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74th Annual Peanut Festival Kicks Off

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Family Night in the Park Opens Festivities

By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

GRAPELAND – It has been said that Christmas is “the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and while that may be true – in the city of Grapeland – the weekend of the Peanut Festival ranks a close second.

You have the Wednesday night bonfire and Family Night in the Park on Thursday. Friday sees the pep rally, football game and homecoming festivities while Saturday features the Peanut Festival Parade, a day of fun in the park and the Peanut Queen’s Coronation on Saturday night. 

On Thursday, Oct. 17, the 74th Annual Peanut Festival kicked off and Grapeland began the process of welcoming thousands of residents, visitors, GHS alumni and former residents to town for a weekend chock full of fun, food and frivolity.

The bright lights of the carnival could be seen from miles around on Thursday evening as the carnival rides and games roared to life. Squeals of laughter and delight could be heard as the festival goers began to descend on the Grapeland City Park.

Moving through the park, the smells of cotton candy, fried delicacies and other assorted carnival food filled the air with scents so savory, one could almost taste them. 

Carnies could be heard imploring attendees to try their luck at one of the many games set up along the midway.

“It’s easy!” one of the carnival workers shouted. “It’s so easy, I can even make it backwards.”

Of course, he made it and drew a crowd around the basketball game for a shot at carnival glory.

While some flocked to the games, others were drawn to the rides like the Zipper, the Tilt-a-Whirl and the Rockstar. Shouts of fun, screams of fear and a few adjectives not fit for print could be heard as the rides went around and around.

Once the rides came to a stop, it was somewhat humorous to watch those who loved it race back around to get in line once again, while a few people looked a little green and looked for a place to calm their nerves as well as their stomachs.

They seemed to recover fairly quickly and before long they were back at it again. Like the song says, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” Happy Peanut Festival Y’all!!

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.