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Poplar Grove Plantation hosts 30th anniversary celebration


NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- This weekend Poplar Grove Plantation hosted a 30th anniversary celebration. It was the peanutiest day of the year. It was all about community, arts and, of course, peanuts. Poplar Grove is the oldest peanut plantation in the south.
Thirty years ago it opened its doors to the public for tours. The staff thought it was time to celebrate being "nuts for its neighbors."

Jeanne Walker, the public relations director for Poplar Grove Plantation, said that they day was all about the peanut and their neighbors.

"We get a lot of support for the community both as volunteers and from sponsors and donors," Walker said. "We're celebrating our history, which the peanut saved us after the Civil War, and we're celebrating our neighbors."

Artist Ivey Hayes has been a great supporter of the plantation and unveiled two paintings this weekend. Each depicted the peanut harvest. He also was onsite signing prints.

Cindy Rhodes filled the air with music from a hammered dulcimer. She said it is a very rare instrument to find on the coast.

"I get to play my own original mermaid music here," Rhodes said. "I write my music. The instrument really tells me what to write. I have this music that just comes from my heart, and so this music just helps me to share the love and the warm feeling to everybody here."

Other artists had their talents on display as well. There was glass bead making, a wood working display from area wood turners and blacksmithing demonstrations.

Peanut farmers were on hand to educate visitors on their crop. Folks also got to try a southern favorite: boiled peanuts.

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Courtney Brooks' article

Courtney, what a pleasure it was to meet you and play for you at Poplar Grove on Saturday. Your story was all-emcompassing and just perfect. Thank you so much for taking the time to come out to one of the jewels of Pender County and showing everyone what a fabulous bit of history is being kept alive and thriving here! On Wednesdays, Poplar Grove also has a fabulous farmer's market; there are strict guidelines that pre-approved vendors/farmers must meet and follow, so the public is guaranteed the highest quality experience every time they go to the Poplar Grove farmer's market. Maybe you can go there sometime! Thank you again, and remember that if you ever want some mermaid music played anywhere, you may always call me! Mermaid hugs and blessings!!