The Got to Be NC Festival brings lots of the things you love about the N.C. State Fair, such as rides and fair food favorites. There are also unique elements like the entertainment lineup, the daily tractor parades and the vendors who choose to participate each year.
One thing that the GTBNC Festival offers that’s a bit different than the State Fair is the Food Lion Local Goodness Marketplace. It’s a bit like the Got to Be NC Pavilion during the fair, but not exactly. At the this year’s festival, there are about 74 vendors, and all of them will have their products for sale. Lots will be offering samples! So for a $3 admission to the marketplace, you can sample lots and lots of N.C. products and take home the ones you like.
You’ll find everything from barbecue sauces to cookies and honey, even some CBD products and dog treats. There are a variety of specialty items made right here in North Carolina.
“This is an opportunity to sample these North Carolina products, maybe even ones people have been hesitant to buy, but the great thing is here’s a chance to sample before you buy!” explained Brenna Favara, who focuses on the Got to Be NC program in the NCDA&CS Marketing Division. “Where else would have the same opportunity?”
Since May is N.C. Wine month, it’s worth giving special attention to the companies that will be selling wine. The wine vendors include:
- Country Squire Winery (Warsaw/Kenansville [Duplin County])
- Locklear Winery (Maxton/Pembroke [Robeson County])
- Rock of Ages Winery & Vineyard, Inc. (Hurdle Mills/Bushy Fork [Person County])
- Stephens Vineyard and Winery (Lumberton [Robeson County])
- Duplin Winery (Rose Hill [Duplin County] and North Myrtle Beach, S.C.)
- Lu Mil Vineyard (Elizabethtown/Dublin [Bladen County])
You’ll even find mead from Wehrloom Honey & Meadery (Robbinsville [Graham County] and Asheville [Buncombe County]). Plus, three distilleries will be vendors in the marketplace as well. Those vendors are End of Days Distillery (Wilmington [New Hanover County]), Social House Vodka (Kinston (Lenoir County]) and Southern Distilling Company (Statesville [Iredell County]).
Some of the wine vendors gave a hint of what they’ll be offering. Duplin Wines will have “sweetzers,” which is a wine slushy. Lu Mil offers a slushy that they specify is alcohol-free. They’ll also be selling jams, jellies, preserves and fruit butters. Locklear Winery will offer their muscadine and fruit wines, as will Stephens and Country Squire. Rock of Ages will be offering samples of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, a dry red blend, a chardonnay and some red sweet wines.
Samples are 1 oz. each. Purchases will be packaged to take home, not to enjoy while in the marketplace or anywhere on the fairgrounds. The same goes for other foods in the Food Lion Local Goodness Marketplace. They’ll be in packages for taking home to enjoy.
“All of these vendors in the marketplace are Got to Be N.C. members,” said Favara. “So it’s a nice perk of their membership to be able to offer their products, but for the public it’s a great chance to support local and see what we have to offer from all across the state.”