On our recent trip to Alabama, we spent some time hunting peanuts. Don’t worry, Charlie Brown and Lucy are still alive and well, I’m talking about real peanuts. Well, they were not exactly “real” either.
Dothan, Alabama and the surrounding area produce over one-fourth of the U.S. peanut crop, and much of it is processed in the city, earning Dothan the title of “Peanut Capital of the World” though there are some cities in Georgia that dispute that title. Either way, every year in November Dothan hosts the National Peanut Festival at the fairgrounds on the south side of town.
To honor the peanut and all it has brought to Dothan’s economy, in 2001 a local civic group started a project called “Peanuts on Parade” and soon afterward a series of peanut shaped statues about four feet tall and dressed in all kinds of costumes began appearing around town. These days there are over 60 of them, and it’s become a popular activity to find them all. Kind of like birdwatching, except that they don’t fly. Maybe more like geocaching, except they’re not hidden. Whatever you compare it to, it’s a fun way to see the city and get to know some of the local business, many of whom sponsor the peanuts.
Your first stop on your peanut hunting expedition should be the Dothan Area Convention & Visitor’s Bureau at 3311 Ross Clark Circle, where you can pick up a map of where to find most of the peanut statues. But be aware that the map has not been updated in a while and it doesn’t tell you whether or not you have to go inside a location to see its peanut. That’s also where you will find this golden peanut.
They are whimsical characters, and the detail put into many of them is amazing. This patriotic one stands in front of automotive shop and looks like a couple of retired Marine drill instructors I’ve met over the years.
Lights, camera, action! Hang around this fellow too long and you might find yourself on TV or in the movies!
And if you’re a book lover like I am, both as an author and reader, be sure to go across the street to the library and visit this guy.
Is your house starting to look shabby and in need of a paint job? This peanut man is ready to get to work right now!
And how can an old newspaperman like me not feel a kinship with this one?
Did somebody say Hooters? I only go there for the wings, I swear!
Who could resist stopping to give this friendly puppy at the Dothan Fire Department, a pat on the head?
And these are just a few of the peanut statutes around Dothan. There’s also an Elvis peanut, state trooper peanut, and a cowboy peanut, to name just a few. The next time you’re in southern Alabama, stop in Dothan and see how many of them you can find.
Thought For The Day – Water solves so many problems in life. Want to lose weight? Drink water. Want clear skin? Drink water. Want your obnoxious neighbor to stop playing his music so loud? Drown him.