Friday, May 3, 2024

Make plans now to enjoy the fun at the Got to Be NC Festival May 17-19

May 3, 2024

RALEIGH -- The Got to Be NC Festival takes over the N.C. State Fairgrounds May 17-19 in Raleigh with plenty of food, fun, tractors, music, agricultural exhibits and activities for the whole family. 
            Festivalgoers will find North Carolina food products and N.C. agriculture on full display throughout the grounds.
            Stroll through the Food Lion Local Goodness Marketplace in the Agri Supply Expo Center and discover the delicious food products and beverages offered by over 75 Got to Be NC member food companies, wineries and breweries. 
            Aisle after aisle of sauces, rubs, snacks, beverages, sweets, spices and meats await festivalgoers, with companies offering samples and products for sale. Also, check out the latest Got to Be NC merchandise and show your pride in North Carolina agriculture. Admission to the Marketplace is $3.
            Every day, the Got to Be Festival recognizes a Young Farmer of the Day, sponsored by Ag Carolina Farm Credit and Ag South Farm Credit. Honorees and their family are guests of the festival, pick up Got to Be NC swag and ride in the daily tractor parade.
            “Come out to the Got to Be NC Festival and help us celebrate the industry that feeds us all – N.C. agriculture and agribusiness,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “This marks the festival’s 15th year and it continues to grow in popularity.”
            All makes of antique tractors, plus early farm equipment will be on display daily on the midway. You don’t want to miss the colorful parade of vintage and antique tractors held daily at 1 p.m. No matter what tractor brand is your favorite – red, green, orange, blue, even pink – it will likely be in the parade. The parade begins at the Martin Building on the midway and winds through the festival grounds. 
            In addition to the Marketplace, visitors will find over 30 vendors offering a variety of products in the Graham Building, which also features the Agri Plaza, presented by NC Pork, showcasing an assortment of farm animals including the 2022 White House pardoned celebrity turkeys, Chocolate and Chip, fluffy-faced Highland cows, longhorn steers, baby piglets, sheep, goats and llamas.  While there you might be lucky enough to see a baby pig being born a chick hatch. 
            There will be lots of free fun, kid-friendly activities including the John Deere pedal tractor course, a corn table, make-and-take crafts, in addition to an interactive N.C. Forest Service exhibit, a dairy milking exhibit and the Carolina Cooker Skillet Skee Ball game. At 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, guests can help celebrate Smokey Bear’s 80th birthday by signing his birthday banner, hearing the Story of Smokey and joining his birthday party with friends. Smokey Bear and the N.C. State Fair’s Casey Cardinal will pose for pictures and pass out Smokey-themed party favors and ice cream to the first 200 guests. The ice cream is sponsored by Southland Dairy Farmers, Inc.
            A number of food vendors will be available on the grounds along with the N.C. Craft Beer Garden, hosted by the N.C. Craft Brewers Guild. Enjoy food and an N.C. Craft beer while enjoying music from the Got to Be NC Music Stage featuring local artists across many genres. Performance times are Friday at 1, 3, 5 and 7 p.m., Saturday at 10 a.m., noon, 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m., noon, 2, 4 and 6 p.m. On Sunday, The Master’s Men a cappella gospel ensemble performs in the Heritage Circle Church during the 9:30 a.m. church service, which is open to the public.  
            Free daily entertainment includes the Keith King BMX Bike Show, Agri-puppets, a Butterfly Barn, and working dog demonstrations featuring the Spotted Lanternfly Detection dog Goose on Friday, and K-9 officers from the Wake County Sheriff’s Department on Saturday and Sunday. 
            New this year located in the midway area will be live herding dog demonstrations. Watch as the border collies herd sheep and ducks and work them through obstacles with Quack Pack USA.
            Special Saturday-only events include:

  • Smokey Bear Birthday Celebration at 10:30 a.m. in the Jim Graham Building.
  • The Carolina Pig Jig benefitting the Masonic Homes for Children in Oxford. All-you-can-eat barbecue prepared by competing Masonic lodges, plus fixings is offered for $20 per person. Gates open at 11 a.m. beside the Agri Supply Expo Center.
  • Kids’ Pedal Tractor Pull takes place at 1 p.m. in the Rand Grandstand presented by the N.C. Education Lottery. Ribbons are awarded to the fastest racers.
  • An antique tractor pull is held in the Rand Grandstand presented by the N.C. Education Lottery from 2 to 8 p.m.
  • The Dinah Gore Food Challenge takes place beginning at 9 a.m. in the Graham Building Hall of Fame Room. Watch 4-Hers from across the state put their culinary skills to work as they create dishes using Got to Be NC products.

Special Sunday-only events include:

  • The Action Alley Heavy Equipment Learn and Play display of large equipment is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Kids can climb in and on these supersized pieces of machinery and see how they work next to the Agri Supply Expo Center. New this year will be MM Digging, a free interactive display allowing kids of all ages to play with model radio-controlled construction vehicles in a model construction yard. 

           Admission and parking are free, and the festival hours are Friday from noon to 10 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.


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