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Peach Festival is Chilton County at its best

Any Chilton County resident who has been here any length of time is familiar with the annual Peach Festival. Our county is perhaps best known for its delicious peaches, and the festival puts the fruit front and center for a week or more of events.

First, on June 18, there was the Peach Run and the Peach Cook-Off. Later that evening, the first of four Miss Peach pageants was held, with Mary-Henning Dale being crowned Little Miss Peach.

Congratulations to Dale and her 2016 peach sisters: Young Miss Peach Cresley Claire Haggard, Junior Miss Peach Grace Nolen and Miss Peach Hannah Tierce.

On Friday was the Peach Jam, the largest single event of the festival where thousands of attendees enjoy performances, live music and more than 100 vendors selling all types of food and wares.

Saturday will see the culmination of the festival with the Peach Parade and the Peach Auction, where the county’s peach growers submit their finest fruits to be judged and then purchased by the highest bidder. The proceeds from this event allow the Clanton Lions Club to continue its charitable work in the community.

This demonstrates the most important point to be made about the Peach Festival. Sure, the Peach Queens are beautiful and the peaches themselves are delicious, but the festival is a showcase of not just those things but of Chilton County itself.

Much hard work and dedication goes into making sure each of the festival events run smoothly, and none of this is done for profit or selfish recognition. The folks that make the Peach Festival possible are interested only in promoting Chilton County and its residents, and giving them a chance to have some fun each year.

We can all certainly be proud of the Peach Festival because it allows visitors to see the best that Chilton County has to offer and reminds community members of all we have to be thankful for.

I hope everyone has enjoyed another successful Peach Festival. Let’s do it again next year!

Stephen Dawkins is managing editor for The Clanton Advertiser. Look for the next installment of his column to publish soon.