Thousands attend the Got To Be NC Festival after the event was canceled during COVID-19 restrictions

RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) — Thousands turned out to attend the free Got to be NC Festival Saturday — the first time the event has been held since the COVID pandemic.

The festival opened on Friday morning, bringing more than 120 vendors to the area. There was something for everyone at the annual event.

One thing the festival manager stressed was staying hydrated as temperatures reached the low 90’s.

But after speaking to several guests, they shared that it’s the great food that keeps them coming back.

“We were stuck in the house for a long time. And now we can mingle and enjoy family time,” said Miranda Bullock.

She said the festival lived up to all of her expectations and she was just grateful to be out there.

Vintage tractors and a fundraiser with a barbecue buffet were also part of the festival’s events, as were music and attractions for children.

Angie Peterson, who has been to the festival before, shared why she wanted her grandchildren to attend the festival.

“It’s your first time, I’ve been here before. But something fun on a hot Saturday,” she said.

“I think it’s pretty good. It’s nice to come out and enjoy the food and the surroundings. To see the animals, to see the agricultural products and equipment,” said Melanie Piisner.

However, of the many people we spoke to on Saturday, many had only one thing in mind.

“I ate a lot. I ate,” Bullock said, laughing.

But she wasn’t the only one.

“The food. I had fried Oreos, some popcorn, snow cones, corn on the cob, a corn dog,” Skylar shared with Marvilli.

“There are more rides. There are a lot more vendors and a lot more food,” said Lynette Kellum.

But others like Sloan Faby are just happy to be with family and ride the rides.

“I haven’t driven yet. But I’m looking forward to one of those carousels that spins really fast,” she said.

The festival was created to celebrate agribusinesses that continue to feed the country.

The gates to the festivals close at 10pm on Saturday and reopen on Sunday from 9am to 8pm

Officials estimated thousands turned out for the festival on Saturday, but it was impossible to know exactly how many as the event does not require a ticket. Thousands attend the Got To Be NC Festival after the event was canceled during COVID-19 restrictions


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