This weekend, the fairgrounds will host the 2012 Got to Be NC Festival. The annual event is a celebration of North Carolina’s food and agricultural heritage, and there is plenty new in store this year. Consider the following five tips when making your plans:
1. New Festival Hours
The festival has new Friday hours this year. The gates will be open from noon to midnight on Friday. Hours for Saturday and Sunday remain 9 a.m. to midnight and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., respectively. For a full schedule of events, go to www.GotToBeNCFestival.com.
2. Cookbook Authors at the Food and Wine Expo
In addition to the best of N.C. foods and wine, the Got to Be NC Food and Wine Expo will also feature cookbook signings by local authors Friday from noon to 6 p.m. The authors are:
- Linda Watson, author of “Wildly Affordable Organic”
- Debbie Moose, author of “Deviled Eggs: 50 Recipes from Simple to Sassy”
- Jean Anderson, James Beard Cookbook Hall of Fame member and Raleigh native
- Andrea Reusing of Chapel Hill’s Lantern, author of “Cooking in the Moment: A Year of Seasonal Recipes”
- Foy Allen Edelman, author of “Sweet Carolina: Favorite Desserts and Candies from the Old North State”
- Bob Garner, author of “Bob Garner’s Book of Barbecue: North Carolina’s Favorite Food”
Visitors may bring cookbooks with them or purchase them at the event. Admission to the expo is just $2, and visitors will receive a sheet of 24 coupons with special offers on products available at the expo.
3. All-you-can-ride wristbands available Friday and Sunday
This year, there are two opportunities for ride lovers 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 midnight. You also can purchase and use wristbands all day Sunday. Wristbands will be not be sold or accepted on Saturday.
4. Trans Jam BMX Contest Series
Fans of Keith King at the N.C. State Fair should enjoy the BMX bicycle stunt-riding competition joining the festival lineup Sunday in Dorton Arena. The second stop in the Trans Jam BMX Contest Series will take place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The competition will feature participants of all ages and skill levels contending for prizes and a $2,500 professional purse. The event also will feature bicycle-related exhibitors and vendors, a display of vintage bicycles and an art contest for children. Admission for spectators is free, but there is a fee for competitors. For information about competing, visit www.transjambmx.com.
The Got to Be NC Festival is May 18-20 at the State Fairgrounds. In addition to these awesome activities, they’ll be other great events including a daily tractor parade, Carolina FiberFest, Masonic Carolina Pig Jig, Shriner’s Fish Fry, grandstand events, a petting zoo, carnival rides and more. Plan your trip at www.GotToBeNCFestival.com, and be sure to follow the festival on Twitter and Facebook for updates before and during the event.