In the city of Dothan, Alabama, peanuts are king. In fact, if you visit the Dothan Visitors Center you can even see a peanut statue of The King; Peanut Elvis Presley, that is.
Known as the “Peanut Capital of the World,” Dothan is the center of a 100-mile radius where more than half of all peanuts in the United States are grown. Every Fall, the city hosts the National Peanut Festival, a two-week event to honor local peanut farmers and celebrate the harvest season. There is a Peanut Parade, rides, livestock shows, agricultural displays and, of course, lots of peanuts to munch on. But if you miss the Festival you can still see plenty of them the rest of the year.
Dothan is peppered with painted peanut statues, a public art project that was originally known as “Peanuts Around Town.” It began in 2001 when a non-profit coalition called The Downtown Group wanted to find a way to help revitalize the downtown area and promote tourism. They started selling fiberglass peanuts to be painted by local artists to highlight residents and businesses. This movable peanut gallery started showing up in front of stores, in parks, and on street corners. The public art installation, now known as “Peanuts on Parade,” has become so popular that there are now over 60 statues to look for around town. There are public service nuts (fireman, policeman, military), a breast cancer awareness nut, a nut in a bathtub, a doctor nut, a boiled-peanut selling nut, and even a Dalmatian snuggling up against his beloved fire hydrant nut.
You can spot many of the peanuts around town on your own, but if you want to find them all the Dothan Visitors Center can help you out with a brochure, pointing you in all the right nutty directions.