By Charlotte Smith
The Town of Dublin is bathed in the warm glow of Christmas, and it’s not just the sparkling decorations. The town’s streets are adorned with festive decor, and the grand Christmas tree is now ablaze with beautiful brilliance! On November 26, 2023, the Dublin Peanut Festival (DPF) Committee hosted a Tree Lighting Ceremony.
Committee members, alongside other local enthusiasts, gathered to usher in the holiday season. The evening featured steaming cups of cocoa, appearances by Santa Claus and the mischievous Grinch, and a rich sense of merriment.
But this event wasn’t just about lighting up the tree. Dublin’s generous community also united to give back to those in need. Residents contributed ornaments to adorn the Christmas tree and items for the less fortunate.
The DPF Committee took part in this charitable initiative by collecting new toys for underprivileged boys and girls in Bladen County. Vickie Sibbet, a member of the committee, shared the inspiration behind this decision: “In previous years, we have conducted canned food drives, but this year, we learned about a toy drive for needy children in Bladen County, an idea brought to us by Penny Perkins Britt. So, we chose to redirect our efforts toward the toy drive to help Bladen County boys and girls.” Sibbet proudly announced, “We’ve already gathered a box full of toys, and on Saturday night, we received two grocery carts filled with toys destined for needy children in Bladen County.”
Reflecting on this change, Sibbet added, “It was so sweet to see children come to the event bringing their own toys to donate to the cause.”
The weekend festivities didn’t end there. The DPF Royal Court, accompanied by the ever-grinning Grinch, participated in the Elizabethtown Christmas parade on Sunday. However, their goodwill extended beyond the parade route. The 2023 Miss Dublin Peanut Festival Queen and her Court spent time wrapping blankets for donations to a local nursing home.
The DPF Beauties, part of the Royal Court, amassed 59 blankets for the Bladenboro nursing home residents. Sibbet shared that these blankets would be delivered after the Bladenboro Parade on December 3, 2023, bringing warmth and comfort to older people.
Sibbet expressed her dedication to these charitable endeavors, saying, “Anything we can do for the children and the elderly, I am on board. Hopefully, we can visit with the residents this year, as for the past two years, we have faced challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We do this because everyone deserves to experience the joy of Christmas.”
The Dublin Peanut Festival also took part in the Elizabethtown-White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Christmas Tree Decorating contest, held at the Cape Fear Farmer’s Market. Every Saturday in December, visitors can cast their votes for their favorite tree for a donation of a dollar, with the proceeds benefiting the Cape Fear Valley Foundation.
Last but certainly not least, the DPF extends its support to local businesses. One way they support local businesses is by reminding everyone about the annual Festival of Lights at Lu Mil Vineyard, which commenced this weekend. The 2023 Festival of Lights will continue to enchant visitors again this week from Thursday to Sunday (11/30/23-12/3/23), offering a holiday experience for all.
Keep up with all the DPF happenings by following them on Facebook or check out their website: https://www.dublinpeanutfestival.com/.