The Plains Peanut Festival will be held Saturday, September 23rd. Tyron Spearman is looking forward to the annual event and invites folks to stop by and enjoy a grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
TIFTON, Georgia – The 26th annual Plains Peanut Festival is set to take place on Saturday, September 23 in Plains, Georgia, the hometown of President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter. This event celebrates the peanut harvest, a cash crop with significant global potential, as it provides a sustainable and nutritious product while combating malnutrition. Georgia holds the top spot in annual peanut production, accounting for nearly half of the peanuts grown in the United States.
Across the United States, farmers are in the midst of harvesting peanuts, a sustainable crop known for its soil-enriching properties. Peanuts also boast various health benefits, containing more protein than any other nut. Ongoing research underscores that consuming a small portion of peanuts daily can effectively reduce the risk of heart disease. On a global scale, peanuts are contributing to the fight against malnutrition through a therapeutic, ready-to-eat peanut product produced in Fitzgerald, Georgia, by MANA Nutrition.
The festival promises a day filled with entertainment, historical and educational exhibits, food vendors, arts and crafts stalls, and more. The Peanut Pavilion will host exhibits from The Peanut Institute, National Peanut Board, American Peanut Shellers Association, Georgia Peanut Commission, Hormel/Planters, and the National Peanut Buying Points Association, all beginning at 9:00 a.m.
The parade, led by the beloved Mr. Peanut, will kick off at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, with the Wise family serving as the Grand Marshals. The Wise family’s roots in the Plains area stretch back to the 1860s when they migrated from South Carolina, establishing themselves as some of the earliest settlers in the region. Phil, the son of PJ and Mary Wynn Wise, and Lonnie, the son of Morgan and Ann Wise, have continued their family’s legacy through active community and church involvement in Plains.
Phil, a member of the Plains High School Class of 1969, graduated from Georgia Tech and played a significant role on Jimmy Carter’s gubernatorial staff, his 1975 Presidential campaign, and his administration from 1977 to 1981. Phil retired in 2022 as vice president of operations and development at the Carter Center, remaining dedicated to Plains as a board member of the Friends of Jimmy Carter.
Lonnie, a member of the Plains High School Class of 1968, completed his education at Georgia Southwestern State University after serving in the US Army. His career with Georgia Power Company brought him back to Plains, where he serves on the board of the Plains Historical Preservation Trust, the Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail, and as a Deacon at Plains Baptist Church.
The SAM Shortline train will arrive in Plains at 10:45 a.m., offering round-trip rides from Plains to the Jimmy Carter Boyhood Farm in Archer. The festival’s highlight will be a street dance featuring a live performance by Slaughter Creek on Main Street, commencing at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday.
This year’s peanut festival is generously sponsored by the American Peanut Shellers Association, Birdsong Peanuts, Buffalo Peanut Company, Georgia Federal-State Inspection, Georgia Peanut Commission, Golden Peanut Company, MANA Nutrition, National Peanut Board, National Peanut Buying Points Association, Olam Peanut Shelling Company, Premium Peanut, Hormel/Planters, The Peanut Institute, and the United States Peanut Federation. The Friends of the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site organize the festival annually.