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National Peanut Festival

Peanuts, anyone?

From the classic peanut butter sandwich to a Thai salad with spicy peanut dressing, people simply love the humble peanut! And there’s no better way to pay homage to the nutritious nut than attending the National Peanut Festival in Dothan, Alabama.  This year’s fest is being held November 4 – 13, 2001 at the National Peanut Festival Fairgrounds, and the whole family is invited.

You may be wondering “why Dothan”? This is truly peanut country, producing two-thirds of all the peanuts produced in the country; thus, Dothan has earned the moniker “Peanut Capital of the World”. The festival’s first year was 1938 and it has grown by leaps and bounds into a ten-day event attracting more than 160,000 people.

The gates of the festival open at 4:00 pm on Friday, November 4th and the fun really gets going. As a nationally recognized event, you can expect fabulous, big-name live entertainment including Percy Sledge on November 9, Uncle Kracker on November 8 and country up-and-comer Craig Campbell who boasts the current single “Family Man”. Christian artists, a rapper and hometown favorite Alex Maddox add to a well-rounded lineup.

The number of Contests is simply staggering. Cheerleading, photography, food preservation, pumpkin and cake decorating are just a few, and if you include all the livestock contests, it’s pretty evident that people love to enter the contests as well as discover the winners!   Sheep, cattle, hogs, poultry and goats are all strutting their stuff at the Livestock Shows at Winn-Dixie Ag Complex.  Possibly the most fun event to watch is the Greased Pig contest! This slippery challenge will be held at Wells Fargo Arena at 7 pm on Monday, November 7, with a clever Border Collie demonstration just beforehand.

Of course, there are the traditional pageants: the Little Miss National Peanut Festival 2011 pageant was held October 15; Marlena Collins will serve as Miss National Peanut for 2011-2012 – watch for the winners in the annual parade, held at 9:30 am, November 12 in downtown Dothan. Two hours of colorful floats, marching bands and entertaining participants make this parade a popular “must-see”.

Are you just as excited about thrill rides as your children? Get ready to indulge your secret passion while accompanying them on really cool rides. All kinds of other adentures await you as well, ranging from a tame petting zoo to a wild demolition derby (the derby has two shows, 2 pm and 7 pm at Wells Fargo Arena). The Sea Lion Splash is a real attention-getter, perfect for the whole family. This travelling exhibition offers an entertaining show featuring these lovable creatures – and you will likely learn something at the same time. Everybody loves beautiful horses, and you can attend a trained equine event which will amaze you with the great intelligence of these animals.   

A Karate tournament, a calf scramble, local crafts displays and an amazing assortment of food are more examples of what awaits you at the National Peanut Festival. Regular admission is $6, with ages six and under free. All kinds of special ride days, free admissions, advance tickets and discounted ride armbands are available – check the National Peanut Festival website to determine which days and offers work best for you.

While visiting Dothan, you might enjoy checking Center Stage Alabama, located a few miles south of the city. This entertainment destination offers live concerts and paperless bingo. Other popular attractions include Dothan Area Botanical Gardens, Wiregrass Museum of Art and the world’s smallest city block (North Appletree and Museum Streets). As you are exploring the city, keep your eyes out for the fabulous murals which are scattered in the downtown historic district – these colorful artworks celebrate Dothan’s history, people and places.

While at the Peanut Festival Fairgrounds, check out the 6 foot monument saluting Dr. George Washington Carver, famed inventor who devised over 300 uses for the peanut – you have him to thank for your great time at the National Peanut Festival.  Don’t be a goober – make your travel plans today!

With any major event or attraction, creating great travel plans can make or break your experience. For the National Peanut Festival, making your travel plans as far in advance as possible is helpful. An option is to book a Dothan, AL hotel and air package deal. If you are bringing the whole family, never fear as we offer all the Dothan AL discount hotels at the lowest prices. If you are budget-minded, check out our Dothan AL Last-Minute Weekend Deals for unbelievably low prices.


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