Something that makes the whole family happy

Many fans of the Got to Be NC Festival like to refer to it as a mini State Fair, but if you think of it that way you might miss some of the activities and events that make the festival a unique annual springtime tradition.

Mary Fletcher of Angier and her husband Brad attend the festival annually with her three girls, Lilly, SJ, and Edie. The family enjoys the variety of activities offered by the festival.

“The Got to Be NC Festival is one of our favorite festivals to attend each year as a family,’ said Fletcher. “As a family of five, there are many different activities and events for us to explore. We enjoy seeing all of the animals, especially the pigs and watching the cows be milked. Our kids’ ages vary from four to nine and there is something for each of them to enjoy; from the kids pedal tractor course to carnival rides. We can’t wait for this year’s festival to explore, learn, and have fun as a family! Oh, and the free admission and free parking are a nice perk!”

This year’s festival promises lots of kid-friendly activities including the Agri-Plaza, open daily during the festival featuring animals of all sizes, Germ City , John Deere Pedal Tractors, NC Forest Service activities and an exhibit by the N.C. State Highway Patrol.

Other activities include Boomer’s Farm Truck, Agri-Puppets, Butterfly Barn, King BMX Stunt Show, Kenya Safari Acrobats, Southland Farm Mobile Dairy Classroom and more.

On Saturday, May 18 at 10:30 a.m. join Smokey Bear at his 80th birthday party in the Jim Graham Building’s Agri-Plaza. There will be games and story time, you can sign our banner to Smokey and enjoy some ice cream from the Southwest and Southland Dairy Farmers! Also on Saturday, sign up for the Kids Pedal Tractor Pull in the Grandstand at 1 p.m.

On Sunday, May 19 the grassy area beside the Agri Supply Expo Center will become Action Alley, allowing our smallest festival attendees to explore vehicles they don’t normally get to see and experience close-up. It will offer children a hands-on opportunity to explore working trucks of all types including: public service, emergency, utility, construction, landscaping, transportation, and delivery.

Nikki Anson of Clayton and her husband David attend the festival with their boys Gunner, age 9, and Gatlin, age 6. Anson also gets the added bonus of being able to work at the festival since she is an employee of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. This allows her the opportunity to scope out all of the activities before her family arrives.

“My sons enjoy attending the festival because it’s less congested compared to the fair,” said Anson. “The shorter wait times for rides and food mean they can spend more time experiencing the festivities rather than waiting in line.”

“One aspect they really enjoy is the educational component related to agriculture. At the festival, they have the chance to learn firsthand about where food comes from, how it’s grown, and the important role that agriculture plays in our lives.”

Adults will also find plenty to enjoy at the festival, including dozens of local Got to Be NC food companies, breweries and wineries sampling and selling their products in the Food Lion Local Goodness Marketplace in the Agri Supply Exposition Center. Admission to the marketplace is $3 and children ages five and under are free.

The Distillers Association of North Carolina is hosting the Distillers Garden across from the Got to Be NC Music Stage where you can enjoy cocktails made with products from End of Days Distillery, Weldon Mills Distillery and Cultivated Cocktails.

The whole family will enjoy a full line up of North Carolina artists on the Got to Be NC Music State.  Click through to check out our full line-up!

Also, on Saturday and Sunday, check out the K-9 working dog demonstrations.

K-9 Officers and their handlers from the Wake and Durham County Sheriff’s Offices will be on-hand to demonstrate obedience training, article search and drug detection. While your focus is on the working dog, don’t miss the specialized training the K-9 handler demonstrates to both train his/her dog and to keep them at peak performance. Demonstrations will be held between the Agri Supply Expo Center and Grandstand at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

The Got to Be NC Festival runs May 17-19. Admission and parking are free. Bring your family and plan to spend the day!

About Funhouse

On the blog I go by Fun House (AKA Heather Overton). At the Fair you'll find me checking out the blue ribbon winners or hanging out in Heritage Circle. It would be hard for me to pick a favorite part of the Fair, but I can tell you one thing I hate - leaving it on the last day. I can't wait for opening day!

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