What you need to know about the National Peanut Festival in Dothan

National Peanut Festival
NPF 2023. (Callie Morrison / The Bama Buzz)

If you’re familiar with Dothan, Alabama, then chances are you know about the National Peanut Festival (NPF), too. Being from Dothan myself and attending for over a decade, I was more than eager to bring friends in early November and see them experience the joy of this 10-day festival.

Whether you’re a NPF-veteran or novice, I’m here to tell you all about the annual festival and why you should attend every year.

Dothan is known as the Peanut Capital of the World

Before we get into the reasons you should mark your calendar for the next Peanut Festival weekend, let’s learn more about why this event happens in Dothan every year.

Because over half of the peanuts in the United States are grown within a 100-mile radius of Dothan, this Alabama city is coined as the “Peanut Capital of the World.”

To commemorate the title, you can find these attractions and more throughout the city:

  • Life-sized peanut statues in front of local shops, restaurants + government buildings
  • George Washington Carver Museum
  • Annual Little Miss and Miss National Peanut Festival pageant
  • The National Peanut Festival

The National Peanut Festival is full of carnival rides, animal shows + more

One of my favorite parts of the festival is of course, the amusement rides. There are dozens that line the fairgrounds—ones that spin, go upside down and even kid-friendly rides.

If you’re not a fan of carnival rides or need to let your stomach settle, there are petting zoos, animal shows, concerts and more throughout the 200-acre grounds.

NPF attendees can support local vendors

With two exhibition buildings, attendees can roam through dozens of local vendors showing off their work. It’s always a blast to walk around and admire this local work. These individuals also enter their work in various competitions.

Some of the aspects of these exhibitions you can find include:

  • 4H displays
  • Handmade art
  • Photography
  • Recipes

Local businesses, high schools, churches and more also surround the fairgrounds selling food throughout the 10-day festival. You can support Dothan neighborhoods while also enjoying some classic, Southern food.

Fair food is top-notch

And now, arguably the most important aspect of the festival—the food. Most locals (myself including) make an entire day out of a NPF food tour.

A few (of many) can’t-miss goodies to try:

  • Boiled peanuts
  • Freshly-popped kettle corn
  • Funnel cake
  • Hand-battered corn dogs
  • Roasted corn
  • Turkey leg

Next year’s National Peanut Festival is already scheduled—mark your calendar for November 1-10, 2024 and I’ll see you there!

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Callie Morrison
Callie Morrison
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