Theme: Under the Sea
By Will Johnson
GRAPELAND – All the plans, preparations and prayers will come to a conclusion as the 72nd Annual Grapeland Peanut Festival kicks off on Wednesday evening, Oct. 11 to start a long weekend chock full of fun, food and fellowship.
The Peanut Festival festivities will officially get underway on Wednesday, Oct. 11 with a bonfire hosted by Grapeland ISD outside of Sandie Stadium. The blaze is scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m.
On Thursday, Oct. 12, the events continue with Carnival Family Night at the Grapeland City Park. Carnival rides, games and fried delicacies of all sorts will take center stage beginning at 6 p.m. and will last until 10 p.m. Armbands allowing carnival goers to “ride all night” will be available for purchase at the park at a cost of $20 per armband.
The merriment kicks into high gear on Friday, Oct. 13. Starting things off will be the Homecoming Pep Rally in the Grapeland High School Gymnasium. Cheerleaders, students, faculty and alumni will all be in the gym beginning at 11:15 a.m. to help get the Mighty Sandies fired up for their football game later in the evening.
Plan to show up early at Sandie Stadium later in the eve
ning as the 2017 Homecoming King and Queen – along with their Royal Court – will be announced. This year, the King and Queen will be crowned during ceremonies prior to the game. The start time for the coronation of the Homecoming King and Queen is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and the game will follow afterwards with a 7 p.m. kickoff.
The nominees for the Royal Court have not been determined as of yet, but are scheduled to be announced later this week.
Following the crowning of the 2017 Homecoming King and Queen, the Grapeland Sandies will take the field for a tilt with the Overton Mustangs. Prior to the Friday, Oct. 6 games, Grapeland had a record of 2-2 while Overton had a mark of 0-5. Both teams will be looking to open the start of league play with a win in District 11-AA DII as the winner will definitely have a leg up on securing a postseason berth. Look for it to be a hard fought battle until the very end.
Once the game ends, the action will crank back up at the Grapeland City Park with a concert and dance. The music will be provided by Texas Rebellion. A dance area was installed at the park last year so those who want to cut a rug won’t continuously trip over those pesky pinecones! The music and boot scootin’ are scheduled to last from 9:30 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. If past history is any indication, however…
Saturday, Oct. 14 marks a day chock full of Peanut Festival revelry. Head on back to the downtown area early in the morning and find the perfect spot to watch a parade. For more information, please contact Parade Invitation Chair Linda Reed at 409-651-8491 or Peanut Festival Chair Tammy Hassell at 936-687-4903. For those who have pre-registered, the pa
rade line-up begins promptly at 8:30 a.m. and the judging will start at 9 a.m.
The Grapeland Chamber will be sponsoring an all you-can eat pancake breakfast with pancakes, sausage, hot syrup, coffee and juice from 7:30 until 9:00 a.m. at the old Kennedy Brothers building on the corner of Main and Chestnut Streets. The cost is $6 per person with the proceeds benefitting the First Christian Church Memorial (the Little White Church).
There will also be a Peanut Festival dignitary breakfast beginning at 9:00 a.m. at the Fellowship Hall of the Little White Church.
At 10:00 a.m., police sirens and fire truck claxons will sound, marking the start of the parade. Queens Contestants’ floats, tractors, cars, police and fire vehicles, motorcycles, horses and a slew of other entrants will entertain those in attendance as the parade winds its way down Main Street and through the Grapeland area.
When the parade ends, you will want to make your way back to the Grapeland City Park for a day full of fun, food, games and carnival rides. Arts and crafts booths, vendors selling their wares, turkey legs, ribbon fries and funnel cakes will dominate the scene as visitors and residents alike stroll through the park grounds enjoying a full spectrum of all things peanut.
Speaking of the musical acts, various bands will be performing throughout the day. Mark Goodnight and the Ruby Creek Band will open at 11 a.m. At 1:30 p.m., Highway 19 Bluegrass will take the stage followed by Jay and Tammy’s Variety Show. Men of Praise will take the spotlight at 3:30 p.m.
Take a break around 4 or 4:30 p.m., go home, shower, check the college football score but be ready to go again by 6:15 p.m. when the doors to the Lorena Shoultz Auditorium open for the 2017 Peanut Queen’s Coronation.
The Queen’s Coronation begins at 7:00 p.m., however, try and get to the auditorium early as seating is limited. Tickets are still on sale at Platt Heating and Air for $10, but they’re going fast. General Admission tickets are also available at The Pink Dot, Grapeland State Bank, Sweet Southern Britches, Tammy’s Shear Country and The Gallery.
If any tickets are still available by Saturday, Oct. 14, the chamber will have them at their booth at the City Park during the Saturday events.
There are eight young ladies vying to be crowned by Miss Peanut Queen 2016 Hailee Sheridan. They 2017 Peanut Queen’s contestants are: Madelyn Conner, Miss Grapeland Noon Lions Club; Victoria Lane, Miss Sweet Southern Britches; Jennilea Lo
vell, Miss Sandyland Propane; Keana McKnight, Miss Park Hill Farm; Callie Richburg, Miss Bartee Construction; Aaliyah Sims, Miss Best Flight Travel; Hannah Turner, Miss Elite Fitness; and Alysha Williams, Miss Best Friends Community Services.
From all of us at The Messenger and Texas Farm and Home Magazine, enjoy the festivities, have fun and stay safe at this year’s Peanut Festival.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com.