Plains- Plains was a bustling town Saturday as residents kicked off their annual Peanut Festival, and there was something for the entire family.
"Of course the train is new. We haven't had the train every year, and I think that's also an attraction. I know it would be for me with small children; they just love to get on a train and ride the train," says Plains Better Hometown Coordinator Audra Jennings.
Even though they've added new attractions to the usual food, arts and crafts and entertainment booths, most people say it's something else that makes this years' festival stand out.
"One of the things that we see anywhere we go is the question from people, do you know President Carter? Everybody knows him as a peanut farmer president, and he's always been a positive spokesperson for us," says Georgia Peanut Commission executive director, Don Koehler.
The former president will be inducted into the Georgia Peanut Commission Peanut Hall of Fame this year, something only three others can boast. Carter wasn't the only winner of the day. Nine year old Elizabeth McLoud won the peanut institute recipe contest for her boiled peanut salsa. An idea she says was inspired by her parents.
"Well my dad likes salsa and my mom likes boiled peanuts, and I like both of them, so we decided to do something with both of them," admits McLoud. Her dish was chosen over at least 250 others by food critics from all over the country.
"Its got the boiled peanuts in it which was unique, quite different to have in a salsa, with tomato, fresh tomato and fresh peppers. Very pretty,fresh, nice," adds Boston-based food writer Victoria Riccardi.
Even the local businesses got a big boost from the festival. Most have extended their operating hours and benefited from the influx of out-of-town visitors. "Yesterday we noticed it. Definitely a pick up yesterday afternoon with people buying and saying, I'll get this, don't let anyone else buy this, because some of the things we have are one of a kind type things," says Antique Mall owner Sandra Walters.
While most of the events will end tonight with the folk play and street dance, there will be a softball game tomorrow.