This week we are celebrating the Georgia Peach Festival here in town. It starts the first weekend of June in Byron and concludes in Fort Valley the following weekend. The calendar of events includes Food and Arts & Crafts vendors, a Quilt Raffle, Butterfly Hunt Contest, Sidewalk Chalk Contest and no festival is complete without a Parade. The Kiwanis Club serve a Pancake Breakfast and the Historical Society sells tickets for their annual Chicken Salad luncheon that includes the best peach ice cream, churned right here at Pearson Farm. Rich Bennet and his band of volunteers will start cooking the World's Largest Peach Cobbler in the wee morning hours of Saturday so it will be ready to serve mid-afternoon (I literally could write an entire post about this cobbler. It really is the World's largest and Pearson Farm peaches are in it every year!) Live music will entertain festival goers at the Gazebo downtown and the festival will conclude with a 3D Fireworks extravaganza following the Beach Party at the Peach Beach.
Back in the early 1920's, the first peach blossoms of the year were celebrated in Fort Valley, with extravagant festivals that some say rivaled Mardis Gras and California's Rose Festival. These celebrations were full of dancing, singing and elaborate pageants that attracted attention from National Geographic, The New York Times and Hollywood movie studios. Not long after, thousands of folks, from all over the world, found their way to little ole Fort Valley each March. It was said, as many as 40,000 people showed up to help celebrate these little pink blossoms. History tells us that in 1926, the festival ended because it was just too successful!! Some sixty years later, Mr. Hal Peavy brought forth the idea to revive the historic festival. He wanted to promote Peach County and highlight the peach industry's contribution to the livelihood of the state of Georgia. Who could blame him, Georgia ranks third in the nation in annual peach production, with more than 15,000 acres of peach trees yielding more than 1.7 million bushels of peaches. Not to mention, half of that harvest is cultivated in Peach County alone. The decision was made to move the festival to the summer during the harvest season and rename it the Georgia Peach Festival.
Despite the issues this peach crop has faced, Peach county is still celebrating and Pearson Farm will be joining the festivities. We hope you'll come out Saturday and enjoy all the 2017 Georgia Peach Festival has to offer. Before you leave town, make plans to come on out and see us at the Farm. We'll have some of our best, sweet, juicy peaches waiting at the door and of course, plenty of ice cream. We'll save a rocking chair for you.... we hope to see you soon!!