03/05/04 — Art council Swinefest to become part of countywide event

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Art council Swinefest to become part of countywide event

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on March 5, 2004 2:00 PM

The Arts Council of Wayne County's second annual Swinefest will be part of a countywide festival Oct. 30 and 31.

County Manager Lee Smith attended the Arts Council's board of directors meeting Thursday to discuss Feast in the East, an event being planned by a committee made up of representatives from across the county.

Included in the planning are Goldsboro, the county, different municipalities, the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce, the Travel and Tourism Advisory Council, the Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp., Wayne Cooperative Extension, Wayne County Fairgrounds and interested residents.

In an interview conducted after the board meeting, Marlise Taylor, director of tourism, said Wayne County is known for barbecue and agriculture, and a festival celebrating that could bring in tourists.

Lexington has the Western North Carolina Barbecue Festival, which is attended by 20,000 to 30,000 people.

"Why can't we do that?" Mrs. Taylor said.

When the Arts Council had its Swinefest last November, the committee, which had just begun meeting, decided to ask the Arts Council to be part of Feast in the East.

"They can have their pork competition, and we can build around it," Mrs. Taylor said.

Smith told board members that both sides would benefit from the collaboration. The county could draw on the Arts Council's success and the Arts Council could have more people attending due to the festival's other activities.

Having the festival at the Wayne County Fairgrounds would give it the feel of being a county event, he said.

The event, which is in the planning stages, will take place on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 30 and 31. Halloween would hopefully be celebrated on Friday, he said.

During the Saturday lunch time, the Arts Council would be the only organization selling barbecue. A cook-off competition would still be held, as it was during the first Swinefest, which took place at the Art Center.

Phyllis Woodard, chairman of the "When Pigs Fly" public art event and fund-raiser, reminded the board that Oct. 30 was the date of the gala party scheduled to help wind up "When Pigs Fly." The party will be held at the Art Center.

After some discussion, the board decided it could handle both events and voted to do so.