By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: July 2011
The Pet Show attracts many competitors, like these two cute fellas in last year’s contest.
magine biting into a juicy, delicious peach – ah, heavenly. If you love the sweet taste of fresh peaches, downtown Porter, Oklahoma is the place to be this July 14 through 16. The 45th 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. Peach Festival Cookbooks will be sold throughout the festival for $7.
The event kicks off Thursday, July 14 at 4 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 6:30 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 from Sand Creek Band until 11 p.m. The Southern States Show Carnival, taking place throughout the festival, will be open that evening also.
The festival resumes Friday at 11 a.m. with arts and crafts booths, food vendors, 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 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. In conjunction with the festival, Friday is also Play Night at the Porter Roundup Club. The day’s entertainment lineup includes Klondike 5 and South 40 Band.
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.
Beginning at noon Saturday is the peach auction. “The peaches are donated by Livesay Orchards. Last year we raised $13,500 from the auction,” says Roy. “The money is used to fund the activities of the Porter Lions Club.” The Lions Club has sponsored the Peach Festival since its inception in 1966. Each year the civic group 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 donated by Livesay Orchards and Porter Lions Club, while supplies last.
Saturday’s entertainment will be provided by Bob Weeden & Ironhorse Band, and the day will offer street games, another tractor pull, a scavenger hunt, a mud bog and a very popular part of the event, the evening talent contest.
“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.”
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.