In the heart of Dothan, Ala., the Peanut Capital of the World, where more than half of the peanuts in America are grown, you’ll find the National Peanut Festival. This is 10 days of what is essentially a ginormous state fair in celebration of peanuts and peanut harvest season. Like at any state fair, the NPF rages on the local fairgrounds, where the floor is dirt and the food is fried. Classic carnival rides populate the skyline and the sounds of live country music and crowds cheering for street-style entertainment cloud the airwaves.
If you love the farming heritage of the American South (or an old fashioned, southern-style hullabaloo), you’ll enjoy the overflow of agricultural demos, like livestock showcases, pig racing and wood carving. Make sure to watch people put the peanuts to good use at the National Peanut Festival Recipe Contest. This year’s theme is “Peanuts Galore and So Much More!” to honor the economic significance of the legume crop and the farmers of the Wiregrass area. Sample NPF’s peanuts yourself at free tables and with vendors. You’ll find fresh hot boiled peanuts, big bins of raw ones and variations in between peanut. Once you’re peanut-buttered-up, you can get a little rowdy with the crowds at the demolition derby or the car and truck show.
For more kid-friendly activities, well, there’s plenty. Take them to see Pirate Man Dan, the unicycle-riding, stilt-walking pirate whose electric ship moves on land. Or hold your breath together while the Rock-N-Circus performer jumps from two stories in the air down to the air bag below. Or maybe you want to watch some dogs, pigs and camels do tricks against their will at the Hog Diggity Dog act. Or you can get a laugh in with Lew-E’s Comedy Circus, which is exactly what it sounds like.
When you’ve had your fill of standing around watching people and animals jump around for money, you can mosey on over to the Food Court Stage Concerts for a snack – did somebody say peach cobbler in a cone? – and a sit, where country musicians and some dancers will give a good table-side show. The headliners are found at the All Metal Amphitheater Stage and this year they are Kameron Marlowe, Megan Moroney and Ernest. In 2022, artists included artists Dylan Scott, Jordan Davis, and Lainey Wilson.
Google this festival and you’ll quickly find that a shooting occurred during last year’s parade. Two people were shot, one of whom was killed. The police told AL.com that there is “no reason to believe that this incident is any way connected to the Peanut Festival.”
- 200,000 people attend.
- Admission ticket tiering is as follows: Gate admission is available for $10 each day and allows you to see all fairground entertainment, Food Court concerts, and All Metal Amphitheater concerts. For the amphitheater shows, you can pay an extra $20 for the best seats in the house or an extra $10 for “GA- general admission folding chair seating.” In addition to gate admission, each day of the festival offers ride armband tickets, which range from $25 to $40, and allow you to ride unlimited rides on that day. The MegaPass includes gate admission and an ride armband for just $30 per day, but these are only available for purchase before the festival actually begins. Each day has different events and sometimes different prices, so to get a better idea of what to expect, check out the daily ticket pricing from 2022.
Consider making a road trip out of it all and exploring other parts of Alabama, from Gulf Shores to The Shoals. In Fifty Grande’s article 50 Things to do in 50 States, we recommend visiting the historic Montgomery, Ala., just 2 hours north of the National Peanut Festival. And you can peruse our guide to Alabama here.
What is the nearest airport?
Dothan Regional Airport is just under 14 miles to the National Peanut Festival Fairgrounds. The South Alabama Regional Airport is about 73 miles away. The Tallahassee International Airport in Florida is just under 100 miles.
What is the exact address where the festival is held?
5622 US Highway 231 South, Dothan, AL 36301 USA
It’s my first time attending, what can I expect at NPF?
The nation’s largest peanut festival will host music performances, a car & truck show, a calf scramble, demolition derby, amusement rides and more.
How far is the George Washington Carver Museum from the festival?
This museum dedicated to George Washington Carver, a prominent figure in the peanut industry, is just 6 miles north of NPF.
How far is the Dothan Civic Center from the festival?
Dothan Civic Center is in downtown Dothan and also 6 miles from the festival fairgrounds.
Who is playing the National Peanut Festival?
Kameron Marlowe, Megan Moroney and Ernest will headline the All Metal Amphitheater.
Who produces the National Peanut Festival?
The National Peanut Festival Association.