Suffolk Peanut Festival
Peanuts have been around for some 2,000 years, but it wasn’t until the early 1840s that the first commercial peanut crop was planted in Waverly, just northwest of Norfolk.
Originally consumed by the poor and used as feed for livestock, the lowly goober didn’t gain popular appeal until the Civil War, when it was seen as a portable, compact source of protein.
Perhaps one thing that aligns Coastal Virginia with the peanut more than any other locale is the Planters Peanut Company, which traces its roots to Suffolk as early as 1912. In fact, a Suffolk High School boy drew Mr. Peanut as a contest entry some 90 years ago.
Suffolk celebrates its tasty heritage annually at the Suffolk Peanut Festival, happening this year Oct. 8–11.
Still feeling nutty? Here's a recipe for Old Dominion Peanut Soup with Crispy Country Ham.