No shortage of downtown events Saturday

Published 10:19 pm Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Goober Gang: The Goober Gang waves to the crowd from their float in the Peanut Fest parade last year. This year’s parade is set for Saturday.

If you’re able to get out of the house on Saturday, there will be an event for you to attend.

The day’s activities will kick off at Constant’s Wharf, where the Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community will host its second Suffolk on the Move Peanut Fest 5K and unveil the Healthy People, Healthy Suffolk initiative.

The organization’s10-year plan aims to bring the community together to fight health issues, including obesity and related chronic diseases like diabetes. The Obici Healthcare Foundation is a partner in the program.

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“We’re asking the community to come join us,” said Jaya Tiwari, executive director of the partnership. “We’re hoping everybody will get involved.”

The event begins at 7 a.m. at the wharf, 110 E. Constance Road. Warm-up for the 5K begins at 7:15, and the run/walk begins at 7:30. Registration is open through Wednesday at

A little later in the morning, a different group of people will be taking over the roads of downtown Suffolk. The annual Peanut Fest parade begins at 10 a.m.

Once the parade is over, children and adults are encouraged to head to the Suffolk Seaboard Station Railroad Museum, 326 N. Main St., for “Touch a Truck, Train and More” presented by the Suffolk Nansemond Historical Society.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., children will be able to explore their favorite vehicles. Those available include an oil truck, crane, police car, fire truck, ambulance, motorcycle, dump truck, race car, golf cart, cement truck, bulldozer and more.

Older “children” also will enjoy antique cars, trucks, tractors and tow trucks that will be on display. There will be prizes for children, snacks and more. Tickets are $3 per person or $10 for a family four-pack. Proceeds will support the historical society.

“It is to bring awareness that the historical society owns and operates the train station,” said Betsy Totten, treasurer of the board. “A lot of people think it’s owned by the city. It’s also to fundraise for our operating costs there at the train station and also at the Phillips-Dawson House on Bank Street.”

Totten said sponsors have included TowneBank, CLT Transport Company, Duke Automotive, Ryan Construction, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, Roger Fowler’s Sales and Service and Chip’s Repair and Towing Service.

“We want it to be a unique opportunity for children where they can learn about all these pieces of equipment and learn about what these people are doing,” Totten said. “It’s an interactive learning experience for the children.”

After all the morning activities make you hungry, save room for the Boys and Girls Club’s third annual Barbecue and Oyster Roast. It will be held at Constant’s Wharf from 5 to 8 p.m.

“It’s one of the best things that happens in Suffolk,” Mike Debranski, co-chair of the board, said about Boys and Girls Club. “We talk about providing opportunity for kids to stay off the street. This is a prime example; we provide a safe haven for kids.”

The program gives children a place to go after school from 3 to 8 p.m. each school day. It meets at John F. Kennedy Middle School but accepts children from all over Suffolk.

Students get a structured environment, physical activity, a meal, homework time and more.

“It’s a good place for kids to come after school and spend their time,” Debranski said.

The Suffolk community has been extremely generous in past years, allowing the Suffolk club to stay open while others have had to shut down for lack of funding, Debranski said.

“The citizens of Suffolk have been really good to us,” he said. “We need to continue that funding.”

Island Boy will perform during the roast, and children from the club will put on a short program. The cost for tickets, which can be purchased at the gate, is $25.