Fest blessed despite rain

Published 8:48 pm Monday, October 12, 2009

God may not have checked with Peanut Festival organizers before the rain came falling Saturday, but this year’s version of the Suffolk Peanut Festival was no less blessed.

Beautiful weather on Thursday and Friday gave what organizers called the best first half of the festival they have ever had. And, sunny skies and cool weather helped cap off the festivities Sunday.

Although official attendance numbers have not been calculated, city leaders and festival organizers should once again be proud of the event they orchestrated.

For years the annual Peanut Festival was a way to celebrate the main economic engine that drove this area’s economy. It was a way for peanut growers and producers a chance to poke out their chest a little at a bountiful crop and a thriving business.

As the local economy has changed and the choice of crops has changed over the years, the festival holds the same importance it did so many years ago at its beginning.

Today, the festival is a chance for Suffolk to celebrate together with great friends, great fun and great food. It is a chance for this ever growing city to come together for a few days and let its hair down and simply have a good time.

Far too often now, growing cities have lost the feeling of community. They have become a collection of subdivisions, streets and Interstate exits. Through time and attrition they have lost their history to the museums and rarely ever join together to share a tall tale or two.

For Suffolk, the Peanut Festival is a way to retain that feeling of community, retain that feeling of self that has made this place such a wonderful place to call home.

The years of the Peanut Queen wearing a dress made of peanuts may be part of history, but her reign and the symbolism of the festival have never been more important.