FORT BENNING, Ga., (Sept. 28, 2016) -- Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 81st Armor Regiment, and the Maneuver Center of Excellence Band supported the 20th annual Plains Peanut Festival Sept. 24 in Plains, Georgia.

The annual Plains Peanut Festival is an all-day event centered around one of the Sumter County community's claims to fame, its peanut production, and features the community's most famous residents in active roles.

The festival kicks off with a one-mile fun run and a 5K race. People line the sidewalks of Plains each year to watch the unique entries in the parade downtown. The MCoE Band provided a pre-parade concert along with the full marching band to participate in the parade.

Former President Jimmy Carter calls Plains his home and he attended both events, meeting the leaders and Soldiers of 3rd Battalion, 81st Armor Regiment.

In conjunction with the MCoE Band support, the International Military Student Office hosted a field studies program visit to the festival.

International officers from Fort Benning visited the festival and experienced life in the South with educational exhibits that were on display to emphasize the importance of agriculture in the region.

The international military students develop a firm understanding and impression of the American way of life through the field studies program, and this enables them to return home with positive impressions and a greater understanding of American culture.

"The Plains Peanut Festival was an awesome opportunity for our international students to experience some American culture. In addition, the MCoE Band's time-honored participation in the festival's parade enabled the greater Plains community to view our best musicians honoring their event, too," said Lt. Col. John M. Poole, commander of 3rd Battalion, 81st Armor Regiment.