Smith honored with spirited Peanut Festival sendoff

Published 2:38 pm Wednesday, October 11, 2023

By Haley Mitchell Godwin

A spirited good luck party was held Oct. 7 for Charlee Smith of Luverne, who is set to compete in the highly anticipated Little Miss National Peanut Festival pageant on Oct. 14. Seven-year-old Charlee, a second grader at Luverne School, is gearing up to represent Crenshaw County on the big stage.

During the party, Charlee expressed her gratitude to the community, saying, “Thank you to everyone who came to see me and thank you for my prizes.”

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The party took place at the Crenshaw County Shrine building, commencing at 10 a.m., and was attended by an enthusiastic gathering of Charlee’s friends, family and community members who came together to shower her with well-wishes and encouragement.

“Charlee had a wonderful time at the party, and it meant the world to her,” said Charlee’s mother, Cameron Gorey Smith. “Good Luck, Charlee! We wish you the best and hope you have a great time at Peanut.”

Charlee did community service in Crenshaw County. Her efforts included reading to classes in all three county schools and at Crenshaw Christian Academy. She chose to read “Be Kind” by Dr. Seuss because she said it’s so important to “always throw kindness around like confetti”.

Charlee volunteered at the World’s Largest Peanut Boil for the children at Shriners Hospitals and also raised money at a lemonade stand to purchase gold ribbons to hand out in September for Childhood Cancer Awareness.

“I think the most special thing I did is set up a lemonade stand to make my own money to buy gold ribbons to try to raise awareness for childhood cancer,” Charlee said. “I always say that children shouldn’t grow up in hospital beds.”

Throughout the past several months, Charlee and contestants from across the region have dedicated countless hours to practice sessions and gatherings. Despite the hard work, Charlee has embraced the opportunity to represent her county with enthusiasm and grace.

Charlee’s journey to the National Peanut Festival pageant, open to contestants from Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, began April 1 when she clinched the title of Little Miss at the Crenshaw County pageant in Highland Home. Now, she’s set to compete against 42 other talented young girls in her division, all vying for the coveted title of Little Miss National Peanut Festival.

The theme of this year’s National Peanut Festival, “Peanuts Galore and So Much More!” pays tribute to the Wiregrass area farmers and the vital legume crop that plays a pivotal role in the local economy.

The National Peanut Festival is set to run from Nov. 3 through Nov. 12 at the National Peanut Festival Fairgrounds in Dothan. Visit for further details and gate open times.