Do you love a good week-long festival – I mean a festival with pageants, a parade, an antique car show, 5K and 10K runs, an auction, live music and vendors selling all sorts of “gotta haves”?
That’s what you get when you visit the Peach Festival in Chilton County, Alabama. Never heard of Chilton County? Well, take your finger and place it right in the middle of a map of Alabama and chances are, you will be pointing to it.
We all know, of course, that a lot of small towns have some type of festival, but Chilton’s peach festival is steeped in history. Records show that peaches have been growing in Chilton County as far back as 1540, when DeSoto moved through the area. That’s almost 500 years ago! Chilton County has had plenty of time to learn a thing or two about peaches. It is now famous for them and “Chilton County Peaches” signs dot fruit and vegetable stands all over the southeast.
The first peach festival was in July of 1947. With a few exceptions due to damaged crops, it has been going strong ever since and has become a nationally recognized event. The Lions Club of Clanton, the county seat of Chilton County, sponsors the event and directs the activities. In recent years, the festival found its home in the month of June and continues to draw crowds every year. As a side note, due to Covid-19, the festival of 2020 was delayed to July (this past weekend) and a few of the activities cancelled.
In 1994, Tracy Byrd wrote a song called “Watermelon Crawl.” In it, he sings of a festival that is reminiscent of Chilton County’s wonderful Peach Festival. So as Byrd might would say, “If you’re ever down in Alabama ‘round about June, if you ain’t in a hurry then you oughta stop by. I can guarantee that you’re gonna have a ball.” And by the way, you can’t miss it. There’s even a gigantic peach along the interstate to show you the way.
Keep Piper Peachin’ and Wander with Wonder,
“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” -John Muir