The sweetest week in Chilton County

Published 2:18 pm Friday, June 24, 2022

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By JOYANNA LOVE | Managing Editor

It’s a historic year for the Chilton County Peach Festival this year as it turns 75.

I am a relative newcomer to the peach celebration scene having only attended portions of the festivities for the past six years.

I was excited to see the Peach Cook-Off make a comeback this year as it had always been a favorite. The creativity local cooks both young and old have for using a peach is impressive.

The peach pageants are my usual coverage area for this week, and it is fun to see the excitement on the girls’ faces when they are announced as the next queen. The Miss Pageant serves as a platform for numerous scholarships to be awarded to high school girls.

Several of these scholarships are based on an essay, meaning a contestant can walk away with scholarship money even if she does not win a title. In 2021, one contestant won enough of these other scholarships to secure more funding than even the next Miss Peach Queen. This year, the majority of the contestants won at least one scholarship. Two of these did not place in the pageant rankings, but they were able to secure some funds for their future education.

Last year was my first time attending the Peach Auction. The auction is really the heart and soul of what the festival is all about celebrating the peach growers and raising funds for charitable organizations.

It was quite the experience. Seeing the thousands of dollars raised and the size of the peaches being ranked and then auctioned off definitely instills some local pride.

The Chilton County peach farmers deserve a lot of credit for putting Chilton County on the map. The iconic, mega peaches grown here take extra care and attention.

Any time I have wanted to interview a peach farmer, they have been willing to tell me about themselves, their crop and anything else I wanted to know.

I have enjoyed getting to learn a little from them over the years.