This weekend was nothing short of gorgeous here in Raleigh and we chose to spend our Saturday at the Got to be NC Festival. This annual spring festival is hosted by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. It includes carnival rides, local vendors, live entertainment, and of course farm animals and equipment. We got to watch baby chicks hatch and ate ice cream churned by a John Deere tractor– not a bad Saturday for city-dwellers!
This is nice event for families and there really is something for everyone. Parking and entry are free, but carnival games and rides cost a few dollars each. There are also special events like lumberjack shows, pig races, music, and evening fireworks. We spent most of our time in the “Kidz Corral” with the animals and small play area. Kids enjoyed farm play while parents relaxed in the shade. It gave me an idea for a magnetic “fishing” game.
If you’re thinking of going next year, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Only small sections of the festival are shaded, so bring a hat and your sunscreen for sure. Of course, there’s a lot of walking. We didn’t have too hard of a time with the stroller, but babywearing is perfect for a place like this. There is a schedule and map, but I didn’t see one until we went into one of the buildings for the bathroom. However, you can find it on their website.
The majority of food vendors have the typical, fried fair foods (Fried Nutella, anyone?), but if you look carefully, there are a few healthier options. Local restaurant La Farm had a truck and there was even gourmet cotton candy. Bonafide foodies can also attend the Food, Wine & Beer Expo. There was also a charity BBQ event on Saturday morning.
There is a wide range of items for sale by vendors– some local and others not so much. A few of my favorites included: goat’s milk soap (they brought a goat and milked it!), locally-printed NC-themed slogans on t-shirts and other apparel, and a DIY cheese kit by Made in House. We bought a cheese kit– homemade mozzarella here I come!
If you live in the area, I’d recommend you consider going! We had a lot of fun and my son, who’s 3, really enjoyed it. He is still talking about the baby ducks, longhorns, donkey family and tractors. My little girl liked “test driving” the tractors.
If you’ve been to the State Fair, this festival felt a bit less overwhelming for me than the Fair did. My son is pretty cautious and he’s probably not quite ready for the fair, but this festival felt just right.
Did you go this year? What did you think?