A 90 % peach loss did not stop herds of people coming to downtown Porter and Livesay Orchards for the 56th Annual Porter Peach Festival July 14 – 16.
Hosted by the Porter Lion’s Club, the famous festival was jam-packed with a Saturday morning parade, mud bog, 5k run and plenty of live music and tasty treats.
Unfortunately, porter peaches were few and far between this year. Livesay Orchards’ staff attributes the lack of peaches due to a hail storm on May 5. Its forced staff to only sell limited amounts of porter peaches each week from July to early September. Signs were posted throughout Livesay Orchards’ buildings telling customers up front.
Many of the peaches that did sustain the hail storm ended up damaging the outside of the peaches, staff explained on poster boards inside the orchard. “A hail storm blew through during the middle of the day and hit all of our orchards. In some places it did massive damage — in other areas the peaches held on with a little less harm. But, in the end, most of the peaches that remained on the tree after the storm would survive with a reminder of the days’ event.”
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Staff wanted their valued guests to also remember, “some of the peaches may be scarred on the outside, but on the inside, there is a heart of gold.”
In 2021, Livesay Orchards experienced a similar loss of peach crop due to the unprecedented freeze early in the year.
According to the Porter Peach Festival Facebook page, all peaches were sold out on Saturday by 4:18 p.m.
This year, Livesay Orchards had peaches from Texas to compensate for the lack of porter peaches due to the hail storm. They too, were a big hit, as they were all sold out by late Saturday afternoon.
The Grand Marshall during Saturday’s parade was no other than Porter native and peach festival veteran, Shirley Herring. Herring has been to every Porter Peach Festival since its inception in 1966. Herring is known to have a servant heart and strong love for the town of Porter, having served as City Clerk and a familiar face at City Hall. In addition, Herring is a leader with the Porter Lion’s Club, First Baptist Church of Porter, Porter Medical Center Board of Directors and Eastern Oklahoma Development District Board of Directors.
2022 Porter Peach Festival presenting sponsors included Nextera Energy, Ary Land Co., the Porter Lions Club, Livesay Orchards and the Peach Barn Orchard and Bakery. Other support sponsors include Kevin Grove Buick GMC, Porter Fire Department, Blue Bell, Hogan Equipment, Oklahoma AG Credit, Wagoner County Emergency Management, Oklahoma State University Extension, Arkansas Verdigris Valley Health Center, Osteo Strong, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, Lake Region Technology & Communications, Mallett Funeral Home & Crematory, Oklahoma Farm Bureau Insurance and more. For a full list, go to porterpeachfestivals.com.