M&M Farms wins top peach, basket given to Driver family

The 2020 Peach Auction took place July 10 a couple of weeks later than usual due to the pandemic.

However, just having the event was a momentous occasion for the Clanton Lions Club.

“We knew we had to get it in this week, if we were going to have any peaches,” Clanton Lions Club member Glenn McGriff said.

It was a strange year for peach festivities with the auction and parade being the only usual Peach Week events not to be cancelled.

The 2020 version of the Peach Auction, looked a little different and was not even an actual auction, as no money was exchanged for any of the baskets.

Instead, the Lions Club decided to judge the baskets and then donate each of them to members of the community that have provided a helping hand during the pandemic.

This will include healthcare workers, law enforcement officers, and several other first responder-type organizations.

“We knew that we couldn’t put a burden on our residents, but we still wanted to do what we could to recognize our peach growers and our local heroes,” McGriff said.

The 2020 winning basket belonged to M&M Farms with Mark and Melissa Knight. His daughters Andrea and Alissa Knight were present to receive the winning plaque.

“It’s a blessing and we’re thankful to have had a good year,” Andrea Knight said.

The top peach was a Paul Friday variety of peach named PF 24-007.

According to Andrea Knight, they grow various Paul Friday peaches, but the PF 24-007 is one of their favorites, because it is a type of peach that naturally grows very large.

Judge Chris Speaks presents fellow Clanton Lions Club member Donny Martin with a memento after Martin was named grand marshal of the 2020 Peach Parade. September will mark Martin’s 60th anniversary with the Lions Club. (Photo by Anthony Richards)

“My dad is recovering from cancer right now and that’s why he couldn’t come,” Andrea Knight said. “He actually got to pick them [peaches in winning basket] and he’ll be really excited.”

Clanton Mayor Billy Joe Driver’s death one day before the Peach Auction, prompted the Lions Club to dedicate the winning basket to his family.

“It meant a lot to them,” McGriff said.

Driver usually gave the welcome statement at the start of the auction.

“You never knew where he was going to go with it,” Judge Chris Speaks said, as the crowd chuckled and remembered Driver’s ability to light up a room.

Although no pageants were held this year, a photogenic contest did take place with a large amount of people submitting photos of children from all ages.

Eight growers entered a total of 15 baskets of peaches for the auction.

According to McGriff, although no prize money was being handed out this year, the growers were still quick to offer up their peaches.

“The growers have been good to us and we try to be good to them,” McGriff said.

According to McGriff, 2020 was not the first time the auction had been pushed back to July. It was also rescheduled about 24 years ago due to the peach production having a very lean year.

“The last week in June is the ideal time,” McGriff said. “We won’t be back in July unless we have to.”

Donny Martin was surprised by being named the 2020 Peach Parade’s grand marshal during the auction.

In September Martin will celebrate his 60th anniversary as a member of the Lions Club.

“One of the oldest Lions Club members in the state of Alabama,” McGriff said. “His daddy was the first Clanton Lions Club President. How many people do you see that have been a member of an organization for 60 years? It just doesn’t happen.”

Clanton

United Way Hands On hosting backpack drive for central Alabama students

Clanton

Changes to this year’s Peach Festival welcomed tens of thousands throughout June

Clanton

Fourth annual CAW Back to School Bash upcoming in Clanton

Clanton

Juvenile female killed in train accident in Clanton

Clanton

One-time grant opportunities open for Chilton County nonprofits until July 19

News

Hand leaves Verbena better than she found it, retires as principal

Clanton

Benz’s new book features a dog’s journey to helping dozens of Ukrainian children

Clanton

Scenes from the opening of the Blackwood Brothers exhibit in Clanton

Clanton

CCS providing free breakfast, lunch for all students for 2024-25 school year

Clanton

Clanton 6U All Stars win World Series in Albertville

Clanton

Connell presented key to Clanton, receives own day for MLF achievements

Business

Photos, results and more from the 2024 Chilton County Peach Festival recap

Maplesville

Relay Queens read to children at the Maplesville Public Library

Clanton

Exhibit held for 70th anniversary of Blackwood Brothers plane crash in Clanton

Clanton

Junior Deputy Academy returns to Chilton County

Clanton

Parole denied for Chilton County offender

Clanton

Vaith to serve as Alabama 4-H Ambassador

Clanton

Pass the crown: Deavers ready for fifth year as a Peach Queen

Clanton

Rain on our parade: Soggy Peach Parade does not dampen peach spirit in Clanton

Business

Chilton County Peach Auction sells 33 baskets for over $80,000

Clanton

Applications now open for Leadership Chilton 2025

Clanton

New Peach Queens crowned in Chilton County

Clanton

Clanton youth softball teams heading to World Series

Clanton

Ascension St. Vincent’s Chilton Hospital among those included in UAB acquisition