Blakely hosts annual peanut proud festival - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Blakely hosts annual peanut proud festival

The peanut proud festival is on the way (Source: WALB) The peanut proud festival is on the way (Source: WALB)
The event will honor the peanut industry (Source: WALB) The event will honor the peanut industry (Source: WALB)
Organizers are expecting large crowds (Source: WALB) Organizers are expecting large crowds (Source: WALB)
Mike Newberry (Source: WALB) Mike Newberry (Source: WALB)
Judy Joney (Source: WALB) Judy Joney (Source: WALB)
BLAKELY, GA (WALB) -

March is national peanut month, and one south Georgia community is making their final preparations for their biggest event of the year. 

"This is home, and you do whatever you can, to promote home," said Volunteer Judy Jordan.

Volunteers were at the site for three weeks, getting the court square in Blakely ready for Saturday's 8th annual Peanut Proud Festival.

The festivities will begin with a 5K in the morning, followed by music and a parade at 10 a.m.

"We are looking for a great day tomorrow, expecting as many as 10,000 people here," said Peanut Proud Festival Co-Chair Mike Newberry.

Organizers are expecting large crowds because, whether rain or shine, country singer Tracy Lawrence will perform at 3:30 Saturday afternoon.

The celebration is more than just music. It honors the peanut industry, and what it means to the community.

"We have all facets of the peanut industry here. Not only do we have production, we have all sorts of processing here. So this is kind of a real hub for the peanut industry," said Newberry. 

At one point, Early County was the largest peanut producing center of the world.

Unfortunately, a salmonella outbreak was linked to the Peanut Corporation of America facility in Blakey in late 2008. 

However, residents now are focused on the present and the future.

"We believe in peanuts, we support the peanut industry, and that's what this festival is all about," said festival volunteer Judy Jordan.

Festivities will begin at 8 a.m. and last until 8 p.m.

The festival and concert is free on Saturday. You can see the First Alert Storm Tracker in the parade at 10 a.m.

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