The Mississippi Peanut Festival is always held the first weekend of October at Mitchell Farms on Leaf River Church Road in Collins, and it is one of the highlights of the year that Mitchell family looks forward to.
The Pumpkin Patch opened in 2006, and the Mitchells were overwhelmed with the response from the community and the state. As the rise of agritourism rose in the state, the Mitchells decided to offer all generations a glimpse into the workings of the farming culture of the past and today that so many families still depend upon and created the Mississippi Peanut Festival. The event keeps getting bigger each year, and the Mitchell family love adding a little of fall flair to the festival with some of the best boiled peanuts you’ll find anywhere.
“We have been blessed beyond our imaginations with schools and families that have supported us,” JoLynn Mitchell said.
The rich history of Mitchell Farms is everywhere. Established in 1960 by Dennis and Nelda Mitchell, the couple began growing row crops. As the family grew, so did the farm. During the 1970s, the Mitchells began growing peanuts and added other vegetables in the next decade. In 2006 as agritourism grew and became more popular in the South, especially Mississippi, the Mitchells decided to join in on the popular tourism idea. That was the early beginnings of the Mississippi Peanut Festival.
Now, the farm is quite impressive, featuring 1,500 acres nestled in the peaceful and beautiful southeast Mississippi piney woods, and the farm is still run by the Mitchell family. Some pretty notable historical events and legendary figures have crossed paths on this farm, and you’ll learn a little bit of this history on your tour of the farm. It’s hard to tell what is more interesting—the history of the farm or the fun that is to be had at the festival and weekends that you venture to the farm. One thing is for certain—everyone will have a great time.
Mitchell Farms truly turns into an autumn wonderland for the Mississippi Peanut Festival and the harvest and fall season, enchanting visitors with the endless rows of sunflowers that are simply breathtaking, autumn leaves and decorations everywhere, and pumpkins in every shape and color, including the rare Cinderella pumpkin, fall decorations, mouth-watering Super Jumbo and Virginia peanuts, peanut brittle, and so much more. Families can tour the farm, a genuine 100-year old cabin, a cedar cabin that was built after Hurricane Katrina, and take a hayride tour through the farm as they are given a history lesson about the area and how the Mitchell Farm was established. The Pumpkin Patch has a wide variety of pumpkins to choose from for that perfect Jack-o-Lantern or fall decorations.
The little ones can take a tour of Tiny Town which features a kid-sized town, including a church, fire station, and so much more. It will also play host to a live Bird Show on Sunday at 2 p.m. Catherine Strange will be at The Henington House on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., giving a demonstration on how to decorate with pumpkins and sunflowers for the fall season.
Children will enjoy playing in the Corn Pool or Sand Mountain, climbing hay mountains, seeing the goat castle, getting an up-close look at a variety of animals at the animal barn, taking a ride on the Pumpkin Express Train Ride, mining for gems, and enjoying a day in the country with their family. The whole family will love the challenging 6-acre corn maze and all the fun fest has to offer.
This year’s festival promises to bring even more fun for the whole family. “We’ll have over 100 vendors selling clothing, décor for the home and yard, children’s toys, wreaths, lots of handmade items, live entertainment, lots and lots of peanuts, and great food,” JoLynn said.
Peanuts are harvested daily offering fresh green peanuts for purchase from August until mid-November. From September until they’re all gone, which is usually about sometime in December, they are for purchase. To say that the Mitchells know a lot about peanuts is a huge understatement. The farm has been growing peanuts for over 30 years.
Besides arts and crafts exhibitors, visitors can enjoy browsing antiques, adorable and unique children’s clothes, collectibles, jewelry, yard art, and mouth-watering food vendors throughout the farm. For the first year, the Peanut Festival featured the Run for a Cure 5K with proceeds going to St. Jude’s Research Hospital.
It’s important to the Mitchell family to offer a glimpse of the past and the farming culture while offering a festival that brings joy to everyone in the family. It’s almost like stepping back in time as families can admire the turn-of-the-century farm equipment and learn how farmers work today. It’s much more than a fun family trip. Mitchell Farms offers a look at the past and present state of farming.
When planning the Mississippi Peanut Festival, it was important to the family, that still runs the farm, to offer a great experience that each family member can enjoy and learn a little bit about how their ancestors survived off the land.
“We love being able to create a wholesome environment for families to come and make memories with their children,” JoLynn said.
Guests will love some of the freshest and most delicious vegetables around enjoying several stages of music playing bluegrass, gospel, blues, country music and other lovely tunes that drift through the beautiful countryside beneath the cool of the gorgeous trees dotting the farm. It’s hard to tell what you’ll enjoy more—the beautiful farm or the sweet hospitality of the Mitchell Farm. They embrace you as one of the family and make the experience that much more special.
“From our wagon ride tours, super slides, train rides, to the log cabin tours, we offer something for everyone,” JoLynn said. “Gentlemen enjoy sitting in the swings watching their children play outside. They also love our farming operation antique tractors.”
The Mississippi Pecan Festival offers pumpkins galore of every shape, size, and color, so many photo opportunities, and sweet memories that the family will cherish forever.
The Mississippi Peanut Festival is Oct. 5-6 in Collins, Mississippi, at Mitchell Farms. The Pumpkin Patch, which was named the No. 1 Pumpkin Patch by TripAdvisor, will be open to the public from now until Nov. 10 every weekend, from 9-6 on Saturdays and from 1-5 on Sundays. Weekdays are only open for school or group reservations.
Admission to the Mississippi Peanut Festival is $12 for guests 2 years and older and includes admission to the festival and pumpkin patch festivities. For more information, check the official website at www.mitchellfarms.com.