Preparations for the Annual Celebration Coming Together
By Jason Jones
GRAPELAND – The roads have been swept, the grass has been mowed, and the town has been polished to a high shine. Grapeland is officially ready for the biggest event of the year.
Efforts around town have been very noticeable for the past several weeks. The new half-mile walking track at the park has been completed, which offers a casual winding path through the pines and around City Park. Along Main Street the sidewalks have been pressure washed and new parking stripes have been painted. Even City Hall has made its way front and center in its newly renovated home in time for the big weekend.
Grapeland Chamber of Commerce Board Member Brandon Bridges is pleased with the turnout from food and arts & crafts vendors. “We are expecting 75 arts & crafts booths this year and we officially have 24 food vendors as well,” Bridges said. “It looks like we’re going to have a great year.”
Unofficially, things get moving on Wednesday, Oct. 20 with the annual bonfire held at the athletic complex, beginning at 7:15 pm.
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” 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 noon 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.
Sandie Stadium will be the site for Friday night’s Homecoming game. Prior to the game, the Homecoming King and Queen, along with their Royal Court, will be crowned. The Sandies will take the field to face a tough Centerville squad in a district matchup. The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
After the game, the festivities will move to Grapeland City Park for the Concert and Dance featuring the popular local band Almost Legal. These young men have been making a splash all over east Texas and should not be missed. Make plans to come cut a rug while the local boys provide the tunes.
Saturday’s fun-filled agenda will begin with the annual Peanut Festival Parade at 10 a.m. The parade route will follow along Main Street and wind through downtown Grapeland. Festivities will continue at City Park with the arts & crafts and food vendors, as well as the carnival with its rides and games set up along the midway. Live music will fill the air all day while visitors eat, shop, dance and reunite with friends and family at the annual event.
Saturday evening will feature the 76th Annual Queen Coronation. Due to ongoing renovations at Lorena Schultz Auditorium, this year’s coronation has been moved to Crockett Civic Center, located at 1100 Edmiston Dr in Crockett. First year Pageant Director D’Linda Mahaffey expressed her appreciation for the young ladies vying for the 76th crown. “It has been a challenge not having the auditorium to practice in, but the girls have been great to work with” Mahaffey said. “I didn’t expect the amount of support and help they give each other. I truly think they will all be excited for whoever wins. I have enjoyed it very much.”
Presale tickets are currently available at Cutshaw Chevrolet and the Grapeland ISD Administration office. Presale tickets are $15. Admittance at the door will be $20.
All of us at The Messenger wish all of you a very happy and safe Peanut Festival celebration.
Jason Jones may be reached via email at email@example.com