04/23/13 — Mount Olive gets ready for pickles

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Mount Olive gets ready for pickles

By From staff reports
Published in News on April 23, 2013 1:46 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- The 27th annual North Carolina Pickle Festival will be held this weekend and the town of Mount Olive is busy gearing up for the annual event, which draws thousands of visitors every year.

Saturday will be the main day of the festival, with music, games, carnival rides, food, vendors and a car show highlighting the activities.

"This is my 19th year heading up this event and I'm just as excited as I was 19 years ago," said festival co-chairman Julie Beck. "So of course I'm excited. Whoo-hoo!"

The event is sponsored by the Mount Olive Chamber of Commerce.

Some highlights this year include Circus Stella, a miniature circus act, starting at 10:35 a.m., 12:35 p.m. and 2:35 p.m. at the south end of Mount Olive's Center Street, an appearance by Big Juicy from Lizard Lick Towing, a reality TV series on TruTV, and the Big A Challenge, a professional eating contest where competitors must eat three pounds of burger, a side of fries and a drink in less than five minutes in order to win.

The pickle festival also features two early morning athletic events -- the Cuke Patch 5K Run and the Tour de Pickle bike ride. The Cuke Patch 5K Run begins at 8 a.m. and registration starts at 7 a.m. at the Mount Olive College Kornegay Arena, 634 Henderson St., Mount Olive.

The Tour de Pickle has three editions -- a 25, 50 and 75 mile race -- and starts at 9:30 a.m. Registration starts at 8 a.m. at Mt. Olive Pickle Distribution Center, 1301 N. Center St.

But before the main day events, there are a few events planned for earlier this week.

On Thursday, the Mount Olive Area Chamber of Commerce will host a Pickle Party on the Patio Wine Tasting for those who wish to get the first sip of the special edition of pickle festival wine called "Pickle Pete", a white scuppernong wine. Tickets are $20 per person and $50 for a couple. The couple's rate includes a free bottle of "Pickle Pete", and every attendee receives a N.C. Pickle Festival wine glass etched with the 2013 logo.

Tastings by Hinnant Family Vineyards, Duplin Winery and Country Squire Winery also will be available during the event scheduled for 6:30 to 10 p.m. at Ribeyes Steakhouse at 211 N.W. Center St.

On Friday night, a concert featuring Spare Change, a LaGrange based party band, will start at 8 p.m. and last until 11:30 p.m. at the Mount Olive Airport, 227 Mount Olive Airport Road. Spare Change replaces the beach band, the Band of Oz, a Friday night tradition, to give concert-goers something a little different, Ms. Beck said. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children.

Also on Friday night, the downtown carnival rides will be open from 5 until 9 p.m. Attendees can ride all the rides they want for $10.

After Saturday's festival events, the Mount Olive Ministerial Association will present a N.C. Pickle Festival Praise and Worship Service at the Mount Olive First Pentecostal Holiness Church at 130 Ed Edmundson Road, starting at 6 p.m. The service will feature the Mount Olive College choir, Free Spirit.