Vendors Bring in Big Bucks at Peanut Festival

By: Alli Mechanic Email
By: Alli Mechanic Email

Normally, heavy traffic from a Dothan event boosts the local economy, but at the National Peanut Festival, those that benefit the most are the vendors. That is why some area businesses set up shop on the midway.

“I have had people this year from New Jersey, New York, Chicago, so that tells me there is folks that you can’t get at your store front that you will see out there,” explained Boiled Peanut vendor Brad Burgess of McNeil Farm.

Festival organizers say things may have started off a little slow, but now that mother nature is behaving, attendance is looking good and that means big bucks for vendors.

“We sell it by the ear at $3 an ear, the biggest night we had was 1,460 but Friday night we had a bad night, we only sold 97. It has been 7 or 800 every night since,” said corn vendor Joe Maxking, of Malvern.
Even vendors that are not selling food or souvenirs are able to reap the benefits of the large crowds.

“We are promoting our business and trying to get people more involved. We just want to get that name out there,” said Ben Thomely of Vector Security.

More than 100,000 people are expected to browse the midway at the National Peanut Festival and that is what keeps vendors open for business.

The Dothan Area Convention and Visitors Bureau explained that many local businesses are not being used because everything visitors need is on the midway.

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