Leitersburg Ruritan Peach Festival marks 39th year
LEITERSBURG — Peachy delights of food and fun entertainment has been the center of a longstanding tradition in one community.
Put together by the Leiterburg Ruritan Club as a fundraiser event, the organization will host the 39th annual Leitersburg Peach Festival from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, and Sunday, Aug. 12, at Leitersburg Ruritan Community Park.
“There’s a lot of people with jewelry and it’s all varieties, you’ll be amazed,” said Bruce Melton, co-chairman of the vendor committee for the Leitersburg Ruritan Peach Festival.
Attendees will have access to 126 craft vendors who will sell handmade jewelry metal works by blacksmiths, handbags, clothing, and various types of knives.
Saturday’s event actually kicks off at 8 a.m. with the Leitersburg Peach Festival 5K Walk/Run. The race will start and stop at the pavilion in Leitersburg Ruritan Park.
Entry fee for the race is $25. In-person registration will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10, at the Ruritan Park Pavilion
Race day entry registration will be between 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. at the Ruritan Park Pavilion.
On both days from 9 to 5 p.m., attendees can also take part in a petting zoo, watch a chainsaw carving demonstration, view an antique tractor display and undertake a climbing wall.
“We have a fantastic playground by the way,” Melton added. “The club built a modernized playground about 10 years ago, it’s all up to date, certified equipment … even the filler on the ground is certified to be childproof.”
Melton said the club is in negotiations to bring back the tractor barrel rides, which might be available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
People can also bring their antique tractors, as a display area will be designated for them, followed by an antique tractor parade at 3 p.m.
The crowning of the Peach Princess will begin at 3:30 p.m.
“We have princesses from years back that show up and help out also,” Melton said.
Live music will be played throughout both days with performances by The Tonehounds, Prophets of the Abstract Truth, Trevor Musser, The Brahman Noodles and Rob Rowe.
Food vendors will offer an array of options such as peach ice cream, peach pies, sausages, ham sandwiches, hamburgers, french fries and a local favorite — peach ice cream.
Melton noted that some of the food vendors will have shaved ice and popcorn.
The Leitersburg Ruritan Club will have its own booth where people can stop by and learn more about the club.
He explained that the proceeds from the festival help maintain the necessities needed for the community.
“This is the only fundraiser that the Ruritan has, it pays for the lights in the community. It pays for the gas to take care of the park and the surrounding areas and we stay out of politics, so anybody regardless of who you are or where you are, if you need our assistance, we’re more than happy to help out,” Melton said.
The club provides valuable services to the community.
“We are a community service organization, nonprofit. We take care of all of the common grounds in the community, grass cutting, planting flowers, getting rid of the trash,” Melton said.
Individuals have also received help from the club, too.
“We help out for people who have needs,” Melton said noting that they gave a man with a disability with a computer, and the Ruritan also offers scholarships.
He stated that anyone in need can reach out to the club.
“If you need us, all you have to do is pick up the phone and call,” he said.
All in all, Melton anticipates a crowd response of satisfaction.
“You can expect to have a good time, there’s a lot of good food and I’ve never heard any argument or complaints,” he said.