Community, club to be commended for festival

Published 6:57 pm Friday, July 5, 2013

As someone who did not grow up in Chilton County, I have spent the last two years learning about this area and its residents.

I’ve learned Chilton County is much more than a giant peach water tower or an outlet for melt-in-your-mouth peach ice cream on a hot summer afternoon in Alabama.

The county feels much more like a community than simply a series of interstate exits, especially during the annual Peach Festival.

As its name suggests, the Peach Festival is a time of celebratory fun for both producers and consumers—the farmers who have done the legwork in growing peaches and the residents who are purchasing the peaches from local markets.

On the other hand, the festival is also the Clanton Lions Club’s primary source of fundraising for its local charities, and the success of this year’s event is proof once again that people here are willing to work for their fun and for the good of others.

The 2013 Peach Auction raised more than $18,000, with the first-place basket of peaches selling for $4,100, the highest amount paid for the top basket since 1996 and the third-highest amount in the auction’s history.

More than 30 growers in the county contributed baskets of peaches to the auction.

Proceeds from the auction could supply vision screenings and eyeglasses for dozens of school-age children, or it could fund a health program for adults targeting diabetes control and prevention.

The Peach pageants were another part of the festival’s success this year.

A total of 69 contestants participated in the Little Miss Peach, Young Miss Peach, Junior Miss Peach and Miss Peach pageants.

Each pageant ran smoothly thanks to organizers and volunteers, and attendance was high.

More lives will be improved thanks to the thousands of dollars raised in only a few weeks, so I commend everyone who contributed to the Peach Festival in some way, whether large or small.

The fruits of your labor will outlast even the largest basket of peaches.

Emily Beckett is a staff writer for The Clanton Advertiser. She can be reached at