Chamber Column: The power of a peach

Published 2:24 pm Thursday, May 26, 2022

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In 1947, the very first Peach Festival was held in Chilton County. The prize-winning basket of peaches was auctioned off for $250, and then flown to Washington D.C. to be presented to President Harry S. Truman. In 2021, the winning basket of peaches was auctioned off for $4,100!  Times have certainly changed!

In 2005, the Peach Jam Jubilee was added to the line-up of events for “Peach Week.” The very first Peach Jam was held in the streets of Downtown Clanton. Since then, the event has grown so much, that it has been moved to Clanton City Park, and most recently to Ollie Park. To some, it is just a great day of free family fun, with live entertainment, food trucks, and arts anf crafts vendors. While that is true, it means much more to Chilton County residents. Peach Jam is a day to showcase the farmers who work so hard to produce more than 80% of the state’s peach crop. It’s a day to recognize the businesses that help make Chilton County a great place to live.

What else does the Peach Jam Jubilee do for Chilton County?  Well, in 2021, over 15,000 people attended Peach Jam, some traveling over 250 miles. That, in turn, brought over $1.3 Million dollars into our economy in one day! Those who came to the event, visited local businesses either prior to or directly following Peach Jam. For example, 40% of Peach Jam attendees also shopped or dined in Chilton County businesses. That’s 6,000 customers!

This year, we plan to increase that number, as well as have a little throw back to the original Peach Jam. Friday night, June 24, the City of Clanton will be hosting “Peach CityFest” in the streets. Just like the original, there will be food trucks, entertainment and businesses inside and outside of the downtown area can set up booths to extend the fun and exposure. Just one more opportunity for businesses to gain a new customer, and for residents to benefit from the revenue generated into our local economy.

On Saturday, June 25, the Peach Jam Jubilee will be held at Ollie Park. This year’s line-up will include music from Drake White and Kacey Tyndall, over 100 vendors, over 50 food trucks, inflatables, activities for kids and adults, a peach eating competition and a fireworks show to end the night. So come out and enjoy the opportunity to celebrate peaches, celebrate the farmers, get to know new people, catch up with old friends, and see why “Chilton County peaches are tops.” That, my friends, is the power of a peach.