MOUNT OLIVE — The North Carolina Pickle Festival is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, April 28 and 29 in downtown Mount Olive.
Every year in April, Mount Olive the community and Mt. Olive the company come together to celebrate a mutually dill-lightful relationship. Pickles may be the theme, but community is what the festival is all about.
Coordinated by the North Carolina Pickle Festival Inc. in partnership with the Mount Olive Area Chamber of Commerce, the award-winning event is part street fair, part community festival and part family reunion. With pickles.
With its presenting sponsors, Mt. Olive Pickle Company, the Town of Mount Olive and the University of Mount Olive, the festival offers an opportunity for historic downtown Mount Olive to welcome thousands of visitors in what has become a local rite of spring since 1986.
The schedule for Friday, April 28 includes pay one price carnival rides from 5-9 p.m., the Southern Trouble Band in front of Ribeyes from 7-10 p.m. and the Cuke Patch 5K beginning at 7:30 p.m.
On Saturday, April 29, scheduled events include the Pickle Eating Contest at noon, the Ollie’s Costume Contest at 1:30 p.m. and the Mascot Race at 3 p.m. There will be three stages of entertainment, carnival rides and a children’s area featuring the N.C. PBS Rootle Roadster, inflatables, water wars, a storytelling time and a stagecoach.
In addition, there will be a classic car show, a farm equipment display, pickle train rides, a butterfly garden, the Pickle Packing Production Challenge, a pickleball tournament at the University of Mount Olive, a beer, wine and distillery garden and more than 200 vendors.
The Pickle Path will include pickle foods, pickle beverages, pickle crafts and pickle activities. Special entertainment will include a stilt walker, Almost Amazing Rex and an organ grinder. There will be unique pickle food featuring Chef Daniel. Helicopter rides will be available at the University of Mount Olive. North Carolina Pickle Festival t-shirts, hats and socks will be on sale.
You may want to purchase your Pickle Festival t-shirts, they are available at the Mount Olive Area Chamber of Commerce office. Last year, the t-shirts sold out, so you may want to purchase your festival merchandise early.
For more information about the festival, call 919-658-3113 or visit ncpicklefest.org.
— Information from the Mount Olive Area Chamber of Commerce and the North Carolina Pickle Festival website