The 2017 North Carolina Pickle Festival announces an all new Friday night April 28 and an all new location: downtown Mount Olive.
The Friday night before the N.C. Pickle Festival’s main day on Saturday has traditionally featured an outdoor concert at the Mount Olive Municipal Airport, and pay-one-price carnival rides downtown from 5-9 p.m.
This year, a free outdoor concert by Dakota Blue is planned for downtown at Ribeyes Steakhouse, located at 112 N. Center Street. The traditional pay-one-price carnival rides returns. And, new this year is the Cuke Patch 5K Glow Run through downtown.
“The Mount Olive Airport is no longer available to us as a concert venue, and we decided to bring everything to downtown on Friday night,” said Julie Beck, festival co-chairman. “We’ve always done the Cuke Patch 5K on Saturday morning, but we thought it would be fun to do a Glow Run and add it to the mix on Friday night. It’s really shaping up to be a nice group of events downtown.”
The Dakota Blue concert, presented by Ribeyes Steakhouse and Katie Country 97.7, will perform downtown from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. Snow Hill-based Dakota Blue plays American country and rock music, as well as some original work. Admission to the concert is free, and Ribeyes will offer a beer garden on the patio. In case of rain, the concert will be moved indoors at Ribeyes.
The Cuke Patch 5K gets a new twist as a Glow Run. Presented by Sleep Inn & Suites of Mount Olive and Wayne UNC Health Care, the Glow Run will feature glow sticks and other fun glowing necessities.
Participants are encouraged to wear costumes, and group rates are offered so that families and groups of friends can run or walk together. Costumes should reflect the spirit of the NC Pickle Festival.
Prizes will be awarded for best individual male and female costume, best team, as well as best male and female finishes in each age category. Registration will open at 7:30 p.m. near the intersection of West John and Center Streets, and the run will kick off at 8 pm. Register before April 1 for the early bird rate and to guarantee a Cuke Patch shirt on run night. Part of the proceeds from the run will benefit Mount Olive Parks & Recreation Department youth programs.
The fan-favorite Pay One Price Carnival Rides event gives families a chance to save money and avoid the long lines of Saturday. This runs from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the corner of West Main and Chestnut Streets. Wristbands are $12. Tri-County Electric Membership Foundation will offer concession to support its scholarship program.
“We’ll have a lot going on that evening, including vendors who will be setting up ahead of Saturday’s main day, so we encourage everyone to watch for the signs directing you on how to enter downtown,” Ms. Beck said. “Those attending the concert or the Glow Run should turn off Breazeale Avenue onto John Street. Vendors would turn onto James Street, and those headed to the carnival rides should enter downtown on West Main Street.”
Used for years as the festival’s Friday night concert venue, the Mount Olive Municipal Airport now houses a LifeFlight helicopter through Vidant EastCare Transportation Services. As a result, the airport cannot be closed for a concert or other events. That led festival organizers to search for a different approach to Friday night.
“We are really looking forward to having everything downtown this year,” Ms. Beck said. “It’s definitely going to have a different vibe.”