Peach County: The World’s Peach Paradise is a delightful visual history that features a newly discovered and quite remarkable photographic collection and brings to life one of the most formative periods in Peach County’s history. The 1920s were a magical time in Peach County, Georgia. For one day every year from 1922 to 1926 a Greek-style event in fairy-tale fashion—the Peach Blossom Festival, the precursor of the Georgia Peach Festival—was held in honor of the peach in the county seat. The peach was of tremendous importance to the economy and people of Peach County, and when Fort Valley decided in 1922 to host the first Peach Blossom Festival and to invite the world, the world responded. Thousands came for the festivals, which were said to rival Mardi Gras and California’s Rose Festival, and which even attracted the attention of National Geographic and Hollywood movie studios.
Author Bio: Historian and writer Marilyn Neisler Windham has carefully selected more than 150 images from the collections at the Thomas Public Library and combined them with interesting contextual information to bring alive an era when the grandeur of the Old South was at its peak. From rare images of events at the festival—including barbecues with mile-long serving tables and pageants with incredibly ornate costumes—to a wide range of photographs of Fort Valley in the early twentieth century, this visual history is a delight to delve into and a reminder of the need to preserve the rich and varied heritage of Peach County, Georgia.
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