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April 16, 2024 3:48 pm

Pickles, Pigs and Swigs seeks cook teams, sponsors, vendors

Riders, adults and children alike, enjoy the Pickle Train at the 2021 Pickles, Pigs and Swigs. This year’s event is set for Saturday, Oct. 29.

MOUNT OLIVE — Want to be a vendor? Enter a cook team? Sponsor? Reserve your own tailgate space to enjoy the day?

Pickles, Pigs and Swigs, presented by Smithfield Foods in downtown Mount Olive, has room for you.

Organizers are heading into the final month of preparation for the second annual celebration of Mount Olive favorites: award-winning Eastern North Carolina barbecue, local craft beer by R&R Brewing and Mt. Olive Pickles. The event is set for Friday and Saturday, October 28-29.

The weekend will highlight the North Carolina Pork Council-sanctioned whole hog cookoff, kicking off Friday at 6 p.m. with the plate sale and festival on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday will feature live music, the beer garden, free pickles, vendors, rides on the Pickle Train and agricultural equipment displays.

Proceeds will benefit the Mount Olive Downtown Development Corporation.  Complete festival details are now available on the festival’s brand new website,

“We had such a good time last year, and this year’s event will be even better,” said Julie Beck, president of the Mount Olive Area Chamber of Commerce.

“We have a terrific presenting sponsor in Smithfield Foods, and we have a great entertainment lineup for the day,” Beck said. “This will be an opportunity to get out and enjoy a beautiful fall afternoon with friends, music and food.”

The festival is seeking cook teams to round out its anticipated field of 20, as well as vendors and sponsors. New this year is the opportunity for a limited number of 10 x 10 “tailgate” spaces in proximity to the stage on Saturday. Festivalgoers can reserve for the day and bring their own tent, table and chairs if they choose.

The Saturday entertainment lineup features Wood & Steel at 11 a.m., Riggsbee Road at 1 p.m. and Wild Ride at 3 p.m. Winners of the cookoff will be announced between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. from the main stage, depending on how quickly the judging is concluded.

For Friday night, Beck said there won’t be any festival events, but folks can gather at R&R Brewing at 6:30 p.m. to see the cook teams introduced.” She noted that all three downtown establishments – R&R Brewing, Ribeyes Steakhouse and Up North Pizzeria, will be open for food, spirits and live music. Before leaving downtown, people can walk through the cook-off area and watch the teams as they get their pigs on the grills.

“This whole event is about our downtown – bringing people together Friday night and Saturday, supporting our downtown businesses, and raising funds to map out our future,” Beck said. “We encourage people to come hang out with us for a great, laid-back experience.”

For more information, go to