event focuses on peanuts, the little legume that built the great city of Suffolk.

Each year, the Peanut Butter Sculpture contest draws in politicians; celebrities and local people like our Peanut Queen. It is always a great deal of fun to watch them as they immerse themselves in the challenging task of bringing forth a work of art from the block of sticky goober paste.

Now before anyone gets scared off, this contest is strictly for amateurs. After all, how many professional peanut butter sculptors do you know? It is geared just to bring smiles and lots of fun to the participants and especially to those who attend the event as observers.

Watching as that block of peanut butter begins to soften and the sculptors work diligently to design a winning creation is truly funny. Even more hilarious is the running banter from none other than that perennial radio personality Joe Hoppel of KICK 106.1. Hoppel has, for most of the Peanut Fests, served as the emcee for this event and such is his popularity that he is considered a part of the Festival family.

Producer’s Peanut Company Inc. supplies the huge peanut butter block, and it is the best of peanut butters. So good, in fact, those sculptors try hard not to lick their fingers while creating their masterpieces.

The contest takes place right on the midway so that it’s open and inviting for all festival-goers to enjoy.

Prize ribbons will be awarded, but the big payoff comes from the adulation and applause of the crowd as Hoppel announces the winner’s name.

If you feel you have what it takes, a sense of humor and an idea of what peanuts mean to you, call the Peanut Fest office at 539-6751, for more information on how to enter the peanut butter sculpture contest.

You must be at least 16-years old to enter.