Got to Be NC Festival at State Fairgrounds June 5-8
More than 700 antique tractors and pieces of farm equipment will be on display as part of the Got to be NC Festival June 5-8 at the N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. Machines dating back to the 1930s and representing brand names such as International Harvester, Ford, Allis-Chalmers, John Deere, Cub Cadet and Massey Ferguson will be part of the inaugural four-day event.
Many of these tractors will compete in the antique tractor pulls on Saturday and Sunday.
More than 20 clubs from across the state will be showcasing equipment such as tractors, hit-and-miss engines, plows, corn shellers and mowers. In addition, prizes will be awarded for the best tractor equipment display in three different age categories: prior to 1930, 1930-1949 and 1950-1960.
“Being a farmer myself, I am particularly excited to see all of the antique equipment that will be brought in,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “This is shaping up to be one of the largest antique tractor and farm equipment shows in the Eastern United States, and it will be a lot of fun to see all of the old names and models on display.”
Participating clubs include Eastern NC Chapter #37 International Harvester Club, Carolina Antique Tractor Pullers Association, Iron Peddlers Antique Power Club, Apple Country Antique Engine & Tractor Association, Pee Dee Antique Power Club and Ford/Fordson Collectors Association.
“The show will be fun and educational for the whole family,” said Pat Short, the festival’s motorsports coordinator. “Adults can reminisce about the equipment they used or grew up with on the farm, while children can learn all about the agricultural heritage of North Carolina.”
In addition to the tractors and equipment on display, the Sandhills Antique Farm Equipment Club from Lillington will run antique farm equipment several times a day to demonstrate how the pieces work and what they were used for.
This includes a corn shredder, thrashing machine, hay baler, corn shellers, grist mill, feed mill, tobacco stick cutter and other pieces of belt-driven equipment.
What’s a festival without great food?
There will be plenty to sample and buy at the festival. More than 75 North Carolina food companies will be showcasing their products in the Got to be NC Agriculture Food Expo in the Exposition Building. Visitors can expect to find a variety of food products, from barbecue sauces to gourmet candy apples.
“The Food Expo will give festival attendees the chance to see, taste and buy many of the great products that we produce right here in North Carolina,” Troxler said. “This is a great opportunity for residents to become familiar with the great variety of North Carolina products so that they know what to look for the next time they go shopping.”
All of the companies participating in the Food Expo are members of the Goodness Grows in North Carolina program, the official marketing program of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
“There has been a lot of enthusiasm from our members and we are looking forward to a great show,” said Jeff Jennings, Goodness Grows director.
The Food Expo will be open on Friday from 4 to 9 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Additional food vendors will be scattered across the fairgrounds.
Live cooking demonstrations by local chefs and food enthusiasts will also take place daily in the Exposition Building. Booths for local artisans and other organizations will also be in the building.
Festival hours will be 3 p.m.-midnight Thursday and Friday, and 10 a.m.-midnight Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free. Tickets to events in the Sam Rand Grandstand will be $5.
It’s a BBQ showdown
Twenty-five teams from across the state will gather at the State Fairgrounds and begin cooking Friday night to prepare for judging on Saturday. The annual contest, sponsored by the N.C. Pork Council, will award the tops teams in both culinary and showmanship divisions.
The winning team will be announced at noon on Saturday, June 7.
Although winning cooks will share more than $4,700 worth of cash prizes, the two- to four-person teams won’t be the only ones to benefit from the competition. Both the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, a Raleigh-based organization that distributes food to the area's poor and undernourished, and the Wake Tech Culinary Technology program will receive all proceeds made from the sale of competing teams’ barbecue to festival-goers.
“This is a perfect fit to support culinary training programs like the Wake Tech curriculum and our own work-training program set up for those affected by situations such as homelessness, addiction or incarceration,” said Jill Staton Bullard, president of the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. “The rising price of diesel fuel is killing our budget, so I can’t think of a better way to raise funds than with North Carolina barbecue at the Got to Be NC Festival.”
The festival will also feature carnival rides and games, the state barbecue cooking championship and more. For more information, go to www.ncagfest.com.
10 p.m., meat delivery
The antique tractor and farm equipment show will be open during the festival’s normal operating hours. The festival will also feature a food expo, carnival rides and games, the state barbecue cooking championship and more. For more, go to www.ncagfest.com.