Rain shuts down Peanut Fest — Update

Published 4:50 pm Thursday, October 10, 2013

Shrimp Feast, the annual kickoff event for the Peanut Festival, held as a fundraiser by the Suffolk Ruritan Club, is closed because of high water, according to a post on the City of Suffolk’s Facebook page, and it was just the latest victim of heavy rain and steady winds associated with a storm system stalled off the coast.

Suffolk News-Herald news editor Tracy Agnew, reporting from the festival grounds, said at 4:30 p.m. that there was a long line of people waiting in line for takeout, which was later shut down as well. Those who showed up hoping to brave the elements and enjoy the festival, however, were being turned away.

By 4:40 p.m., however, officials had posted on the Peanut Fest Facebook page that the Suffolk Ruritans had decided to shut down Shrimp Feast because of “another impending line of storms.”

Email newsletter signup

Peanut Fest, which takes place on the grounds of the Suffolk Executive Airport on Airport Road, had already been closed for the day after having lost power.

At 3:50 p.m., festival officials posted the following message on the event’s Facebook page: “Suffolk Peanut Fest update 3:50pm. The main festival site is closing early today due to weather and power outages. Shrimp Feast is continuing as planned until 7pm. The complete festival site will reopen tomorrow morning at 10am.”

Suffolk Public Schools had announced earlier in the day that the musical programs its students had intended to present on Friday at the festival had been canceled. Peanut Fest officials confirmed the cancellation and noted that some vendors and exhibitors had decided to wait until Friday to open to the public.

Suffolk Parks and Recreation announced its Gooberland youth activities set for Friday had been canceled because of the weather. Bingo at the festival site has been moved to the East Suffolk Recreation Center, 138 S. Sixth St. Call 514-4500 for more information on Parks and Recreation activities.

The announcements came on the heels of strident and optimistic assurances on Facebook and through other media that Peanut Fest would go on, even in the face of heavy rain and the prediction of generally terrible weather through the weekend.

“We are not going to let a few ‘scattered’ showers over the next few days worry us,” festival organizers posted on Facebook on Wednesday. “Suffolk Peanut Fest is ON and it will be AWESOME! See you there!”

Check back at www.suffolknewsherald.com for the latest information about Peanut Fest.

Forecasters were calling for a 60-percent chance of rain through Thursday, dropping to 40 percent on Friday and 30 percent on Saturday, with high temperatures in the mid-60s to low-70s.