04/17/11 — Pickle Festival planning continuing

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Pickle Festival planning continuing

By Steve Herring
Published in News on April 17, 2011 1:50 AM

MOUNT OLIVE -- The first of several pre-events leading into the 25th annual North Carolina Pickle Festival to be held April 29-30 and May 1 got under way Friday.

The Mount Olive Rotary Club/Mount Olive Area Chamber of Commerce Cabin Fever Golf Tournament will be played Friday at the Southern Wayne Country Club.

The second event, the North Carolina Pickle Princess Pageant, will be held Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre on Center Street in Goldsboro. Tickets are $10 and available at Dancin' Daze by calling 738-8443. For more information on tickets contact ncpickleprincess@aol.com.

Two other events are also on tap for the week leading into the festival weekend.

The drive-in theater returns for the second year and will be held April 26  at 8 p.m.  at the Kornegay Arena parking lot on the campus of Mount Olive College.

Copyright rules do not allow the committee to promote the name of the movie, however, it is based on a true story about a famous race horse.

Admission will be $6 in advance and $8 at the gate.

Andy's will be selling concessions and will make a 25 percent donation of any money it raises that night to the Pickle Festival. Wristbands for the movie will be sold at the Mount Olive Andy's as well.

New this year is the Pickle Me Pink tea party to held from 2 to 4 p.m. on April 27 at the town's old train depot. The tea is for young girls, their mothers, grandmothers or other relatives or friends.

The cost will be $25 per couple and the tea is limited to 40 couples.

Children are being encouraged to design their own hats that will be judged in a competition. The menu will include cucumber sandwiches, green M&M's, green punch and sweet tea. There will be arts and crafts as well.

The Pickle Festival Committee has been meeting on a weekly basis to firm up activities, locations and events.

One problem that has cropped up recently involves the shuttle services. People are bale to park at the college and ride a bus to the fire station on North Center Street.

However, Committee Chairman Julie Beck said that the two college employees who normally drive the buses are not available during the festival. Because of insurance and liability reasons, only college employees with the appropriate driver's licenses can operate the buses.

Ms. Beck said that the festival lacked funds to hire buses and drivers. She said she is hopeful that something can be worked out with the college buses or that local churches might allow their buses to be used.

"We have got to find a solution," she said. "We had also talked about having a second drop-off at the old Waller Hardware (at South Center and West Pollock Streets)."

Ms. Beck said that Boy Scouts troops would assist this year with parking in the downtown areas on Saturday and at the Friday night events at the Mount Olive Airport.

Friday's events will be divided between the carnival rides on North Chestnut Street and the popular Band of Oz concert at the airport at 8 p.m.

Admission will be $15 per person for ages 13 and up and $5 for ages 6 to 12. Children 5 and younger will be admitted free.

A bean-bag baseball style tournament will take the place of the mechanical bull ride that is normally set up at the airport. It will not be at the airport because of a scheduling conflict, but will be at the festival on Saturday. The cost will be $5 per person or $10 per team to compete in the tournament.

The Jaycees will operate a beer garden and the Country Squire of Kenansville will sell wine at the airport.

The airport is located just off the Old Mount Olive Highway north of town across from the industrial park.

Organizers are still uncertain as to whether or not there will be a fireworks display at the airport.

All of the animal attractions -- petting zoo, duck and pig races, pony and camel rides -- will be grouped together this year in the area behind the Chamber office. The camel and pony rides were moved so that North Chestnut Street, where they are normally located, would be clear for any emergency traffic.

Also located behind the Chamber will be the Water Wars, mechanical bull ride and an "up and down" bungie ride. A second, horizontal bungie, will be located on the west side of South Center Street where the BMX bicycle riders have performed in prior festivals.

Also in that area will be a rock wall climb.

Committee members said they would like to see more activities and events located along that section of street since it does not usually enjoy the same amount of festival traffic as other downtown areas.

Expected to be popular this year is the Pack-a-Pickle-Pal, which is similar to the stores where people can build their own teddy bears. Pack-a-Pickle-Pal will be located near the carnival rides on Friday night and on Saturday will be in front of the Chamber office on the west side of the 100 block of North Center Street.

People will be able to pick from a variety of animals to stuff. The cost will be $20 and will include a T-shirt for the stuffed animal that will be printed up with the festival logo.