Former President Jimmy Carter and ex-first lady Rosalynn Carter made a rare public appearance in their Georgia hometown for the Plains Peanut Festival.
"Beautiful day for President & Mrs. Carter to enjoy a ride through the Plains Peanut Festival! And just a week before he turns 99," the Carter Center wrote in a Sunday repost of a spectator's video featuring the longest-married first couple traveling by SUV at the event a day earlier.
"We're betting peanut butter ice cream is on the menu for lunch!" added the post.
Erikka Bettis Williams, who took the video, told CNN said she had no idea the Carters would be at the event.
"Total surprise! The crowd was sort of slow to react at first because they didn't realize they were there. It was such a great surprise and yes, we sang 'Happy Birthday'!" she said.
Carter, a Democrat and the longest-living president in U.S. history, turns 99 Oct. 1.
The former president hadn't been seen in public for months and has been receiving hospice care since February. The former first lady, 95, was diagnosed with dementia in May.
The couple live together at their home in Plains, Ga., and have been married for 77 years.
The Carter Center had already launched a tribute in mid-September for Carter's upcoming birthday.
Jason Carter, the former president's grandson told GMA3 that "we didn't know, and we didn't believe at the time, that we were going to get to this 99th birthday."
"They are coming to the end, of course, at this time in their lives. But they are at peace; they are together, they're at home, they're in love. And you don't get much more than that, and they don't expect more," he said.
"It's a true blessing for all of us to have had this much time with him," he added.
Though born in Plains, Jimmy Carter grew up in the nearby community of Archery. A peanut farmer and Navy lieutenant before going into politics, he served one term as governor of Georgia and was president from 1977 to 1981.
Fran Beyer is a writer with Newsmax and covers national politics.
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