Dothan family upset with Peanut Festival on special citizens' day

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DOTHAN. AL. (WTVY) - Special Citizens' Day at the National Peanut Festival started out on a sour note for one Dothan family.

Chris Waymire says "We were supposed to be there at 8:15 and there was no indication as to where we were going. There was a few folks at the front gate that didn't know where we were supposed to go...ended up finding out we were supposed to go to the South gate so we got there and we found our children and stuff but we get in, and everything was closed."

This special day became a disappointing one.

"No rides, no games, no...I mean you could go in and look at pictures and stuff but nothing really to do," says Waymire.

Instead of staying on the festival grounds…Waymire took his son for a "dude's day" at the bowling alley.

"I feel bad because everybody trekked in from a lot of different schools. I mean they made this a day for the kids and it's about the kids and they get there and I heard a lot of the kids saying, "I want to ride-rides!"...well you can't," replied Waymire.

So why weren't the rides running?

Joel Barfield, Chairman of Special Citizens' Day, says "We made a call that it just wasn't safe for the kids to ride the rides with all the rain and the getting wet, having to go back to school wet, the kids possibly getting just wasn't a good idea to open up the rides."

Barfield has been working with the Peanut Festival for 30 years and that this is only the second time there's been a problem on this day.

"I haven't seen a face out here yet that didn't have a good time. Everybody enjoyed it!" replied Barfield.

In the end…Waymire says the day was ruined because of bad communication.

"I wish they would've organized this little better. I mean it was about the kids, it was for the kids...and it's hard to explain to some of the's hard to explain "no." says Waymire.

The National Peanut Festival opened all the rides at 4:30PM on Wednesday.

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