Event Begins Oct. 21
By Will Johnson
GRAPELAND – It has been said that Christmas is “the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and while that may be true, in the Queen City of the Sand Flats, the weekend of the Peanut Festival ranks a close second.
Unofficially, things get moving on Wednesday, Oct. 20 with the annual bonfire held at the athletic complex, beginning at 7:15 pm.
On Thursday, Oct. 21 the 76th Annual Peanut Festival will officially kick off and the City of Grapeland will begin the process of welcoming thousands of visitors and former residents back to town for a weekend chock full of fun, food and frivolity.
The bright lights of the carnival will be seen from miles around on that Thursday evening as the carnival rides and games roar to life. Squeals of laughter and delight will be heard as the festival goers begin their descent on the Grapeland City Park.
The official start of the Peanut Festival begins with Carnival Family Night at the Grapeland City Park on Thursday, Oct. 21. Carnival rides, games and fried delicacies of all sorts will take center stage beginning at 6 pm and lasting until 10 pm. Wrist bands allowing carnival goers to “ride all night” and will be available for purchase at the park at a cost of $20 per armband.
The festivities kick into high gear on Friday, Oct. 22. Starting things off will be a Pep Rally at Grapeland Elementary at 11:30 am for the little ones. This will be followed at approximately 12 pm by the Homecoming Pep Rally in the Grapeland High School Gymnasium Cheerleaders, students, faculty and alumni will all be in the gym 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 that evening as the Homecoming King and Queen – along with their Royal Court – are announced. This year, the King and Queen will be crowned during ceremonies prior to the game.
Following the crowning of the 2021 Homecoming King and Queen, the Grapeland Sandies will take the field for a tilt with the Centerville Tigers.
Once the game ends, the action will crank back up at the Grapeland City Park with a concert and dance. There is a dance area at the park 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 9:00 p.m. until 12:00 a.m. If past history is any indication, however…
Saturday, Oct. 23 marks a day chock full of Peanut Festival events. 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 Brooke Lumbreraz at 936-222-3975, Whitney Walker at 936-203-3305or Lanettte Brown at 903-724-2590. For those who have pre-registered, line-up begins promptly at 8:30 a.m.
There will be an “All You Can Eat” pancake breakfast at 8:30 am at the Grapeland Public Library.
At 10 am, 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 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. There will also be a washer tournament in the park beginning at 2 pm.
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 7:00 p.m. That’s when one lovely young lady will begin her quest to become Miss Peanut Queen 2021.
The Queen’s Coronation begins at 7:00 p.m., however, try and get to the Crockett Civic Center early, as seating is limited.
Tickets are not on sale as of yet but check back online or in future editions of The Messenger for ticketing information as it becomes available.
From all of us at The Messenger, enjoy the festivities, have fun and stay safe at this year’s Peanut Festival.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.