Mother Nature has her way with Peanut Fest
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 11, 2005
On Friday evening, the rain made an unwelcome appearance, albeit not in time to cancel part of the starting day of the Peanut Fest at the Suffolk Executive Airport.
The next day, the rain, which had not been seen in Suffolk for weeks, made up for lost time, almost completely washing out the Fest’s second day. The Peanut Butter Sculpture contest and World’s Largest Peanut Butter Sculpture were cancelled, as was the tractor pull. The Swamp Roar Motorcycle Rally, which raises thousands of dollars each year for the Dismal Swamp, was pushed back to an undetermined rescheduling date. And as of Monday it was cancelled.
In the area that had held the Shrimp Fest Thursday, “the water was thigh-high (by the weekend),” said Rick Gregory. “We were playing football, and it got too wet, so we were out there skim-boarding and body-boarding.”
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As the early Sunday darkness faded away, the sun couldn’t find a way out from behind the clouds. The sky took on an ominous gray, and cold temperatures and wind swept through the Fest. But this time, the Fest-goers didn’t care n it was their last chance to party for a year, and they were going to take advantage!
“This is a pretty good crowd,” said public assistance coordinator Angie Twiford, watching thousands mill around the information booth Sunday afternoon. “It’s not a great crowd, but I’m surprised that this many people came out.”
Perhaps she shouldn’t have been.
“I wasn’t missing this!” said Kelsey Rhodes, 13. “It was fun. All my friends were here. I came to ride the Zipper n that’s the best ride in the world.”
Wayne Vick watched his daughters take their turn on another ride.
“We wanted to come,” he said, “but we didn’t want to go swimming! We just dressed (the girls) up in some dirty clothes and let them go.”
Hay was sprinkled throughout the grounds for better traction, and many of the visitors wore secondhand clothes and boots (which made it difficult to dance later on as Joe Diffie rocked from the main stage).
“The games are my favorite part,” said Jeremy Woods, 7, taking a turn at a basketball game. “I like the rides, too n I’m going to ride everything.”