Published 10:36 pm Thursday, September 17, 2015
Peanut dust, country music, the smell of funnel cakes, the roar of motorcycle engines and the crispness of new autumn will all be in the air at the Suffolk Executive Airport on Oct. 8-11 for the Suffolk Peanut Festival.
This is the 38th year of the annual event, which brings a good ol’ county fair with a twist to the largest city in Virginia.
Acts like the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, TailGate Down, Blackhawk, The Outlaws, Sean K. Preston & The Loaded Pistols, Luke Willette and the Show Me Band and — for a little something different — Island Boy will float their music throughout the festival site. A variety of local bands also are on tap on the Harvest Family Stage.
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The special events are among the best-loved parts of Peanut Festival. Whether it’s Thursday’s Suffolk Ruritan Shrimp Feast, Friday’s demolition derby, Saturday’s peanut butter sculpting contest or Sunday’s Swamp Roar Motorcycle Rally, there’s always a good time to be had with old friends.
The midway is the favorite part of the peanut festival for many. There are gravity-defying rides, carnival games and fried food galore. The healthiest food at the Peanut Festival? Probably the peanuts, which are available roasted, by the cupful, for free.
Special attractions give the festival its nuttiness. There are helicopter rides, a silent disco, bingo, pony and camel rides, contests in cornhole, sidewalk art and wing-eating, the truck and tractor pull, camel rides, the wild animals of Bear Path Acres up close and personal, face painting and more.
The ever-popular peanut butter sculpting contest is always a favorite. The competitors — the Peanut Queen and her court, the festival chairman and a few special guests — get their hands dirty with a block of specially made peanut butter, a knife and a creative idea.
No matter what your reason is for visiting the Peanut Festival, prepare for a good time.