The Jay Peanut Festival will take place on the first weekend of October and according to event organizer Brenda Gabbert, the family friendly event continues to draw large crowds.

“Last year we had our 25th annual Peanut Festival and it was really packed,” she said. “It just gets bigger and bigger.”

In addition to the many activities and attractions for attendees of all ages, Gabbert said attendees enjoy the fact there is no admission or parking fees.

“That is what makes it big with people,” she said.

Like last year, the Escambia River Electric Cooperative will offer a trolley service which will shuttle attendees from their parked vehicles to festival grounds, she said.

The main draws continues to be the peanuts themselves in various forms (boiled, green, roasted and candied); the other appeal is the many vendors and activities to choose from.  

Gabbert said the two-day event will continue to feature a large display of restored antique tractors, including a 1930’s farm museum and a 1940’s John Deere replica dealership museum. In a press release, Gabbert said the event will also feature an antique shop which will be open both days.

 Children will stay busy with the numerous kids activities, including horse and pony rides, inflatable play areas and other games.

Attendees can even get their pets involved by participating a pet dress up parade on Sunday.

Sunday will also feature gospel music including a 9 a.m. church service from Rev. Earl Greene. Live music will also be featured on Saturday.

In addition to the growing number of attendees, Gabbert said the event continues to attract many attendees from outside Santa RosaCounty.

“We have a vendor from as far away from as Missouri,” she said. “I have also spoken to people all the way from Michigan (at a previous festival).”

The Jay Peanut Festival, which is also part of the annual ‘Beaches to Woodlands Tour’ takes place at the Gabbert Farm located on Pine level Church Road.  The popular festival continues to be held in honor of Brenda and Gene Gabbert’s daughter, Melissa Caroline Gabbert. At the age of 19, Melissa died from complications from cancer.

“She just loved festivals and we thought this would be a good way to honor her,” Gabbert said.