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Dover Post
  • Wyoming Peach Festival, Fifer customer appreciation day back for another year

  • While many may think of Georgia as the peach-producing capital of America, Delaware has a long, rich peach history of its own. Beginning in the late 1800s, Delaware was a top-producing peach state. Hundreds of thousands of acres of peach trees were harvested in Kent County alone.
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    • Youth group puts on fuzzy drink sale
      The Wyoming United Methodist Youth Group will be selling Peach Fuzzy Drinks at the Peach Festival on Saturday, Aug. 3. Their booth will be located in front of 111 Broad Street between ...
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      Youth group puts on fuzzy drink sale
      The Wyoming United Methodist Youth Group will be selling Peach Fuzzy Drinks at the Peach Festival on Saturday, Aug. 3. Their booth will be located in front of 111 Broad Street between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and also at the Church Yard Sale, 216 Wyoming Mill Road between 9 a.m. and noon. All proceeds will go toward the Summer Youth Mission Trip.
  • While many may think of Georgia as the peach-producing capital of America, Delaware has a long, rich peach history of its own. Beginning in the late 1800s, Delaware was a top-producing peach state. Hundreds of thousands of acres of peach trees were harvested in Kent County alone.
    This fact explains why the state dessert is peach pie and why the towns of Wyoming and Middletown host a yearly peach festival. Wyoming was a major hub for peaches, said Michelle Thompson, who is in charge of publicity for the Wyoming Peach Festival.
    "With the development of the railroad in the 1850s, Wyoming became a hub for peach producing and shipping," Thompson said. "To honor this, Wyoming has a peach festival every year."
    Saturday's festival will mark the 24th year of the festival. The event may still be going strong, but Delaware's peach industry is almost non-existent. In the 1920s, a disease called the peach yellows devastated the peach crop. It was all downhill from there for Delaware's peach industry, according to Mike Fennemore, Fifer Orchards' manager of retail operations. Fifer is the only orchard in Kent County that still grows peaches commercially.
    People come from far and wide every year to celebrate the peach. The town of Wyoming is typically flooded by thousands of festival-goers.
    The festivities will kick off with a parade at 9 a.m. The route will stretch from Fifer Middle School down Camden Wyoming Avenue.
    Festival-goers will park at either Caesar Rodney High School or W.B. Simpson Elementary School, both located on Old North Road. Shuttles will run from the schools to the festival approximately every 15 minutes.
    Amongst the festivities there will be a peach dessert contest, sand art, a bouncy house and face painting. A new aspect to the festival this year is the Peach Festival Band, made up of roughly 40 local musicians of all ages. They'll be marching in the opening parade and performing on freight platform.
    Festivalgoers can also enjoy plenty of food. Ice coffee, iced tea, peach smoothies, pulled pork and barbecue chicken Saturday.
    Local crafters will also be on hand selling everything from quilts to jewelry and pottery. Everyone can find something at the festival, Thompson said.
    "The intention of the festival is to have wholesome family fun, while honoring Wyoming's peach history," she said. "We have a little something for everyone."
    Fifer's customer appreciation day
    Just up the road, Fifer Orchards pays its own homage to peaches. About 35 years ago Mary Fifer Fennemore, the mother of Mike Fennemore, decided that she wanted to show her appreciation for the orchard's loyal customers.
    "What better way is there to say thank you than a hot August day and a cold scoop of peach ice cream?" Mike Fennemore asked.
    Page 2 of 2 - The annual customer appreciation day coincides with the peach festival each year. To show their appreciation for loyal customers the orchard's staff hand dips and passes out thousands of peach ice cream cones, in exchange for a small donation to the local 4-H or FFA chapters.
    Local restaurants and vendors will also be serving up some tasty eats at the orchard. Nage and Abbott's Grill will put a gourmet twist on peaches with dishes like pork tacos with peach salsa from Abbott's and arugula, peach, red onion and pecan salad from Nage.
    For those who like something more traditional, the Camden Wyoming Lions Club will provide burgers, hot dogs and fries. Meat Mechanics will also be serving barbecue.
    Fifer will also be offering live entertainment, rides and a petting zoo for the occasion. Kids can take a ride in a barrel train or saddle up on a pony. The whole family can take a hayride around the orchard. At 1 p.m., Fifer will hold its Peach Queen and Peach Princess crowning ceremony.
    "We feel like there's still a lot of history with peaches in our area," Fennemore said. "We are proud to continue that heritage of growing and harvesting peaches. Delaware can still grow as good of a peach as anybody."
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