08/27/14 — Beak Week is coming to city this September

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Beak Week is coming to city this September

By Ethan Smith
Published in News on August 27, 2014 1:46 PM

Goldsboro residents are in for a "hen of a good time" as the first Beak Week Festival kicks off Sunday, Sept. 7. The weeklong series of events is aimed at celebrating the local poultry industry, one of the largest in the nation.

If you are wondering what the series of events is all about, the city will be using the hashtag #wtp on Twitter to promote and expand on events before and as they happen. The hashtag stands for "What the peck?"

The weeklong festival will open with a "Tour de Coop" bike ride, in which participants will bike a predetermined path and take pit stops at various chicken coops along the route, which they will then be able to tour and to share refreshments with the owners of the coops. A complete map of the route will be provided before the event.

"There will be signs along the way designated where bikers can stop and look at coops," said Mark Wilson with Parks and Recreation, who is in charge of the event.

Other events planned include a scavenger hunt in which contestants will search for wooden turkey and chicken cutouts, a wing-eating contest, a signature sandwich contest, a softball game and a comedy show at the Paramount Theatre. The week of events will culminate on Saturday, Sept. 13, when a festival will be held on Center Street that will have live music, food trucks, a beer garden, art exhibits and booths, games and inflatables.

"We're really trying to make it so there will be something for everyone," Wilson said, adding that organizers hope to emulate the success Mount Olive has had with the North Carolina Pickle Festival.

The scavenger hunt also has an interesting twist.

"Some of the cutouts are painted like SpongeBob, or Darth Vader, or fun things like that," Wilson said.

Contestants entering the Signature Sandwich Contest are required to use at least three ingredients made in Wayne County to be eligible. Pictures of sandwiches that people wish to enter into the contest can be submitted to the city's Facebook page, where the winner will be determined by Facebook likes.

The winner of the sandwich contest will get a trophy with their name engraved on it, and will keep it until the 2015 contest.

While Goldsboro's last attempt at a poultry festival, Featherfest, failed in the late 1980s, Wilson said the city hopes to make Beak Week an annual event.

They are doing this by using sponsor funding, which limits out-of-pocket expenses. Sponsors for this year's event include Case Farms, Mt. Olive Pickle Co., First Financial Bank, Cottle Farms, Southern Produce Distributors and 107.9 WNCT.

Parks and Recreation has spent $10,000 on the event so far, and will receive $15,000 from sponsors.