Saturday’s parade march featured the powerful sound of the award-winning G-Force Greensville County High School Marching Band. It highlighted pageant winners. It showcased Grand Marshal Bobby Wrenn proceeding down Main St. It was all wrapped in the celebration of the Virginia Peanut.
Emporia-Greensville’s signature moment of its signature event is the Virginia Peanut Festival Parade. Saturday’s procession was no different. People lined the streets throughout the small Southside Virginia municipality in a quest for a glimpse of Miss Virginia, decorative floats, or a chance to haul in the candy and peanuts thrown by those riding in the parade.
“I got here at least an hour before it started so I could get a good spot to see the parade,” Monica Allen said. “It’s a lot of fun. My favorite part of the parade is the bands.”
Allen was not the only person finding a spot to have a clear view of the parade. Shortly before 10 a.m., parade viewers were settling into a position to watch the nearly two-hour parade procession. Even Classic Car Show event coordinator Earl Blick had to stop what he was doing a couple of times to view both sides of Main St. filled with spectators.
“The Virginia Peanut Festival is always a lot of fun,” Blick said. “The carnival is good. The car show is fantastic. “The parade is special. I’ve never seen so many people in the parade in my life.”
Most spectators enjoy the spectacle of the parade, but for some of the younger members of the crowd, it’s Halloween before Halloween. The youth bring plastic bags or Halloween candy containers to scoop the treats thrown from the parade vehicles to the side of the road. Mr. Peanut is also a favorite attraction for the kids. Time after time, children ran to Mr. Peanut to grab a hug as he marched up Main St. waving to the crowd.
For many participating in the parade near the front of the procession, once they reached the final destination, it was a walk back to downtown Emporia to watch the back end of the parade procession.
Thursday showcased peanut-based dishes. Live music and carnival activity fun were highlights of a full schedule of activities between Thursday and Saturday.
The Virginia Peanut Festival again hit its peak Saturday as thousands gathered along the side of the street to join in the celebration of the Virginia Peanut during the Virginia Peanut Festival Parade.