2020-06-24 wcat-porter peaches

Melanie Williams of Porter takes a break to take a closer look at the new crop of Porter peaches for sale at the Peach Barn Orchard & Bakery. JOHN FERGUSON/AMERICAN-TRIBUNE

A customer walked up to the sales associates behind the counter at the Peach Barn Orchard & Bakery on Saturday and had only one thing to ask.

“Good crop this year?” asked the customer.

Almost in unison, the response was positive from the busy workers.

Yes, the 54th annual Porter Peach Festival set for July 16-18 will not want for peaches this year. They are not only plentiful at the Peach Barn and other Porter locations, but delicious as usual.

Everywhere else they are sold, there is plenty of the golden fruit. They are truly gold for this particular festival.

With the star of the Porter Peach Festival ready to shine, what about precautions for this COVID-19 thing? Is everything still on schedule?

“Everyone’s still a go,” said organizer Alan Parnell. “We are staying in close contact with state officials over the COVID-19 virus.”

The crowds this year will be asked to keep a safe social distance while filling up the streets in the main part of town that has become the norm for the spring. There will be other safety measures, too.

“We will make provisions with (hand) washing stations to accommodate people and take every precaution we can,” Parnell added.

Even Parnell chimed in about the 2020 crop.

When asked if it’s good? The response was “apparently it is.”

One thing for sure, there will be plenty to see, do and taste during the annual event.

“We will have a new ride company with multiple rides. Small youth rides to adult rides,” Parnell said. “We’re also getting close to selling out on our vendor spots, too. If you want a vendor spot you better hurry and contact officials.”

After last year’s successful festival, Parnell and all that help put the event together have been swamped by vendor requests.

“We have been completely blasted by vendor requests,” Parnell said. “When everyone left last year they made money and wanted to come back the next year.”

There are vendors that even reserve spots for next year’s event the day the previous event ends.

“We’re happy that we have that,” Parnell added. “That’s something good.”

Now that’s the way to run a festival with or without a virus hitting the country.

“We’re staying on top of this with help from the Wagoner County Emergency Management officials to help protect the people that are festival goers,” Parnell concluded.