Residents respond to canceled Peanut Festival

Sylvester Peanut festival cancelled

SYLVESTER, GA (WALB) - People in Sylvester said they are upset about the cancellation of this year’s Peanut Festival.

Officials said the decision was made with residents' safety in mind.

Jeffords Park serves as the hub for the peanut festival.

Coming up at 6, hear how TC Jeffords Park plays a role in the decision to cancel this years Peanut Festival.

Posted by Marilyn Parker WALB on Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Officials said the park’s conditions are just too dangerous to go forward with the festival.

This weekend would’ve made 55 strong years of the Sylvester Peanut Festival.

“It was a very difficult decision to do that because it never has been,” said Mayor Bill Yearta.

Yearta explains that Hurricane Michael left too much damage at Jeffords Park for it go on.

“We’ve not been able to survey the trees and that’s an issue with falling limbs. There are a lot of limbs in the trees that have not come completely to the ground so we felt like it’s a real safety hazard,” he said.

It was announced Monday on the Peanut Festival’s Facebook Page.

Residents said they are understanding.

“I do think it was a good decision. The park is devastated. Everybody’s lives are turned upside down right now and I don’t think there would be a lot of turnout. I think it would be a lot of chaos,” said Cindy Hancock.

“I feel like I’d rather for it to be when everybody can attend without having to get debris and stuff out of their yard,” said Travis Coleman.

“I was hoping they would cancel it because there are more needs to be met, than planning for the festival. However, I know it’s going to be an inconvenience for those who have planned for a whole year,” said Susan Bennett.

Not having the festival also leaves a financial dent in the economy.

“It will certainly impact local business and we hate that because it brings in a lot of tourism a lot of folks from out of town and its a big event,” said Yearta

He also said considering the safety in the park, as well as the labor it takes to put together a festival, is what left them with this decision.

“We do apologize for not being able to put it on this year, but we had a pretty catastrophic event as well as a number of other South Georgia cities did so we will be looking forward to next year,” he said.

“It was definitely understandable. I have small children and i would not have attended with the shape that the park is in anyway,” said Hannah Bradley.

Inmates from the Worth County Jail were here earlier cleaning up the park.

Yearta said that even with clean up the infrastructure of the park still has to be replaced.

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