September 22, 2018
Maxie Moore has retired as a Virginia peanut farmer, but that hasn’t stopped his commitment to the industry. When it comes to the Virginia Peanut Festival, held the fourth weekend of September every year, Maxie Moore truly is the star of the show.
This year marks the 56th Virginia Peanut Festival. Moore has been involved since its inception. “I’ve been in the peanut world all my life. The festival is about celebrating peanut harvest time, but also about bringing attention to the Virginia peanut. The Virginia peanut is the biggest, best tasting peanut in the world, pretty to look at and tasty as well,” Moore says.
This year’s Virginia Peanut Festival was Sept.. 20-22 at Veterans Memorial Park at 201 South Main Street in Emporia. Admission, parking and entertainment are free; Moore emphasizes that making the festival free is important to encourage families to attend. “The festival is truly a family event,” he says.
The festival is hosted by the Emporia-Greensville Chamber of Commerce. Festivities began Sept. 20 with a “Kick-Off Kook Off” competition at the Emporia Farmers Market. Participants prepared a salad, dessert or main course using peanuts or peanut butter as an ingredient. The parade was Sept. 22 with more than 100 entries moving down Main Street in Emporia.
A car show, a carnival, arts and crafts and food vendors are key to the festival. Bands and other entertainment performed throughout the day on Saturday and the festival concluded with a fireworks show on Saturday evening.
Moore says the main purpose of it all is to salute the Virginia peanut farmer and recognize the vital role peanuts play in the economy of southeastern Virginia.
This has been a very challenging weather year for producing peanuts. There is still hope for a good harvest come Virginia Peanut Festival time. A stellar harvest after a tough year would be a great reward and a great reason to celebrate this year's festival. Here’s hoping for a good harvest worth celebrating.
About the Author(s)
Associate Editor, Southeast Farm Press
John Hart is associate editor of Southeast Farm Press, responsible for coverage in the Carolinas and Virginia. He is based in Raleigh, N.C.
Prior to joining Southeast Farm Press, John was director of news services for the American Farm Bureau Federation in Washington, D.C. He also has experience as an energy journalist. For nine years, John was the owner, editor and publisher of The Rice World, a monthly publication serving the U.S. rice industry. John also worked in public relations for the USA Rice Council in Houston, Texas and the Cotton Board in Memphis, Tenn. He also has experience as a farm and general assignments reporter for the Monroe, La. News-Star.
John is a native of Lake Charles, La. and is a graduate of the LSU School of Journalism in Baton Rouge. At LSU, he served on the staff of The Daily Reveille.
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