DUBLIN — The nuts — peanuts, that is — will be coming out of the woodwork in Dublin this weekend.
What began as a way to raise money for Dublin Elementary School has grown to become a premier festival in the region.
“People say the Dulbin Peanut Festival is one of the best family-oriented festivals around,” said Bobbie Todd, one of the organizers of the event. “A lot of people have family that come home just for that weekend. It’s like family reunion — no drinking allowed, no smoking on school grounds, the bands are clean — it’s a good, family-oriented event.”
The day’s festivities will kick off at 10 a.m. with a parade of clowns, fire trucks, beauty queens, and spiffy old automobiles.
The official start to the day will take place at 11 a.m. when Dublin Mayor Horace Wyatt welcomes guests, dignitaries, queens, and the grand marshal.
Entertaining guests from 11:30 to 1:30 will the the High Point-based Carolina Soul Band. They’ll be singing Motown, beach, and soul songs from the 1950s to the 1990s from artists like Four Tops, Smokey Robinson, and the O’Jays. The group has shared the stage with the likes of Percy Sledge, Little Richard, and the Temptations and has performed at the Daytona 500 and the U.S. Open in N.C. They were most recently seen in the area in August at Cape Fear Vineyard and Winery.
At 2 p.m. the Carolina Breakers will take the stage. Known for their harmonies and variety of lead singers, the eight-member band features a horn section and plays Motown, beach, disco, and rhythm and blues songs from such artists as Michael Jackson, KC and the Sunshine Band, Mick Jagger, and the Temptations. With a collective ten number one hits, the group was billed as 2011’s CMBA Favorite New Artist of the Year.
“Our entertainment is growing and bringing in bigger crowds every year, and we want everybody to bring lawn chairs and make a day of it,” said Todd.
Judging for the Classic Cruisers Car Show will take place from noon until 3 p.m., and prizes will be awarded for the top 50, as well as for “best of” categories like GM, Ford, Mopar, and Show.
A highlight from the festival is usually the Kiddie and Women’s Tractor Pull, which will take place between 1 and 2 p.m.
Food for festival-goers is often a draw, and Todd doesn’t think this year’s offerings will disappoint.
“We’ve already got 13 food vendors, and that’s incredible, because they usually wait until the week before to register so they can see how the weather’s going to be,” said Todd.
Goodies will include staples like the committee’s secret recipe hot dogs and sausage dogs, Bar-B-Que plates and funnel cakes, as well a new item to their lineup — steak and chicken fajitas. Naturally, the festival’s namesake will be served in abundance.
“One of the bigger items this year is that we’re boiling peanuts on site now instead of doing it ahead of time and serving them cold,” said Todd. “We’ll have hot boiled peanuts, cold boiled peanuts, salted in the shell, plain, roasted, green — any way you want them.”
Dozens and dozens of other vendors will be vying for guests’ attention with goods ranging from clothing and accessories to to toys and local services. Included in them is a new vendor from Laurinburg who will be bringing two tractors. One vehicle, called the cancer tractor, is painted pink and in front of it will sit a collection bucket. Any money raised at the festival will be donated to the community to aid local cancer patients. The second tractor will be raffled off.
Bringing in a new ride vendor from Danville will, the organizers hope, make festival-goers happy. Todd said guests this year can expect larger rides that will appeal to older children as well as the kiddie rides to which they are accustomed and plenty of midway games and activity houses.
T-shirts designed by Dublin Elementary School, which usually sell quickly, are $10 each and will be on sale at Houston’s Peanuts and Dublin Elementary.
The Dublin Peanut Festival will take place Saturday, Sept. 17. For a full list of activities, including a schedule, visit dublinpeanutfestival.com. Organizers ask that no pets, with the exception of service animals, be brought.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.