9th annual Sahuarita Pecan Festival a success

SAHUARITA, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - People had their pick at plenty of pecans at the 9th annual Sahuarita Pecan Festival. The event that highlights the Green Valley Pecan Company, one of the world's largest producers of pecans, typically draws a crowd of around 20,000 people.

Two of those attendees were Melissa and Sue McClendon, who were first carrying around stacks of bags of pecans, and eventually, a box full of them.

"When you have a baker in the family, this is what you do," Melissa said.

They bought somewhere around 15 bags of pecans Saturday afternoon. The plan: Sue will take them home and bake a bunch of pecan pies to hand out to friends and family throughout the community.

"She's always bringing a pie over to everybody's house," Melissa said. "With that many pounds of pecans, I'm not sure, probably about thirty or forty of them."

Melissa explained her step-mother Sue comes every year, and this was the first time she came along.

"It's amazing," she said. "The tens out here, the families, it's a good time for everybody, it's fun, it's festive, so it's great."

She's looking forward to next year's edition, but in the next few days -- her slice of a pecan pie.

From raw pecans to savory pecans, people waited in long lines to purchase their nutty fix. But something many of them probably didn't know at the time -- a portion of the pecan proceeds goes towards local charities. Since the event started in 2009, they've donated more than $75,000 to a variety of local charities.

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