Got to Be NC Festival celebrates local food, state’s ag heritage May 17-19 at State Fairgrounds

RALEIGH – The Got to Be NC Festival at the State Fairgrounds will continue to feature the family-friendly events that have made it a favorite local spring festival. The event, which takes place May 17-19, will again feature hundreds of antique tractors, a daily tractor parade, lots of local food, classic cars, live music, a carnival and much more.

“The Got to Be NC Festival is a celebration of North Carolina food and heritage that the whole family can enjoy,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler.

The highlight is the popular N.C. Food, Wine and Beer Expo where visitors can sample N.C. food and beverages. This year’s offerings have expanded to include breweries offering samples and selling bottles of beer. Admission is $2, and visitors receive a sheet of 24 coupons with special offers on products available at the expo.

Plenty of local food will be available from vendors on the grounds and the Masons and Shriners will raise money for charity with their food offerings. Teams of Masons will compete in the ninth annual Pig Jig, and the cooked pork will be sold to visitors Saturday to benefit the Masonic children’s home. Proceeds from the Shriner’s three-day Fish Fry will also go to charity.

In addition to about 1,000 tractors and farm equipment pieces on display all weekend, there will be a classic car show on Friday and motorcycle drive-in on Saturday. Free grandstand events include a draft horse pull on Friday night, electrical lineman’s rodeo on Saturday morning, antique tractor pull Saturday afternoon and garden tractor pull on Sunday.

The festival features a midway and offers budget-conscious riders two opportunities to purchase all-you-can-ride wristbands for $20. Wristbands will be sold at ride ticket booths Friday between noon and 5 p.m., and riders can use them until 10 p.m. Riders can purchase and use wristbands all day Sunday. Wristbands will not be sold or accepted on Saturday.

As usual, children will find plenty to do at the festival. The Agri-Plaza near the Expo Center will feature free hands-on activities and arts and crafts with an agriculture focus. And kids of all ages will enjoy watching the racing pigs zoom around the racetrack.

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

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