New Peanut Festival Committee gets off the ground

By: Chrysta Carroll - Bladen Journal
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DUBLIN — They may be working for peanuts, but Bladen County’s newest committee is hoping to do right by one of the county’s favorite festivals.

Made up entirely of volunteers, the new Dublin Peanut Festival Committee met for the first time recently to get the ball rolling on reinvigorating the annual Dublin Peanut Festival.

“We’ve had a tremendous turnout,” said newly-elected Chairman Richard Sibbett. “It’s hard to get things moving when you’ve only got five or six people, so this turnout gives me high hopes that we can turn things around and make the Peanut Festival great for Dublin again.”

Roughly 30 people showed up recently for an interest meeting, and the same crowd turned out again last week to elect officers for the large committee. In addition to Sibbett being elected chair, Christy Dowless was elected vice chair, Bonnie McDaniel was chosen to serve as secretary, and Dublin Mayor Horace Wyatt was tabbed to keep his role as treasurer.

“We have a few (former) members, but most of the members are new,” Sibbett remarked. “Horace Wyatt was the only one who kept his position, and we’re really grateful he stayed with us.”

A Dublin transplant himself, Sibbett said the Peanut Festival has impressed him as a great community outreach that highlights the strengths of Dublin.

For that reason, Dublin residents thought it important to reinstate the festival. Last year’s event was overshadowed with the news that the Peanut Festival Committee had overwhelmingly voted to end the festivities after the 25th year. Wyatt was the only committee member who voted against the dissolution, but many guests last year stated a desire to see it continue.

“We heard from the community, and they wanted to keep it going, so we voted to reinstate it,” Sibbett explained.

Hearing from residents in the area, the chairman said, is going to be a defining characteristic of the newly formed group.

“How we run this festival will be voted on as a committee,” he commented.

While no decisions have been made regarding what the festival will entail, the group’s first order of business was setting a date for the 2018 event. The 26th annual Peanut Festival will take place Saturday, Sept. 15.

The committee will meet again Feb. 8 to begin making plans for this year’s festivities and will meet monthly at the Lions Club building. Committee members have encouraged anyone who has an interest in the Dublin Peanut Festival to attend.

Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or emailing ccarroll@bladenjournal.com

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Chrysta Carroll

Bladen Journal