MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

July 13, 2014

Porter ripe for Peach Festival

Annual gala requires months of planning

Kent Livesay said size isn’t everything when it comes to peaches.

“To some people the bigger the better,” said Livesay, owner of Livesay Orchard. “I want them close enough to maturity to have a good sugar content.”

For the town of Porter, home of the annual Porter Peach Festival, size doesn’t play a role in the festivities. Each year, thousands of people descend upon the town, which has a population of almost 600.

“We are just a small town,” said festival coordinator Roy Essary. “I think it gives everybody an opportunity to come out and see people.”

The 48th annual Porter Peach Festival will take place this weekend, and there’s something going on for everyone. The festivities kick off Thursday at 4 p.m.

Essary said planning for the Porter Peach Festival began months ago.

“We start pretty close to around March contacting previous vendors,” Essary said.

On Thursday, the annual Peach Pageant will feature more than 20 young women from the Porter area competing for the title of Peach Queen, Peach Blossom, or Peach Bud.

“That’s become a real popular thing,” Essary said.

On Friday, there will be a pet show and an antique tractor pull.

“It’s a time for people to have fun,” Essary said. “Wholesome, clean fun.”

Saturday will provide a full day of entertainment for festival attendees, starting with a 5K run and a car/truck/motorcycle show.

Essary said 120 to 130 vehicles usually enter the show. The parade begins at 11 a.m.

The peach auction will take place immediately after the parade, Essary said. All the proceeds from the peach auction will go to the Porter Lions Club. Livesay said the peaches chosen for the auction are carefully selected.

“On Friday before the fest, we pick really pretty peaches,” Livesay said.  

For some people, the highlight of the festival comes after the parade and auction. It’s the free bowl of peaches and ice cream.

“We usually give out 2,000 bowls,” Essary said. “We got 3,000 ready.”

All the peaches used for the free peaches and ice cream bowls and for the auction are donated from the Livesay Orchard. A talent show will provide entertainment after the peaches and ice cream have run out.

Anyone can enter the contest, and prizes will be awarded. There are two divisions, 15 and under, and 16 and over.

“It doesn’t take much to please our crowd,” Essary said.

Country music bands and other live music performances will take place throughout the festival. Whether it’s for the peaches and ice cream, the peach pageant, or the peach parade, Porter is the place to be this weekend.

Reach E.I. Hillin at (918) 684-2926 or ehillin@muskogeephoenix.com.

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