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Pepper Jelly Time!

Rural Heritage Center gears up for annual Pepper Jelly Festival

The 10th Annual Pepper Jelly Festival sponsored by the Alabama Rural Heritage Foundation will be held Saturday, April 29, 2017 on the grounds of the Marengo County High School in Thomaston from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

The Alabama Rural Heritage Foundation invites the public to a fun-filled day for the entire family.  All proceeds of the festival are used to promote the programs and activities of the Alabama Rural Heritage Foundation throughout the coming year. The ARHF strives to preserve its rural heritage as well as promote community development and quality of life in the Black Belt.

Ten years ago the ARHF made the decision to change the “Annual Rural Fun Day Celebration,” which had been celebrated the last Saturday in August for over 20 years, to the last Saturday in April to take advantage of cooler weather and renamed it “Pepper Jelly Festival.” This proved to be a good move as evidenced by the growth in participation from arts and crafts vendors, entertainers and the crowd.   

Sponsors for this year’s festival include West Rock, Alabama Power Company, Robertson Banking Company, Dave’s Market, First Bank of Linden, Sweet Water State Bank, Langley Shell in Thomaston, Naheola Credit Union, and Trustmark.

“A special thank you to these businesses for supporting the festival.  Without these sponsors the festival and the programs at the ARHF would not be possible,” said event organizers.

The success of the Pepper Jelly Festival begins with a special group of ladies who volunteer their time and talent to make the pepper jelly made from all natural ingredients. This jelly is shipped all over the U.S. and even a few times to England.

The Rural Heritage Gift Shop shelves are stocked at all times and local businesses such as Lindsey’s Florist & Gift Shop, The Mustard Seed, Ziggy Zelda’s, Marks Mart, and The Farmer’s Market in Orrville are among a few who stock the jelly.

Time is drawing near and the volunteers are busy bees these days. The Good Ole Thomaston BBQ has been made and packed and ready to make the barbecue sandwiches on the day of the festival.  The Pepper Jelly Ladies have been busy lining the shelves with Pepper Jelly to sell. The vendors are signing up with a vast array of handmade items and delectable foods to display and sell on the shaded campus of the old school.  Becky Bouler Vick has assembled a lineup of entertainers who are sure to be the highlight of a fun filled day.

The public is invited to join in the fun in Thomaston on April 29 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

(This article originally appeared in the Saturday, April 15, print edition of the Demopolis Times.)