2011-03-30 / Front Page

Third time was a charm!


While many Peanut Proud visitors roamed the vendors and activities around Court Square greeting friends and enjoying peanut products, hundreds of others filled the south side of the courthouse lawn for the program and entertainment While many Peanut Proud visitors roamed the vendors and activities around Court Square greeting friends and enjoying peanut products, hundreds of others filled the south side of the courthouse lawn for the program and entertainment Third Time’s a Charm, a recent novel by Virginia Smith is described as a heartwarming story... retail therapy, and love that endures.

The outstanding success of Saturday’s Peanut Proud was also a charm, a heartwarming display of community spirit coupled with the energy of the peanut industry.

Saturday’s activities drew a “Proud ‘N’ Peanut Country” crowd, estimated at over 6,500, which provided badly needed retail therapy for many of the merchants and restaurants, and was proof positive that love endures for both the community and peanuts.

It was a day filled with entertainment vendors, antique cars, trucks and tractors, and activities kicked off by a great parade, led by grand marshall and 2011 Early County Ag Producer of the Year, and highlighted in the afternoon by Early County’s own Nashville country music songwriter and artist Joanna Smith.


Early County Ag Producer of the Year, Mike Newberry, served as parade Grand Marshall Saturday. Mike, wife Sherrie, right, and daughter, Michealyn, are pictured leading the parade on his 4020 John Deere tractor. Early County Ag Producer of the Year, Mike Newberry, served as parade Grand Marshall Saturday. Mike, wife Sherrie, right, and daughter, Michealyn, are pictured leading the parade on his 4020 John Deere tractor. It was not only the longest parade to make its way around Court Square, as a number of people stated, “This was the best parade I’ve ever seen in Blakely.” It was also the largest crowd to ever watch one, too.

Other entertainment during the day included music by Shane Owens and Stormy Monday and a performance by A&A Dance.

Several showers passed through during the day threatening the activities, but they didn’t diminish the crowd or dampen anyone’s spirits as the day wound down with a huge crowd enjoying the street dance, dancing the night away until 11 p.m. with music by Fabulous Expressions.

The program, emceed by Tyron Spearman, chairman of American Peanut Council, was led by an invocation by Fred Daniels, followed by the National Anthem sung by Ryn Palmer. Mayor Ric Hall welcomed the crowd, and Congressman Sanford Bishop noted he cosponsored the House version of the Food Safety Modernization Act which updates food safety laws and changes the focus to preventing disease-causing contamination.

Peanut Proud chairperson, Lea Jean Manry, thanked the many people who worked to make the third annual Peanut Proud the best yet.

She also gave a special tribute to longtime peanut industry and community leader Raymond Singletary who was celebrating his 99th birthday Saturday.

In addition to Birdsong, who has led the Peanut Proud efforts the past three years, a number of other peanut industry entities participated in Saturday’s Peanut Proud.

The first Peanut Proud EXPO was a vital key in helping the peanut industry and the community restore their damaged images in the wake of the national media’s coverage of the salmonella outbreak caused by Peanut Corporation of America.

Following a full recovery of the peanut industry and restored community image, last year’s Peanut Proud was a celebration.

The Peanut Proud mission is to unite the peanut community by celebrating its pride through humanitarian efforts and the recognition of excellence.

Return to top