Summary: The Got to Be NC Festival is ready to welcome guests back after a two-year break due to COVID-19. May is a busy month, so we hope people will put this event on the calendar and come see us May 20-22.
I know May is a busy, busy month and if listeners are anything like my family, they likely plan their weekend activities well in advance.
So, I want all the listeners out there to go ahead and get your calendars out and put the Got to Be NC Festival on there for May 20-22.
This marks the return of this popular event to the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh after a two-year break because of COVID.
We’ve been busy planning the festival and we have some new and exciting things planned, including recognizing a Young Farmer of the Day.
This program is sponsored by the Farm Credit Associations of North Carolina and we are seeking nominations of young farmers between the ages of 18 and 40 right now.
I am excited to recognize young people and their contributions to our $95.9 billion agriculture and agribusiness industry.
Developing our next generation of farmers is one of our most critical opportunities we have in agriculture today.
I have to say I am encouraged by their ideas and their adaptability to new technologies. I believe as new technology is integrated into agricultural production, we will see agriculture advance in ways we haven’t even imagined yet.
Each Young Farmer of the Day will receive a Got to Be NC prize pack and will be invited to ride in the Got to Be NC Festival Tractor Parade. They will also be celebrated online and at the festival.
The deadline to nominate a young farmer is May 2. You can find an application online at www.gottobencfestival.com.
We have 75 vendors signed up for the Food Lion Local Goodness Marketplace where they will be able to sampling sauces, snacks, wines, meats, skincare items and a variety of food products for sale.
For the first time, we will showcase North Carolina distilleries at the festival.
Another new exhibit this year will be demonstrations by working dogs. We have two USDA-trained dogs working with our Plant Industry Division now checking for the highly destructive spotted lanternfly.
You will be able to learn more about the dogs, what they do and how they can help us with early detection of this pest.
There will also be a display and demonstration of dogs by the Police Dog Association. I think it is amazing what these dogs can be trained to do, so I am looking forward to seeing these animals in action.
And, speaking of action … on Sunday, May 22, we will have what we are calling Action Alley. This features a display of big trucks and work and firefighting equipment.
Kids (and big kids) can touch this equipment and learn about their uses.
Those are a few new attractions, but we have plenty of festival favorites returning, too.
Visitors will find a huge display of tractors in every color possible. And we will have a daily tractor parade through the grounds every day at 1 p.m.
Livestock will be on display in the Graham Building each day, showcasing this important sector of agriculture.
Another popular returning event is the Carolina Masonic Pig Jig fundraiser to benefit the Masonic Homes for Children in Oxford. There will be about 20 chapters of Masons competing for bragging rights on Saturday, May 21.
Tickets are $15 for ages 11 and up and $5 for ages 7 through 10. That gets you into the Pig Jig area where you can stroll and sample all the barbecue and sides you can eat.
It wouldn’t be a festival without the rides, games and food and we have those, too.
I hope I have convinced you to come see us May 20-22 at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. We look forward to welcoming you back!