Festivities abound

Published 10:40 pm Monday, October 1, 2018

Peanut Festival week in Suffolk is always 11 days of fall fun that starts with the Queen’s Banquet and careens in a blur of parade floats, mountains of shrimp, rides, games, smashing cars, concerts and footlong corn dogs all the way to the last festival visitor who walks off the festival grounds Sunday night stuffing their mouth with cotton candy or happily crunching into a candy apple.

The first official Peanut Fest event is the Queen’s Banquet, which takes place a full week before Peanut Fest starts. The Queen’s Banquet, put on by the Pilot Club of Suffolk, is one of many chances during the festival to show off what incredible young people we have here in Suffolk.

Bridget McKneely of Nansemond-Suffolk Academy was crowned the queen, and nine other young ladies — Audre Davis, Johanna Milburn, Deja Grays, Terlia Mercer, Katherine Chafian, Mackenzie West, Sarah Perdue, Haley Adams and Kaitlyn Brittingham — will serve as her court. Each of these young ladies already has a resume of academic and athletic achievements, volunteer service and community involvement a mile long, and we’re proud that they’re representing Suffolk as well as their individual schools this week.

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On Saturday, the Healthy Suffolk Peanut Fest 5K and One-Mile Fun Walk and the Peanut Festival Parade encircled downtown in festival fun and excitement.

And later this week, the fun really begins. The festival is open from 2 to 10 p.m. Thursday, and the annual Suffolk Ruritan Shrimp Feast takes place from 3 to 7.

Friday will feature performances from a number of instrumental and vocal groups from Suffolk Public Schools, which is another excellent way the Peanut Fest activities spotlight our youth. Friday also brings the Demolition Derby, which is always a fun time.

Saturday features performances by many local dancing groups, a variety of bands, the Peanut Butter Sculpture Contest featuring the queen and her court, the Mud Jam, hot wing eating contests, fireworks and much more.

On Sunday comes more concerts, the Swamp Roar Motorcycle Rally, autocross, a gospel showcase and all the rest of the fun of the festival.

For this relatively short span of time, a small paid staff at Suffolk Festivals as well as many volunteers work all year long to make sure that the event can run smoothly. We tip our hats to them and thank them for all of their hard work for this year, which is about to come to fruition.

We encourage everyone to get out and enjoy the festival in some way. Happy fall!