Peach Festival officials look back, look forward

Sun News correspondentJune 18, 2014 

PeachFest

Devon Davis hands over a bag of fresh peaches Saturday during the Georgia Peach Festival in Fort Valley.

JASON VORHEES — jvorhees@macon.com Buy Photo

FORT VALLEY -- With the 2014 Georgia Peach Festival over, the festival’s six-member volunteer board of directors is ready to review and prepare for next year’s event.

Board member Kathy Young, an employee of Lane Southern Orchards, said it’s hard to put a number on just how many people took part in the 10-day festival that stretches from Byron to Fort Valley -- the north to south ends of Peach County.

However, she said organizers get some idea of attenders from indicators such as how many pairs of special glasses are handed out for 3-D fireworks displays in both towns.

“Even that’s not definite,” Young said. “There are people who don’t use the glasses, but still we know we gave out about 2,000 pair of 3-D glasses at the Byron show and about 5,000 in Fort Valley.”

That, and things like the fact the festival’s “largest-in-the-world” peach cobbler served in Fort Valley feeds about 400.

Young said one problem organizers faced in Fort Valley this year won’t be a problem next year: construction along the festival’s normal parade route on Ga. 49.

“We had to move the parade because of construction and that may have kept some people from coming then being part of the festival downtown,” she said. “But even with that, we had a great crowd.”

Young said having done the festival for 28 years, the community is pretty knowledgeable about what to do when in preparation.

She said the board will begin meeting right away to start looking at things such as next year’s entertainment and concerts, fireworks and other events.

“Different people handle different parts,” she said. “We get great support from vendors and community groups and all the different volunteers who are so dedicated. But we could use more volunteers and more members on our board.”

Young said primary sponsors of the festival each year are the Peach County Commission, the Fort Valley Utility Commission and the City of Fort Valley.

“I grew up in Fort Valley so I’ve been involved with the festival all my life, but I’ve only gotten involved on the board this past year,” she said. “It’s been a pleasure working with everyone and helping pay homage to all the peach growers in the area. Peaches have been our life here through the years and still are. They have a huge impact on everyone.”

Contact Michael W. Pannell at mwpannell@gmail.com.

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