Mr. Peanut, Planters Peanut and collection enthusiasts alike will have plenty to talk about come Friday.
The Peanut Pals Midwest Chapter 30-year anniversary convention and swap meet will be held in Creston Friday and Saturday.
The convention will be based at the Supertel Inn and Conference Center located at 800 Laurel St.
The gathering is open to the public with close to 50 Peanut Pal guests in attendance from nine different states across the United States.
The main attraction will be the swap meet held in the conference center from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday morning. The swap meet allows the public and vendors to see vast collections of Mr. Peanut and Planters Peanut memorabilia on display.
“First of all, they can come see more Mr. Peanut stuff than they have ever seen in their lives,” said Tim Fiala, a Mr. Peanut and Planters Peanut collector from Creston.
Visitors have the ability to purchase Mr. Peanut and Planters Peanut items as well as learn all about the products that date back more than 100 years.
A version of Mr. Peanut, as seen on TV, and the nut mobile will be at the convention from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.
This will be the first time the convention has been in Iowa since the late ‘90s when it was hosted in Ottumwa.
“I think southwest Iowa has a lot to offer,” said Fiala. “We went to one in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and I drove in traffic for four hours and didn’t move 2 miles. My joke has always been our traffic jams last five minutes if you catch the wrong light.”
After convincing his daughters to help, Fiala decided to pitch the idea of having the convention in Creston.
Preparation for the convention boils down to finding a location, picking vendors and sending out all the information.
“We tried 30 or 40 different vendors,” said Fiala “We wanted to branch out.”
Fiala has attended conventions since 2008 all across the United States from Las Vegas to Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Fiala was drawn into the Peanut Pals by the stories surrounding the collections of other enthusiasts.
“You just talk about the find,” said Fiala. “You talk about what you are missing in your collection and what direction you are going to go and it’s a genuine interest.”
Friday night will consist of a Peanut Pals Midwest Chapter tradition at conventions – room hopping.
“Whoever wants to display or sell merchandise you put it out,” said Fiala. “You put your room number on a list and you just go from room, to room, to room and see what everybody brought.”
According to Fiala, some collectors, could have a collection that may be valued near $250,000.
When Fiala isn’t planning Peanut Pals conventions, he is a superintendent with Gavilon Grain.
Non-convention participants are welcome to sell at the swap meet for a $10 fee and a $5 fee for tables, given away by availability.
Those interested in boothing a table at the swap meet can contact Fiala with questions at 515-314-6615.
Any other questions can be answered online at www.peanutpals.org