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Mr. Peanut gets a warm greeting from Brittlynn Kern, left, and Ashley Kern during the 2019 Virginia Peanut Festival Parade.

As the dog days of August withered away and the calendar page flipped to September, the Virginia Peanut Festival quickly moved to center stage in Emporia-Greensville.

Due to the pandemic, it appeared there would be no Virginia Peanut Festival last year. Still, the VPF Committee and Emporia-Greensville Chamber of Commerce managed to piece together the community’s showcase event.

Unfortunately, the schedule did not bring the usual slate of festivities. Live music, vendors, and the always popular Classic Car, Truck, and Motorcycle Show were nowhere to be found. The return to normalcy comes 7:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24, when the Breadwine & Bloozeband hits the stage at Veterans Memorial Park.

Bobby Beard of Ahoskie, North Carolina, manages the group that formed four years ago.

Ten musicians meld their music to bring a Blues sound to the audience. Band members are from places as far away as Louisburg, North Carolina, to a few miles down the road in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina.

On Saturday, Sept. 25, the New Band on the Block (NBOTB) takes center stage following the VPF Parade. Josh Askew of Ahoskie put the band together in February of 2019.

Band member Deion Warren is a familiar face to fans of the NBC talent show, The Voice. Earlier this year, Warren was a contestant on the program and was coached by stars John Legend and Brandy Norwood.

NBOTB is making strides in the music business and is headlining festivals and making inroads on television. Entertainment Tonight and Good Morning America made room to showcase the band on segments of their shows.

The group released its first single, “Fantasy,” which debuted in January of 2020. The band’s mission is to uplift, inspire, and entertain every community it enters through its love of music and people.

The Ginger Thompson Band follows NBOTB at approximately 5 p.m. on Sept. 25. The group is known for its musical genre variety. Fans of Motown, Beach, Country, Rock, and Pop music will get a taste of their favorite style of music. In 2018, the band stepped on the stage with the Embers in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, during the Carolina Beach Music Awards Show.

There is a local connection in the Ginger Thompson Band. Purdy native Kim Short is now a member of the group. When the Ginger Thompson Band clears the stage for the Feature Attraction Band at 8 p.m., Short’s evening continues. Short will perform a few songs with the Feature Attraction Band.

Years ago, when Greg Browder of the Feature Attraction Band and Short started in the music business, they played together. They will reunite on Sept. 25. The Feature Attraction Band is slated to play until 11 p.m.

The Virginia Peanut Festival didn’t disappear in 2020, but it was a downscale version compared to previous years.

The live musical entertainment returns as the 59th VPF marks a return to normalcy.