DUBLIN — For those who might think the 23rd annual Dublin Peanut Festival is a one-day event, they might be surprised to know the festivities actually began a few weeks ago — and the planning actually began 364 days ago.
“It’s almost a year-round thing,” Bobbi Todd, one of the event organizers, said recently. “Thankfully we have a lot of dedicated people who want to see this get better every year.”
A few weeks ago, the Peanut Festival Committee officially announced its annual winners of the scholarship and T-shirt design winners. Zachary Bridgers was chosen as the 2015 scholarship winner and received $2,000 to continue his students at Bladen Community College, where he is majoring in criminal justice. Riley McIntyre was selected as the winner of the annual T-shirt design contest, and his design will be used on the back of this year’s festival shirts.
More recently, the 2015 Peanut Festival Pageant royalty was selected. On Saturday, those winners were: Tiny Miss Rylee White, Little Miss Riley Dial; Junior Miss Keyana Hammonds; Ambassador Kimberly Cashwell; Miss Courtney Locklear and Teen Miss Avery Pickett.
The Peanut Festival Committee’s hard work will really pay off on Saturday when the day-long festival is held in Dublin. Almost completely engulfing the campus of Dublin Primary School on N.C. 87, the event will kick off with a parade at 10 a.m. with a pair of parade marshals leading the way — Bladen County sheriff’s deputy R.J. Bailey and State Highway Patrol trooper Andrew Pait.
The official opening of the festival will take place at 11 a.m. with Dublin Mayor Horace Wyatt, after which will begin the entertainment and numerous other attractions.
Taking the stage first behind the school will be The Mighty Echoes, a well-known and popular gospel group, who will play until 12:30 p.m. Following them from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. will be the ever-popular beach and oldies group, Band of Oz, who packed in a crowd to kick off the Summer Sounds Concert Series in downtown Elizabethtown. The Clarkton-based Black Water Rhythm & Blues Band, who also attracted a huge crowd at the Summer Sounds event, will take the stage from 1:45 to 4 p.m.
Also throughout the day will be dozens upon dozens of booths offering everything from flea-market items to clothing to jewelry to food to toys to local services and more.
The annual classic car and truck show will be available for folks to wander through in front of the school, with judging to take place from noon to 3 p.m. and awards presented after 3 p.m.
At about 1:15 p.m., one of the festival’s biggest and most fun events will take place when the Kiddie and Women’s Tractor Pull are held. In addition, throughout the day will be a number of mechanical rides for children of all ages to enjoy.
— W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.