- Associated Press - Saturday, November 7, 2015

DOTHAN, Ala. (AP) - Hundreds of vendors have planned for months for the National Peanut Festival in Alabama.

Vendors from Florida to North Carolina setup on the fairgrounds of the 71st annual festival, which opened Friday in Dothan, Alabama. The festival runs through Nov. 15, honoring peanut growers and to celebrate the harvest season.

In all, the National Peanut Festival has become the mecca for most vendors in the industry.

Mike Halder of Granny’s Corners in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, has been attending the festival as a vendor for the past seven years. He sells novelty items like light-up balloons, bubble guns, native art and t-shirts.

“This is one of the best we do all year,” he said.

Sonia Overcash of North Carolina setup a booth for children and adults to compete for stuffed animals prizes. She said the hardest part about setup was the wooden frame to the tent she and her crew prepared.

Overcash said for the kids: “It’s a memory they’ll carry with them.”

This year’s festival the fair, the Miss National Peanut Festival pageant and livestock shows. The Optimus Prime truck from the “Transformers” film will be on display at the festival.

Jeannie Lawrence, a representative for Avon beauty company, said other reps in the area will have a booth at the fair this year for the first time in three years. An Avon district manager Deborah Danley said it took about 10 hours to setup the company’s two tents and product area for giveaways.

“We’re hoping to get more people involved that can stay home with their grandchildren, like Jeannie, and work with the business too,”

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