Got To Be NC Festival returns from May 20-22

The logo for the annual Got To Be NC Festival in Raleigh.

RALEIGH — After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Got To Be NC Festival is returning to the N.C. State Fairgrounds from May 20-22 

“We’re excited to be back and we’ve been busy planning for new attractions and activities as well as festival favorites,” Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said in a press release. “North Carolina agriculture and agribusinesses will certainly be front and center as we celebrate an industry that has continued to keep us fed despite significant challenges the past few years.” 

Highlights of the festival will include antique tractors, a barbecue buffet fundraiser on May 21, North Carolina food products, rides, games, livestock, kids’ activities, and music.  

“We saw interest in local food and beverage products grow during the pandemic, and we want to continue that momentum as it is helps support North Carolina farmers and agribusiness operators,” Troxler said. “That, in turn, helps ensure we continue to have access to local foods moving ahead.” 

The Food Lion Local Goodness Marketplace will be located in the Expo Center promoting offerings from around 75 North Carolina food and beverage companies.  Admission to the Marketplace is $3 and hours of operation include 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.  

The Farm Credit Associations of North Carolina will sponsor the “Young Farmer of the Day” and the N.C. State Fair Junior Livestock Scholarships winners will be recognized by Troxler.     

Changes to this year’s festival include moving livestock exhibits to the Jim Graham Building and an addition of “Germ City,” the popular handwashing activity and exhibit at last year’s N.C. State Fair. Also, for the first time ever, the North Carolina distilleries will be represented at the festival. 

Not to be missed is the all-you-can-eat barbecue sampling at the annual Carolina Masonic Pig Jig fundraiser to benefit the Masonic Homes for Children in Oxford. The event will be held on May 21 and tickets are $15 for ages 11 and up, $5 for ages 7-10 and entry is free for children 6 and under. 

If carnival rides are on the menu, $20 for ride-all-day wristbands are available for Friday and Sunday.  

Festival gate hours: Noon to 10 p.m. May 20, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. May 21 and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. May 22.  

Building and exhibit hours:  Noon to 8 p.m. May 20, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. May 21 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 22.
Carnival hours: Noon to 10 p.m. May 20; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. May 21 and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. May 22. 

Admission and parking for Got To Be NC are free.  For a full list of event information visit: www.gottobencfestival.com 

About A.P. Dillon 682 Articles
A.P. Dillon is a North State Journal reporter located near Raleigh, North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_