01/25/11 — Mount Olive earns award for design for festival's cap

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Mount Olive earns award for design for festival's cap

By Steve Herring
Published in News on January 25, 2011 1:46 PM

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Tyler Barwick, left, and Lyn Williams, a member of the N.C. Pickle Festival Committee, show off the Pickle Festival cap that took first place in the Best Merchandising category at the conference and trade show for the North Carolina and South Carolina Association of Festivals and Events.

MOUNT OLIVE -- The 2010 North Carolina Pickle Festival baseball caps won Best Merchandising honors during the annual conference and trade show for the North Carolina and South Carolina Association of Festivals and Events held earlier this week in Greenville, S.C.

The honor comes just over a week before the 2011 festival T-shirts sporting the 25th anniversary logo will be available for purchase -- a logo designed to reflect the festival's 25 years, said Julie Beck, festival chairman.

Ms. Beck said she and Tyler Barwick, president of the Mount Olive Area Chamber of Commerce, had talked last spring about the design.

The idea was to focus on the festival's 25 years and idea of a hometown, she said. The hometown idea lent itself to the train and downtown buildings she said.

Samples of the T-shirts and colors are expected to be presented today.

"We compete against festivals in North Carolina and South Carolina, so that makes it tough," she said. "Last year's design centered about the drive-in movie. Normally I just write up my vision of the design and e-mail it to them (Graphic Imprints in Billings, Mont.) and they take that and come up with the design.

Ms. Beck, who attended the convention with committee member Lynn Williams, was unsure how many festivals were represented.

However, there were a "lot," she said.

"There were a ton of people," Mrs. Williams said. "This is a fairly big event. I am amazed at how many festivals there are."

Ms. Beck said she couldn't recall how many years that the festival has won awards.

"I have been going to this event for the past 15 years and every year we have won from as many as five to as few as one," Ms. Beck said.

In prior years there were two categories for festivals -- budgets over $50,000 and budgets under $50,000 where the Pickle Festival competed.

Categories this year were budgets over $50,000, budgets $25,000 to $50,000 where the festival competed, and budgets under $25,000.

The Blind Side was shown at the first drive-in movie at Mount Olive College last year.

The drive-in will return April 26 at the parking lot at Kornegay Arena. The Pickle Festival Committee is still working out which movie will play at the drive-in. Ms. Beck said that catalog of available films had arrived just last week.

Snacks and drinks will again be offered for sale.

The festival will be held later in April, the 29th and 30th, because it traditional dates coincide with Easter.

The chamber will once again join with the Mount Olive Rotary Club for the annual Pickle Festival and Mount Olive Rotary Club's Cabin Fever golf tournament, set for April 15, two weeks prior to the Pickle Festival.

The Band of Oz is confirmed for the Friday night concert, and the popular camel rides are excepted to return for the Saturday events.

Ticket prices for the Friday night concert could increase to help cover rising costs for the festival, including fees the committee must cover to provide emergency services personnel and security officers. The ticket prices at the concert may go to $15 from the previous $12 cost for adults, and change to $5 for kids up to age 12, with children under five admitted free.

Another event returning this year is the Andy's "Big A" Challenge, an eating contest that pits competitive eaters against an enormous Andy's cheeseburger, fries and drink in a "winner eats all" fight to be the first finished.

Planning also is under way for a "Build-A-Pickle" station where festival attendees can make their own plush stuffed pickle, a high-speed pickle toss, a vendor pride award and a "pickled" egg hunt at Westbrook Park.

New this year will be a "cornstarch march." Of course it will have a more "picklized" name Ms. Beck said.

The cornstarch will be mixed with water in a large tub. The mixture will form a gel-like substance that people can walk on. It will cost $1 to try it with all proceeds going to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.