Peach Festival affords Natchez visitors a chance to enjoy their favorite pastime

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 17, 2001

Bobbing for peaches can be a sweet experience, but it’s not without its pitfalls, according to the winner of the first-ever Peach Festival’s bobbing contest.

&uot;I&160;bit my lip,&uot; said Whitney Harris, who won the contest’s grand prize in four seconds flat but claims to have no previous experience. &uot;Other than that, it was fun.&uot;

The 1 p.m. contest was the main event at the Main Street Marketplace’s first Peach Festival. But other marketgoers had their favorite pastimes – namely, eating peach cobbler, ice cream sundaes and pie, and eating peach smoothies.

&uot;I’ve got to get one of those,&uot; said Jimmy Garcia of Natchez, eyeing the smoothie booth out of the corner of his eye.

&uot;We came to support the Peach Festival … and to eat some good peach cobbler,&uot; said Ellen Menetre, who also lives close to the market.

David and Wanda Barnes and Wayne and Julie Dees, all of Alabama, made a pit stop at the festival while visiting some of Natchez’s other attractions.

&uot;We just came over to look at the old homes, saw the sign and came on in,&uot; said David Barnes, an empty cobbler bowl in front of him.

And that is what the festival is all about, said co-organizer and chef Regina Charboneau – bringing more people into the market. An estimated 175 people attended Saturday’s festival.

&uot;This is 10 times as much as traffic at the market as there is on a normal day,&uot;&160;Charboneau said. &uot;When we opened at 9 this morning, there were all these people just waiting for us to start.&uot;

In addition to buying peach treats and lunch plates, customers could also buy bags full of the sweet fruit and pick up some tips on how to use them.

Recipes available at the festival included peach shortcake, peach salsa and peach salad with soybeans, Charboneau said.

Next, the market will hold a Watermelon Festival on June 30, including a watermelon carving contest with a grand prize of $100.