Pickle Festival hot event
By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on April 25, 2004 2:07 AM
MOUNT OLIVE -- Several vendors ran out of food, and one vendor said he sold 70 gallons of ice cream in three hours at the 18th annual N.C. Pickle Festival here Saturday.
Vendors did very well, said Gina Knode, co-chairman of the festival committee. It was one of the most successful festivals ever, she said.
"Vendors said the cold stuff, like snow cones and shaved ice sold out," she said. "They all did extremely well."
A breeze also gave relief from the heat.
Trophies lined up on a table awaited the winners of the Wayne County Cruisers car show in front of Oliver's Railroad Grille restaurant. Mrs. Knode said she had 151 antique cars entered, 27 motorcycles and entertainment going on two stages.
There were more than 112 vendors, and five of them were still setting up Saturday morning.
The famous Pickle Festival T-shirts had almost sold out by 2 p.m., she said. Only large and children sizes were left, and the Mount Olive Area Chamber of Commerce booth had only two caps left.
A line waited to ride a mechanical bull. Nobody stayed on long, but the landing was soft.
Motorcycles lined up in front of Curves of Mount Olive next to the Pig and Duck Races and a Drunken Driving Simulator. The simulator tested response time going down a street in which a small child darts out from between parked cars to catch a basketball.
The first test is normal, followed by a test at .04 blood alcohol content, which the prompter said profoundly impairs response time, the the legally drunk BAC of .08. One of the three "drivers" lined up at the simulators hits the child.
"Did you hit my baby?" says the operator of the simulator, Billy Joyce. He said a new law has been passed making it second degree murder when a drunken driver kills someone.
Joyce travels all over the state with the simulator truck for the Governor's Highway Safety Program. "I drove a truck 45 years," he said. "I do this now, not for money, but to promote safety on the highways. It's something I really enjoy, because I believe in it."
On the other side of the simulator truck, several children sat on the tracks watching a trick-bike perform.
Earlier in the day, 107 regular bicycle riders participated in the Tour de Pickle Ride, which brought in $2,400 in entry fees. Dave Bean, the ride chairman, said he thinks some folks slipped in without paying, but every body seemed to have a good time.
The 25-mile ride had 39 people register, the 50-mile ride had 47, and the 75-mile ride had 21.
The Cucumber Patch 5K Run started at 8 a.m. in the parking lot of the Sleep Inn hotel and went through the town's historic district.
Cheryl Corns, the 5K run chairman, said she's very happy with the fact that 40 people participated. The turn-out was good, considering that St. Mary's School in Goldsboro had its 5K run the same day. "It was a beautiful day," she said.
All fitness levels participated. One woman walked with her 9-year old daughter. But each category had someone cross the finish line first.
The men were Matthew Interrante in the age 15-to-19 category, with a time of 16 minutes, 50 seconds; Kent Vinson in the age 30-to-39 category, with a time of 20 minutes, 13 seconds; Bill Collins in the age 40-t0-49 category, with 21 minutes, 34 seconds; Donnie Strickland in the age 50-to-59 category, with 22 minutes, 14 seconds; and Dr. A.J. Bullard in the 60-plus category with 37 minutes, 47 seconds.
The women were Summer Graham in the age 15-to-19 category, with 19 minutes, 14 seconds; Elizabeth Martin in the age 20-to-29 category, with 19 minutes, 20 seconds; Chelle Jeffery in the age 30-to-39 category, with 28 minutes, 15 seconds; and Maribeth Interrante, who walked the course with her daughter, in the age 40-to-49 category, with 45 minutes, 1 second; Pam Chatagnier in the age 50-to-59 category, with 30 minutes, 16 seconds; and Judy Hull in the age 60-plus category, with 32 minutes, 35 seconds.
Even the small children had a parade at Westbrook Park. All of the children received a ribbon after the Pickle Pedal Power Parade.
The festival's first walk-a-thon was set for 2 p.m. today in Westbrook Park.. After the walk, at 5:30 p.m., a community worship service will be held at the park.
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