Mardis Gras inspires Suffolk’s 45th Peanut Fest

Published 9:52 pm Wednesday, August 23, 2023

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As October approaches, residents can prepare for the spirit of Fat Tuesday to takeover the city during the 45th Annual Suffolk Peanut Fest.

This year’s theme is “Laissez les bons temps rouler,” which translates into Let the Good Times Roll, according to Suffolk Festivals Inc. 2023 event chairman Tiny Andrews.

Activities for Suffolk’s premiere festival are slated for Oct. 5-8, at the Suffolk Executive Airport. 

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Festival goers will enjoy musical acts on the Main Stage from: The Deloreans; Buckwheat Zydeco Jr. and The Legendary Ils Sont Partis Band; American Idol’s Dan Marshall; ZZ-KC: The World’s Most Authentic ZZ Top Tribute; Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas; Celeste Kellogg; and Nuthin Fancy: The Ultimate Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute Band. 

The Peanut Stage will showcase performances by Band-it, Suffolk Public Schools’ youth musicians; Snackbar Jones; Griffin Lane; Allonge Dance Academy; the Luke Willette Band; Bobby Blackhat; and the Sam Floyd Band. 

This year’s Suffolk Peanut Fest is hosting an encore visit by the Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Exhibit, an 83-foot tractor-trailer that transforms into an 1,100 square-foot exhibit featuring World Trade Center Steel, aluminum façade from the buildings, radio transmissions from first responders, and items found in the rubble after the Twin Towers collapsed, according to a news release.

This unique mobile exhibit serves to honor and preserve the legacies of the first responders who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.

Traditional festival fun continues with the annual demolition derby, Swamp Roar motorcycle rally, Peanut Cup race, monster truck rides, plus a full carnival complete with amusement rides, games and food. Special features include the world’s only peanut butter sculpting competition, Suffolk Ruritan Club Shrimp Feast, fireworks, an imagination station by ArtVentures, clogging jamboree, a touch-a-truck interactive exhibit, straw maze, chalk art contest, petting zoo and pony rides, a cornhole tournament, and the two Princess Meet and Greet Sing-Alongs, to name a few.

The Kent Family Circus will dazzle families with its circus arts and magic, while JB Rattles will delight festival-goers with a wide variety of reptiles and insects. 

Senior Bingo returns to Suffolk Peanut Fest through partnership with Suffolk Parks and Recreation. 

Merchants, vendors, crafters and exhibitors will offer their wares and concessions, including beer and wine, throughout the event site.

Peanut Fest tickets are now available for purchase online at General admission is $10 per person, with children 10 and under free. Carload night is Thursday, Oct. 5, featuring free admission. 

Purchase up to eight all-you-can-ride wristbands for $50 total for carload night only. Kiddie Day is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 6, with complimentary admission from 10 a.m. until noon and offering a variety of free preschool age activities. 

Military Appreciation Day is Sunday, Oct. 8 with half price admission for active, retired military and active first responders. $30 per person all-you-can-ride wristbands are available for this Sunday. Parking is free.

For more information about Suffolk Peanut Fest and associated concerts, events and activities, log onto or contact Suffolk Festivals at 757-539-6751.


Noteworthy pre-festival event dates

  • Aug. 25, 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. — Suffolk Peanut Fest Golf Tournament to benefit Tunnel to Towers Foundation at Sleepy Hole Golf Course. Registration required.
  • Sept.28, 6 p.m. — Suffolk Peanut Fest Queen’s Banquet at the Hilton Garden Inn Suffolk Riverfront. Tickets on sale at Cecelia’s Boutique and Gifts and the Suffolk Visitor Center.
  • Sept. 30, 10 a.m. — Suffolk Peanut Fest parade through downtown Suffolk.
  • Oct. 6, 9 a.m. — Patriotic procession escorting the 9/11 Never Forget mobile exhibit through downtown Suffolk to Suffolk Executive Airport.

More details on these events is available at


Join in the festival

Suffolk Festivals Inc. produces Suffolk Peanut Fest with the support from volunteers, sponsors and various non-profit organizations. Sponsorship, vendor and exhibitor opportunities available.

Festival hours are 4 -10 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5,; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6,; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7; and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8.

Learn more at, contact Suffolk Festivals at 757-539-6751 or visit the Facebook and Instagram festival pages.