The 33rd annual North Carolina Pickle Festival opens its two-day run today. And as they like to say in Mount Olive, “It’s kind of a Big Dill!”
Well, we would like to go as far as to say that it is a really big deal.
Three stages of entertainment is just the start of this magnificent event. Where else can you ride on a camel and a blazing fire truck; enjoy carnival thrills and spills; and check out the best in local art, classic cars, tractors, magic and intricate bicycle stunts? And that’s just a portion of what Mount Olive offers to those who come out and celebrate.
Society has changed a great deal in just the past decade alone. People have become withdrawn and not as physically social. Although festivals seem plentiful, their numbers are dwindling, if not in actual events than in the number of people participating. Not the N.C. Pickle Festival, though, where officials predict a range of 35,000 to 40,000 people will come to Mount Olive for one great show.
For those people not attending festivals or getting out of the house much over the past decade, people studying this phenomenon call it “social media anxiety disorder.” Just as the name sounds, it is a very real disease that creates a great deal of angst for people who have to be away from their smartphones and social media accounts. Rather than experience physical personal relationships, those with social media anxiety disorder tend to drift more to virtual relationships through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, among many others. Some of the symptoms of SMAD according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America include:
• Withdrawal from friends and family
• Loss of interest in other activities
• Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you are not able to access social media
• Having your phone with you 24 hours a day to check your social media sites
• Using social media more often than you planned
• Severe nervousness or anxiety when you are not able to check your notifications
• Negative impacts on your personal or professional life due to social media usage
Many people seem to be moving away from others and holing up within themselves. It may sound simplistic, but most good ideas do. Everyone this weekend should get out of the house and welcome spring through the fresh air and frivolity of a community festival that is rated among the top-20 events in 12 southeastern states. Leave your social media at home and come out and relish the 33rd annual North Carolina Pickle Festival.