Saturday, July 18, 2009

Pork, Peanut & Pine Festival

The Pork Peanut & Pine Festival is every 3rd full weekend in July in Surry and this year we decided to attend their 34th yearly event. Neither of us had ever been, but always wondered what it was like.

So, we left early and rode the Jamestown/Scotland Ferry across the James River to Surry county and followed the road to the Chippoke Plantation State Park where the festival was taking place. As we entered the park and drove down the long road lined with loblolly (mudhole) pines, we entered the historic plantation area, was directed to parking in the fields, parked our car in the tall grass and headed towards the live country music. We weren't sure where we were going or what we were going to see, but we knew the music would lead the way.

The first thing we came upon was a long row of antique cars, trucks and tractors lined up under the shade of the tall cypress trees. We saw all sorts of Model A's, old Cadillacs, Chevys, Fords - some shining like the top of the Chrysler building and some as rusty as an old crabpot at the bottom of the river. We didn't care - we enjoyed them all.

Then we started coming upon some crafter's tents - ironworks, jewelry, clothing, wooden lawn furniture - if it could be handmade, it was there. And then we started coming to the smells. The music had led us to these wonderful smells - hot barbecue pits with roasted pig, huge kettles popping corn, funnel cakes, peanut pies and all sorts of other wonderful smells amid that live country gospel band.

The air was hot and humid, the sky was cloudy and overcast causing us wonder as to whether or not it would rain, as predicted, but those wonderful savory smells kept there until our appetite's could stand it no more.

While we waited for our lunchtime (which we ended up eating earlier than usual), we traipsed around the plantation grounds looking at all the wares. People would stop us and want to talk with us about our chiweenie dog.

We met a lady visiting from southern Arizona. She had once lived in Virginia Beach and then lived in Florida for awhile. She had the accent for it. But, she enjoyed Arizona and volunteered at one of the state parks out there. She had a dachshund at home waiting for her to return. And when she saw our dog, she just had to pet it because it reminded her of her own.

Then we had a couple come up inquiring as to the type of our dog. They could see the dachshund, but knew it wasn't full-blooded. I couldn't tell about the couple either. I wasn't sure if it was two women or a young man and an older woman. But, anyway, they enjoyed talking about the dog.

It started to get rather sultry in the humidity (the plantation is right on the James River), and we were getting hungry. My husband went back to the car to get our bag chairs while the dog and I waited under the shade tent. When he returned, we set the chairs up and then decided which vendor to go to for our food. We both wanted a barbecue sandwich and I wanted peanut pie. So, we found a vendor that sold both and trekked on over that way. We sat under the shade tent and listened to the country gospel band while we ate.

About the time we finished, the antique cars were getting ready for their parade. We decided not to stay for the parade, as it was getting very humid. So, we followed the lined up antique cars back to our parking lot and saw the parade that way. As we passed the old vehicles, the drivers all looked so hot and tired as they sat in their unairconditioned cars patiently waiting for the parade to begin. Someone in an apple red brightly shining Ford Model A pick up stopped us so they could look closer at our dog.

We enjoyed the food, the music, the vendors and the cars, but I wonder if we would have had as good a time if we had not taken our dog. I mean, we would never have had our interesting talk with the Arizona visitor or met the Odd Couple and a few others that stopped us to chat along the way.

If you've never been to the Pork, Peanut and Pine Festival I recommend going at least once. There's all sorts of things for all ages - especially families. Check out their website - and take your dog.

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