A big weekend in downtown Suffolk

Published 10:24 pm Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Summer gets all the glory, but there’s an easy argument to be made that the first couple of weeks of fall are the best time to be in Suffolk.

As the city prepares for the annual blowout known as the Peanut Fest, the events that are set up to involve and entertain the people of Suffolk come at a fast and furious pace. This weekend, for example, will be one of the busiest of the year.

On Friday, the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts will host its annual Art d’Vine celebration. With a “Bow Ties and Blue Jeans” theme this year, the event promises to be a big deal, and organizers hope it proves yet again to be a successful fundraiser for the facility.

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There will be entertainment by Bill Daughtry and the Just Us Band, a silent auction with a wide variety of items from area businesses and a live auction with items ranging from artwork to a getaway on the Middle Peninsula for the Urbanna Oyster Festival.

But Saturday is the big day for Suffolk events.

The Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community will host its second annual Suffolk On the Move Peanut Fest 5K at Constant’s Wharf Park, where it will unveil its new Healthy People, Healthy Suffolk initiative.

Following that event, the streets will be filled with marching bands and parade floats as the annual Peanut Fest parade wends its way along West Washington and North Main streets. The parade is not the first Peanut Festival event — that honor belongs to the annual Pilot Club-sponsored Queen’s Luncheon, where the Peanut Fest Queen will be crowned — but it is arguably the best known and most popular one.

Once the parade entrants have finished their march, the Suffolk Nansemond Historical Society will take over the parking lot beside the train station on North Main Street to present “Touch a Truck, Train and More,” where 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.

And wrapping up a big day in downtown Suffolk will be the third annual Boys’ and Girls Club Barbecue and Oyster Roast, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Constant’s Wharf. Island Boy will perform during the roast, and children from the club will put on a short program.

There are weekends when downtown Suffolk seems like the sleepy little town of days gone by. This will not be one of them. Enjoy.