With more than 100 tractors, North Carolina food and beverages, music, a carnival and free kids’ activities, the Got to Be NC Festival is an event you don’t want to miss at the N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, May 17-19.
“The antique tractor and farm equipment display, featuring a daily tractor parade, and the Food Lion Local Goodness Marketplace are two of the unique highlights of the festival,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “We have one of the largest antique tractor displays in the Southeast, and the marketplace features around 80 North Carolina companies offering the opportunity to sample the delicious food and beverage products they offer.”
Hours for the Food Lion Local Goodness Marketplace are Friday from noon to 8 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $3.
Visitors can see and hear tractors parade around the fairgrounds each day at 1 p.m., with all makes, ages and restorations of tractors featured. Tractor pull events are planned for Saturday and Sunday. A Kids’ Pedal Tractor Pull will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, with the Antique Tractor Pull later from 2 to 8 p.m. A Garden Tractor and Lawnmower Pull will be held Sunday from 2 to 8 p.m.
New entertainment this year includes Danny Grant’s Cowboy Circus & The Soap Bubble Circus, both roving grounds acts; and a Feeder Pig display at the Pig Patch Birthing Center. Returning favorites are the racing pigs of the Hogway Speedway, Lauryn Zepeda with Gringo the Trick Pony, Ready, Set, Grow! Agri-tainment Magic Show, the Pig Patch birthing center, Agri-plaza, tractor pulls and Kidz Corral activity area.
The carnival features one price, ride-all-day wristbands on Friday and Sunday. Cost is $20 for wristbands. In addition, a fireworks show will be held Friday and Saturday at 9:15 p.m.
On May 18, the festival will host the Carolina Bluegrass Battle. Traditional and contemporary bluegrass bands will compete for bragging rights and prizes. Also on May 18, the 14th Annual Masonic Carolina Pig Jig BBQ Cook off will be held, with more than 20 Masonic chapters competing for top honors. At 11 a.m., the event opens to the public for an all-you-care-to-eat barbecue buffet. Guests make their way through the line-up of competition cookers to sample different styles and vote for their favorite. Cost is $15 for adults, $5 for ages 7-10 and free for kids 6 and under. Proceeds from the cookoff benefit the Masonic Home for Children at Oxford.
If you are planning to attend the 2019 State Fair, you can take advantage of the Casey’s Big Ticket Weekend offer and buy 2019 State Fair tickets for 2018 prices. Tickets are being sold at the Waterfall ticket booth. Cost is $8 for adults and $3 for youth. Prices at the gate for 2019 will be $13 for adults and $7 for youth.
Festival hours are Friday, May 17, from noon to 10 p.m.; Saturday, May 18, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday, May 19, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission and parking are free. More information is available at www.gottobencfestival.com.