Farm Fresh Festivals

Farm Fresh Festivals

North Carolina peaches

Depending on the time of year, you’ll find festivals celebrating fruits and vegetables from the coast to the mountains.

Fall

North Carolina Apple Festival
Hendersonville
Apples aren’t just a crop in our beautiful mountains – they’re part of a rich heritage. Hendersonville, which produces 65 percent of North Carolina’s apple crop, celebrates everything from apple cake to apple butter with four days of events, culminating with the King Apple Parade on Labor Day. Hendersonville is near Asheville, making the trip even more fun.

National Pumpkin Festival
Spring Hope
It just isn’t autumn without pumpkins, and the town of Spring Hope, just west of Rocky Mount, has been home to the National Pumpkin Festival every October for more than 30 years. Included in this celebration are a pumpkin weigh-off, recipe and decorating contests, and the crowning of both the Pumpkin Queen and Little Miss Pumpkin.

North Carolina Sweet Potato Festival
Snow Hill
When you learn we’re the No. 1 state in the country for the production of sweet potatoes, you’ll understand why there’s a festival in this special spud’s honor. The festival includes a pageant, rides and free entertainment, but the big attraction, of course, is the flavor of freshly baked sweet potato pie.

Spring

North Carolina Pickle Festival
Mount Olive
You’ve probably seen Mt. Olive pickles in the grocery store. But you might not know the company that makes them, the largest independent pickle company in the U.S., began in 1926 in the North Carolina town of Mount Olive. The town’s annual spring pickle festival, not to be confused with the “Pickle Drop” on New Year’s Eve, features Tickled Pickle Poetry, Tour de Pickle recreational bike rides, and much more.

North Carolina Strawberry Festival
Chadbourn
This celebration of all things strawberry has been held each spring in Chadbourn, about an hour from Wilmington, for more than 75 years. The festival pays homage to the sweet, succulent berries that put this little town on the map back in 1895, when a developer turned timberlands into farms that became known as “The Sunny South Colony.”

North Carolina Potato Festival
Elizabeth City
Our northeastern coastal plain’s fertile soils, mild temperatures and ample rainfall are perfect for propagating potatoes. So it’s no wonder every spring the town of Elizabeth City gets a touch of potato fever. The fun of this festival includes a street dance, live entertainment, and an auto and bike show.

Summer

North Carolina Blueberry Festival
Burgaw
The first cultivated blueberry production in the state occurred in Pender County in the 1930s, and each June, historic downtown Burgaw celebrates its long-term contribution to the community. You can come for the Tour de Blueberry bike ride, entertainment, car and antique show, cook-offs, and to sample blueberry baked goods.

North Carolina Peach Festival
Candor
The taste of a fresh peach is a sure sign of summer, and even more so in this town between Asheboro and Rockingham. Held the third Saturday in July, this festival has fresh peaches, peach ice cream, peach pie, peach cobbler and, of course, a peach parade.

North Carolina Watermelon Festival
Fair Bluff
Back in the 1970s, two friends started holding a contest each year to see who could grow the biggest watermelon. The annual weigh-off became a must-see event for the townspeople of Fair Bluff, south of Lumberton, and today it attracts people from all over the Southeast. Now there’s a beauty pageant and a seed-spitting contest at the annual July event, but the highlight is still the watermelon weigh-off.

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