The Wyoming Peach Festival and Fifer Orchards Peach Ice Cream Day is set for Saturday, Aug. 2. The event will include a large number of vendors and several entertainment acts, as well as a variety of food including many delicious desserts.

    There’s no better way to celebrate summer than with peaches – at least that’s the feeling at Fifer Orchards and from organizers of the 19th annual Wyoming Peach Festival.

    The festival is the town of Wyoming’s biggest event with 6,000 to 9,000 attendees, depending on the weather, and peach festival committee member Michelle Willard feels this year will be highly attended with gas prices making people want to stay close to home.

    In fact, the festival is a good way to run into neighbors, friends and family.

    “People meet up with friends and family and just enjoy themselves,” said festival committee member Jaci Stokes. “It’s a fun, family-orientated day.”

    The festival kicks off at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 2, with a parade through town followed by performances by the Dover High School Drumline and the Trilby String Band of the Philadelphia mummer’s parade. More entertainment includes Jack Foreaker with his puppet show and Friends of Folk Lonnie Fields and “Crabmeat” Thompson.

    Stokes said they have a large number of vendors this year – 120 – that will set up from Southern Boulevard on Railroad Avenue all the way to Third Street. All money made from vendors goes back into the community, buying items such as a flagpole or landscaping, or removing trees, she added.

    The event will feature raffles, craft items, community groups and politicians, children’s activities, a dunking booth and plenty of food from pretzels and gyros to crabs and Italian ice.

    And peaches aren’t neglected as well. There’s a peach dessert contest, where participants can bring desserts to the annex by 10 a.m. and have a chance to win $50, $25 or $15, she said. Attendees also can drink peach tea or a peach fuzzy.

    To make parking easy Stokes said there’s free bus transportation from W.B. Simpson Elementary School as well as handicap parking at the Pippin Funeral Home.

    The festival grew out of Fifer Orchards’ Peach Ice Cream Day, which is held in conjunction to the event.

    Mike Fennemore, retail operations manager at Fifer Orchards, said they began the day 28 years ago by giving out free peach ice cream as a way to thank their customers, and when it grew to be too big for the farm the vendors moved to Wyoming.

    “It’s basically a partnership that’s worked out well for both sides,” he said.

    At Fifer’s in addition to the free peach ice cream cones – 12,000 were given out last year – there are peach smoothies, peach pies and produce such as sweet corn, melons and peaches, Fennemore said.

    With entertainment by an acoustic guitarist and Dover Public Library’s Miss Jackie as well as orchard tours by wagon giving out information about the history of Delaware peaches and the farm, there’s plenty to do for the whole family. Some people really get into the contests, including the peach peeling, he added.

    Other highlights are the crowning of the Peach Queen and Peach Princess and the results from the recipe contest.

    Basically, Fennemore said it’s just a great community gathering where people can see familiar faces whether it’s an old teacher or someone they knew in high school.

    “The peach festival to me is a piece of Americana, it’s like going back in time” he said, later adding “and of course, there’s always the free peach ice cream.”

    There’s no shuttle service between the two events, but parking is available at Fifer Orchards.

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