Recalling festivals of yore

Published 1:17 am Sunday, October 7, 2012

At the Peanut Festival on Friday, three older ladies sat beside each other on a bench near the Ferris wheel, watching the world go by and reminiscing about past festivals.

It would be reasonably safe to assume that Betty Saunders, Mary King and Sheila Scott have between them experienced a half-century of Peanut Festivals.

King, 76, said she’d been coming to the event for 20 years, and her companions all nodded as if to say, “So have I.”


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“I used to do craft shows out here,” King elaborated. “It’s really improved since it first started. I remember when the ground was mushy to walk on (when it rained). “They have a nice paved road now.”

She explained that she was involved in the craft show with her daughter.

“I would have handmade dolls and she would have bunny rabbits, and those kind of different things,” she said. “She would make everything from scratch, just like I would. When we started in the tent, it was all dirt floors … one year you would walk in, and it was a big mud pool. We had some straw in there to try to soak it up, and the first marshal told us to get rid of it.”

Scott, 74, said she never had a craft show, but would always bring her family to the festival. “We used to bring the kids to ride on the rides and go through the tents,” she said. “It speaks volumes, I think, that people here all get along well together.”

Still talking about the craft show, King said she and her daughter would rent a tent, “10-foot by 12-foot, something like that.”

“Stuff back then sold better than it does now,” she said, adding that the festival, despite its comparative lack of handcrafted wares these days, is still “a good family place.”

“It brings the whole families out,” she said. “We came out today, because it’s senior citizens day, but tomorrow you are going to see families out here.

“There’s the demolition derby, the tractor pull – that’s always interesting to see. It’s something we all look for once a year; we know it’s coming.”