With sunshine peeking through early clouds and temperatures topping out at less than 80, Saturday felt like a fall day in Columbia: the perfect time to enjoy a peanut boil for a good cause.

After going virtual last year due to the pandemic, the Palmetto Peanut Boil made an in-person comeback for its 14th year, drawing hundreds of people to the 2900 block of Devine St. to support Animal Mission of the Midlands while sampling South Carolina’s official state snack.

The day included an element of competition, with teams serving up their best boiled peanut recipes. Prizes were awarded to the team selling the most bags and to the winner selected by a panel of judges (all experts in the eating of peanuts). The biggest winner, however, was Animal Mission and the people and pets it serves.

“All the money goes to our free spay/neuter program,” explained Animal Mission Board Member Julie Ruff. “Any Richland County citizen can go to the shelter and pick up a free voucher.”

DJ VooDoo Child and Whiskey Tango Revue provided musical entertainment and vendors offered arts and crafts as well as beverages to go with the peanuts. The number of vendors was reduced and bounce houses were not present, with safety in mind.

More information on Animal Mission and the free spay/neuter program is available at animalmission.org.

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