Everything was “just peachy” at the annual Peach Festival in downtownRoanokelast weekend. It was the 27th year for the festival, held inElmwood Park. Peach cobbler with ice cream, peach shortcake, and peach milkshakes were on the menu. There was an inflatable bouncer for the kids and various craft and information booths.
The festival is the largest fundraiser for the Northwest Child Development Center. The Melrose Avenue center provides child care services for about 70 children from 6 months to age 12 to parents who are working or attending school and wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford day care for their children. Last year’s peach festival netted about $10,000 for the center.
Becky Fields and Charlotte Wells, both from Roanoke, were sitting on a bench eating peach cobbler and ice cream just after the festival opened Saturday at 10am. “It’s breakfast,” Fields said laughing. “It is the breakfast of champions. It’s got your fruit, it’s got bread, it’s got milk, dairy; it’s everything you need for breakfast.” She said she attends, “to support the causes and I come every year for the Peach Festival. It’s a favorite. It’s something I do every year.”
Wells was impressed with her dessert-for-breakfast. “It’s delicious, really good. This is the first time I’ve been here.” Wells was born and raised in Roanoke, then lived somewhere else for 20 years, and now she’s back. She didn’t know there was a peach festival until Fields invited her. “I’ve been looking forward to it all morning.” Wells says she’s definitely coming back next year.
Nathan from Vinton comes to the festival every year, “to get some peach cobbler and ice cream . . . My favorite. I love it.” He’s even learned the secret of getting there when the festival opens. “If you don’t get here early, you miss it all. Yeah, it’ll be gone quick.” He comes, “because I love the ice cream and peach cobbler.”
Diane and David Kegley from Roanoke sat on another bench enjoying their peach cobbler. Diane said, “We just got up and came straight down here.” “We love peaches and we usually come every year to try to help out with the peach drive.”
When asked to compare this year’s tasty treat with those in the past, her husband David said, “Tastes just as good as any other time.” Diane added, “I think the peaches are a little bit sweeter this year, though. They seem to be a lot better this year.”
They come out to support the Northwest Child Development Center and also enjoy coming to the Strawberry Festival in May, which supports Community School.
– Beverley Amsler