‘Great crowd’ comes to Peanut Fest

Published 8:42 pm Monday, October 12, 2009

Now that the rides have been packed up, the peanuts have been eaten, the stars have left town and the tents are empty, the Suffolk Peanut Festival staffers and volunteers are taking stock of a nutty weekend.

“We had the best Thursday and Friday we’ve probably ever had,” Linda Stevens, director of Suffolk Festivals, Inc., said.

Stevens attributed the busy first half of the festival to beautiful weather, good entertainment and a need for cheap things to do in a down economy.

“In a down economy, we normally do have good crowds,” Stevens said. “You can spend all day long just doing things that are free.”

Organizers did not have an estimate of how many people had come to Peanut Festival, because there is no head count taken, Stevens said. They will eventually know how much money was brought in from parking fees, rides and other places, but not until later in the week.

“It takes me about a week to go through,” Stevens said. “It’s hard to get a good estimate. We had a great crowd, but to put a number on it would be almost impossible.”

Besides the entertainment, a new hit this year was a tent just for people to relax, eat and enjoy live or taped music, Stevens said.

“That will be back,” she added.

Cathy Richards, chairman of the executive committee, said about 3,000 pounds of peanuts were given away throughout the four days of the festival.

“It was good entertainment all four nights,” Richards said. “We had big crowds at all the events.”

Stevens said people especially commented on how friendly and helpful the hundreds of volunteers at the event were.

“They go to the ends of the earth to make this thing happen,” Stevens said.