Love North Carolina and all it has to offer? Come celebrate our great state at the Got to Be NC Festival presented by Lowe’s Foods. Visitors will be able to taste food, wine and beer made in our state at the Homegrown Fare, enjoy some odder delicacies at The Great Carolina Food Bizarre, and enjoy delicious North Carolina barbecue at the Carolina Pig Jig.
The Homegrown Fare features more than 80 North Carolina companies offering samples and selling their products. A $2 admission fee for ages 12 and up includes a coupon sheet with more than $24 in deals with the vendors.
Several new companies will be represented this year, including Zynnovations, the makers of ZYN smoothies. This Statesville company makes all-natural and gluten-free smoothies with added benefits such as energy, focus and immunity. Other vendors include the Produce Box, a community-supported agriculture program that provides home deliveries of produce direct from the farm; Bull City Ciderworks of Durham, offering samples of hard cider crafted from North Carolina apples; and Little Black Dressing Co. of High Point, offering unique salad dressings such as It Takes Three to Tango, which combines ranch and 1000 island dressings with blue cheese crumbles. With three breweries and 13 wineries, visitors can also take a wine and beer tour of the state without ever leaving the Expo Center.
Those looking for culinary adventure will want to stop by The Great Carolina Food Bizarre, located in the Lowes Foods tent in front of the Expo Center, for a chance to taste weird and unusual food pairings. Offerings include deep-fried sweet tea or Cheerwine, pimento cheese ice cream, livermush balls, chicken livers, frog legs and sour cotton candy. The bizarre will also feature fire breathers, stilt walkers, high-flying aerialists and performances by North Carolina musicians.
Hours for the Homegrown Fare and The Great Carolina Food Bizarre are Friday, noon to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
On Saturday starting at 11 a.m., about 40 chapters of Masons will gather for the ninth annual Masonic Carolina Pig Jig BBQ Cook-off. This can’t-miss event for barbecue lovers allows attendees to purchase a ticket and then sample barbecue from as many cooks as you can. Tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for ages 7 to 11 and free for ages 6 and under. All proceeds benefit the Masonic Home for Children in Oxford.
The Got to Be N.C. Festival also features carnival rides, antique tractors and equipment, a daily tractor parade, fireworks, racing pigs, lumberjacks, bluegrass and more. Admission and parking are free.