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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Annual Missouri Peach Fair to be held

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

File Photo/ Courtney Luke Heather Porter of Poplar Bluff was crowned the 2012 Miss Missouri Peach Fair Queen last August.
As part of the annual Missouri Peach Fair, Restless Heart will present a country music show on Saturday, Aug. 17 at 7:30 p.m. at the Campbell Community Center.

Other events will also be held throughout the fair.

On Friday, August 16, the Miss Missouri Peach Fair Pageant will be held at the City's Community Building.

Entries for the Baby Picture contest will be accepted on Sunday, Aug. 18 at the Campbell Community Center.

A talent competition will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 20 at 7:00 p.m. Past winners have participated in the Mid-South Fair Talent Competition.

On Wednesday, Aug. 21 - Saturday, Aug. 24, the Midway will be open and arm bands will be available for purchase. Bandstand entertainment will be available Wednesday through Saturday night with Wednesday being Gospel Night. Youth drawings will be held throughout the evening.

On Friday evening, the Little Miss Peach Blossom Pageant will be held for ages 5-7 at 7:00 p.m. At 8:45, the Little Miss Peach Queen Pageant, ages 8-11, will be conducted.

Saturday morning, the annual parade will be held at 10:00 a.m. in the Downtown area. At noon, the infant/toddler beauty pageant will be held at the Community Building. The Junior Miss Peach Queen will be selected at the 8:00 p.m. contest.

According to information provided by the Missouri Peach Fair Board, the first Peach Festival was held in 1944 and was sponsored by the C. Dolph Gehrig-American Legion Post 109, peach growers and area businessmen. Profits form the festival were used to improve the Legion Hut. Though only a one day celebration, prizes were awarded in excess of $1000.

In 1954, the Rotary Club became the sponsor and for the next several years, it became a fall festival which assisted the McCutchen Park, made school improvements and funded Rotary Club projects.

In 1960, both the American Legion and Rotary Club reinstated a summer Peach Festival and sponsored it until the Campbell Chamber of Commerce took over in 1963.

The Peach Festival was reorganized in 1981 and a board of 15 members was selected forming the celebration into the Missouri Peach Fair.

This year's board members are:

President, Neal Bergman; Vice President, Tony Adair; Secretary, Kari Lemings; Treasurer, Janice Schatz; Public Relations, Tina Finder; members, Orbylene Willard, Bud Hill, Rich Cochran, Gary Grubbs, Dena Bedwell, Jerry Foriester, Rodney Bryant, Lesley Vancil, Cletus Weidenbenner and Melonie Cunningham.

Recent Peach Fair Queens have been: 2004 Kristi Gage; 2005 LeeAnn Graham; 2006 Whitney Modlin; 2007 Megan Crawford; 2008 Nikki Ray; 2009 Chelsea Bledsoe; 2010 Megan Hall; 2011 Taylor Miller; and 2012 Heather Porter.

Jr. Miss winners have been: 2008 Lauren Von Ruden; 2009 Makinley Powers; 2010 Sydney Tarno; 2011 Rianna Holloway; and 2012 Bailey Branum.

In this year's Peach Fair pamphlet, special recognition was given to long time Campbell resident and Peach Fair supporter, Lloyd Miller. Miller was the owner and operator of Rice Hardware and an original peach grower. Beginning in 1948, he planted his orchard and continued his harvest for the next 30 years. Not only was he the original director of the Peach Fair Parade, he was the sole director for over 40 years. He made the Peach Festival into a family affair incorporating the help of his wife, children and grandchildren. He retired as parade director at the age of 86. He was also an inductee of the Dunklin County Hall of Honor. Lloyd Miller passed away on Oct. 29, 2012.