The Great American Peanut Butter Festival in Grand Saline, Texas started in November 2010 with the goal of setting the world record for the largest peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich. The previous record was 950 lbs., set in 2002 in Oklahoma City. The Grand Saline event broke the standing record by making a sandwich that weighed 1,342 lbs..Besides the sandwich, attendees enjoyed numerous events, including a beauty pageant. Local vendors also had the opportunity to sell their wares to visitors. Now the festival is an annual event, and the goal each year is to raise money and collect peanut butter for the East Texas Food Bank.
Events at the Great American Peanut Butter Festival, which is held each year in November, begin at 7 a.m. and last through the morning and early afternoon. Visitors can enjoy a peanut butter pancake breakfast while volunteers begin creating the peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich. Starting at 9 a.m., attendees can enter the festival carnival, which includes games for children and families. There are also pony rides and a parade. Later, visitors have the opportunity to participate in a pet contest and a chef cook-off.
In addition to the carnival, cook-off, the sandwich creation and the parade, the 2010 festival hosted the Great American Peanut Butter Queens Beauty Pageant at Grand Saline High School. The pageant will be an annual festival event. Age groups for the pageant include: 0 to 11 months, 12 to 23 months, 24 to 35 months, 3 to 5 years, kindergarten and first grade, second and third grade, fourth and fifth grade, sixth through eighth grade, ninth through 11th grade, and12th grade.
One of the goals of the peanut butter festival is to raise money and collect food for the East Texas Food Bank for the holiday season. Organizers decided that peanut butter was a great food to donate to families in need, since it's affordable, shelf-stable, relatively low in fat and high in protein. Between 5,000 and 10,000 people attended the festival in 2010.
Access and Admission
Grand Saline is 64 miles from Dallas. The festival is held downtown on North Main Street. Visitors from Dallas can reach Grand Saline by following Interstate 20 to State Highway 17 and then heading north to State Highway 110. Other routes are available at the event's website. No tickets are required -- admission is free -- but those attending are asked to bring a jar of peanut butter for donation to the food bank.
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