-

Scouts from Purdy lead the way during the 2019 Virginia Peanut Festival Parade. The Emporia-Greensville Chamber of Commerce announced the Virginia Peanut Festival will take place as scheduled toward the end of this month.

For the past six months, the cancellation of community events and celebrations became the new normal. Would Emporia-Greensville’s signature event become another casualty?

The answer to that question is a resounding no! The 58th Virginia Peanut Festival schedule is not as full as in past years, but the event has plenty to offer.

At 11 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 26, the Virginia Peanut Festival Parade proceeds up Main St. with a theme that certainly fits the community’s difficult time.

“We are excited to share that we have selected Southside Virginia 2020 graduates to serve as this year’s Grand Marshal, Nancy Rose, executive director of the Emporia-Greensville Chamber of Commerce said. “This includes all graduates in the Emporia-Greensville Community - Greensville High School, Southampton Academy, Brunswick Academy, and Southside Virginia Community College, as well as our neighbors, Sussex, Southampton, and Brunswick.”

A popular feature of the parade is watching children and adults gather candy thrown by parade participants to those lining the streets to watch the parade. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, that feature will not happen this year.

The carnival and live music provided in past years are casualties of the pandemic. Still, the parade is not the only event scheduled to bring families and friends together.

“On Saturday morning, Sept. 26, Strong Temple Fitness will host the 58th Annual Virginia Peanut Festival 5K Run/Walk,” Rose said. “There is no cost to participate and all participants will receive a Virginia Peanut Festival T-shirt along with other Virginia Peanut Festival goodies. There will be first, second and third place prizes for children, adults, and seniors. Registration will start at 7 a.m., with the race beginning at 8 a.m.”

The Virginia Fine Arts Museum’s traveling mobile museum is part of this year’s celebration. It will be in Veterans Memorial Park throughout the day on Sept. 26. Face coverings and hand sanitizers will be distributed to mobile museum visitors.

On July 4, communities throughout the region canceled Independence Day fireworks displays. The Emporia-Greensville Chamber of Commerce went ahead with its annual Independence Day fireworks show. Rose called the results encouraging.

“We were encouraged by the social distancing which occurred during the July 4 fireworks event,” she said. “This gave us hope that our community, once again, would observe the current social distancing guidelines. As we have shared before, we have appreciated all of the sacrifices that citizens have made to keep us safe during this pandemic.”

The Virginia Peanut is a staple of Southside Virginia’s economy, and the Virginia Peanut Festival is a celebration of that legacy.

It’s official. The celebration of that legacy culminates during the 58th Virginia Peanut Festival on Saturday, Sept. 26.