By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: Recreation/Leisure | Issue: July 2010
Roy Essary, chairman of the Porter Peach Festival, invites you to bring out the family for three days of carnival rides, street games, live music and delicious peaches.
Imagine biting into a juicy, delicious peach – heavenly, right? If you love the sweet taste of fresh peaches, then downtown Porter, Oklahoma is the place to be this July 15th through the 17th. The 44th annual Porter Peach Festival will offer lots of good old-fashioned fun and games, carnival rides, live entertainment, food vendors, and bushels of scrumptious peaches.
The event kicks off on Thursday, July 15 at 5 p.m. Long-time festival chairman Roy Essary will welcome the crowd with a prayer and an overview of the schedule of events. Beginning at 6 p.m. is the annual Peach Pageant, in which the lovely contestants compete for the titles of Miss Peach, Miss Peach Blossom and Miss Peach Bud. The pageant will be followed by live entertainment until 11 p.m. The Southern States Show Carnival, taking place throughout the festival, will be open that evening as well.
The Peach Festival resumes on Friday at 4 p.m., with around 50 arts and crafts booths, food vendors, more live entertainment and an antique tractor pull. At 5 p.m. will be a live newscast, along with the start of the traditional street games, including a turtle race, frog-jumping contest, nail drive, hula hoop contest and balloon toss. The Pet Show begins at 5:45 p.m., and prizes will be awarded to the ugliest dog, best trick, best costume, fattest cat and most unusual pet. The evening will continue until 11 with live entertainment. In conjunction with the festival, Friday is also Play Night at the Porter Roundup Club.
The final day of the festival, Saturday, July 17, will be filled to the brim with activities. At 7 a.m. is the Classic Peach 5K Run, sponsored by the Porter FFA and Booster Club. The day also includes a peach cobbler contest, a parade and a peach auction. “The parade starts at 11. It is usually really big – you won’t want to miss it,” says Roy.
Beginning at noon Saturday is the peach auction. “The peaches are donated by Livesay Orchards. Last year we raised $17,000 from the auction,” says Roy. “The money is used to fund the activities of the Porter Lions Club. Last year, it went to putting a chain link fence around the soccer field.” The Lions Club has sponsored the Peach Festival since its inception in 1966. Each year the civic group also gives scholarships to high school seniors, provides eyeglasses to individuals in the community, sponsors area youth programs, and funds local beautification projects.
Perhaps one of the best parts of the festival occurs at 1 p.m. on Saturday, when everyone is welcome to enjoy free peaches and ice cream. The peaches are donated by Livesay Orchards, and the ice cream is donated by the Lions Club. “Last year we gave away over 3,000 bowls,” says Roy.
Saturday’s lineup includes more entertainment and street games, another tractor pull, a scavenger hunt, a mud bog and a very popular part of the event, the evening talent competition.
“People come from several states to the Porter Peach Festival – last year we had about 20,000 people. It is one of the largest small-town festivals in the state,” says Roy. “It gives everyone the opportunity to have fun and let their hair down, listen to music, and eat peaches and ice cream in a low-key, down-home atmosphere. And it doesn’t cost a lot of money. If a family can’t afford to take a vacation to Disneyworld or go on a cruise, they can go to the festival and still have a really great time together.”
For more information about the Porter Peach Festival, including applications for the 5K run or to open an arts and crafts booth, visit www.porterpeachfestivals.com.
4:00 pm – Festival, Carnival, Vendors Open
6:15 pm – Kick Off Of Events – Roy Essary: Welcome, Prayer, National Anthem, Schedule of Activities
6:30-8:30 pm – Peach Pageant – South Main Street
7:45-8:00 pm – Intermission – Sand Creek Band
8:30 pm – Announcement of Miss Peach, Miss Peach Blossom & Miss Peach Bud
9:00-11:00 pm – Sand Creek Band
10:00 am-11:00 pm – Festival Open: Southern States Show Carnival, Arts & Crafts, Food Vendors, Live Entertainment
5:00 pm – Live Newscast
5:00 pm – Street Games: Turtle Races, Frog-Jumping Contest, Nail Drive, Balloon Toss
5:00 pm-7:00 pm – Entries accepted for peach cobblers, desserts, and preserves contest at Porter Civic Center. Final entries accepted Saturday 8:45 at Civic Center
5:45 pm - Pet Show: (Prizes for each category) Ugliest Dog, Best Trick, Best Costume, Fattest Cat, Most Unusual Pet
6:30-8:30 pm – Entertainment TBA
7:30 pm – Play Night – Porter Roundup Club
7:30 pm – Antique Tractor Pull
9:00-11:00 pm – South 40 Band
All Day & Evening – Carnival, Arts & Crafts, Live Music, Food Vendors
7:00 am - Peach Classic 5-K Run, Awards to follow
8:00 am - Peach Classic Car/Truck/Motorcycle Show
8:45 am -Final entries due for peach cobblers, desserts,
preserves contest – Porter Civic Center
9:00 am – Peach Cobbler, Dessert, Preserves –
Judging at Porter Civic Center
10:00-11:00 am - Bob Weeden & Ironhorse Band
11:00 am - Parade
Noon – Peach Auction, Peach Cobblers, Desserts, Preserves Winners Announced On Stage
1:00 pm – Free Peaches & Ice Cream (while they last)
1:00-2:00 pm – Bob Weeden & Iron Horse Band
4:00-5:00 pm – Turtle Creek Cloggers
4:00 pm – Scavenger Hunt with prizes
5:00-6:00 pm – Street Games: Turtle Races, Frog Jumping Contest, Beard Contest, Balloon Toss, Nail Drive
6:00-8:00 pm – Talent Contest On Stage – 2 divisions:
15 & under, 16 & up
6:00 pm – Mud Bog – Porter Roundup Club
6:30 pm – Antique Tractor Pull
9:00-11:00 – Klondike 5 Band
Sheryl Sowell was born and raised in Tulsa, OK. She graduated from Will Rogers High School and received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Northeastern State University in 2007. She has worked for Value News as editor, writer and advertising copywriter since 2008. She enjoys meeting and interviewing people for Value News articles, learning about their backgrounds, and helping to promote their businesses and local events. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying new recipes and crafts from Pinterest, attending concerts and sporting events, and spending time with family and friends. Sheryl lives in Tulsa with her fiancé Paul, their daughter Scarlett, and their two dogs, Gunner and Boo.