DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — In just a few short days, the gates for the 76th annual National Peanut Festival will open to the public.
Before that can happen, everything has to be set up, but what exactly goes into getting the rides and vendors in the right place?
“We work with them in pre-season meetings to determine the size of their equipment, how many tents they’re going to need, size of tents,” said David Butterfield, NPF Facility and Operations Manager. “We distinguish based on those perimeters as to the layout, and how they’ll fit on our land and the topographical issues.”
While Monday served as the big push for tents and final set-ups to happen, local non-profits and food vendors started to prepare the first Monday in October.
One vendor said it’s like setting up an entire home in a small area.
“You have to set plumbing up,” said Victoria Messenger, Wolf Pack band booster NPF vendor VP. “You have to get gas lines hooked up. You have to get your sewage. You have to get your mobile attics put in, freezers delivered, produce, (and) food. We’re having all that done today so I mean there’s just chairs and tables and tents put up. I mean there’s just so much.”
The festival runs under 17 divisions with everyone having a chairperson and a liaison to the direct NPF board.
“We’re all well-versed in the communications that it takes to make it happen,” Butterfield said. “Everybody’s monitoring multiple radio channels, and so we relay things back-and-forth throughout the property, and we’re doing that nearly 24/7 every day that the festivals on the grounds.”
Butterfield said that with everything that takes place at the fairgrounds including the fair and off-season events they learn year-from-year what works and what doesn’t to make everything run smooth.