Peach Celebrations Canned

Wilmington, NC – Blame the freeze over Easter Weekend.

The cold snap took its toll on many of the state's fruit crops -- from blueberries to apples and peaches.

This year's peach harvest could be as little as 10% of last year's, and that's making the fruit a rare find at farmer's markets.

The North Carolina State Department of Agriculture called off Peach Day celebrations at its five state-operated markets. The Department's Kevin Hardison says they made the move after consulting peach farmers.

"They said, there's really no need to have a Peach Day out there to promote something people are looking for, but can't find a vast amount of," Hardison says.

But Hardison says the official Peach Festival in Canton managed to go on as usual, with rides and fair food, but a lot less of the main attraction.

"In years past, we've had several growers take 2 [to] 3 long trailers slammed full with peaches," Hardison said. "This year we only had a couple of growers with maybe just a small trailer of peaches available."

The spring freeze also hurt the state's apple crop. Hardison said it's too soon to tell if farmer's markets will hold their usual celebrations of that fruit.

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