The Arts Council of Wayne County will hold its first-ever Blue Dragon Festival March 3 at Cliffs of the Neuse State Park.

The free festival, beginning at 10 a.m., encourages local youths to ring in spring with creativity and lots of energetic spirit, said Wendy Snow Walker, Arts Council director.

She said it's inspired by the Blue Dragon festivals in China.

Youths will have the chance to decorate a large paper dragon, then jog through the woods at the Cliffs to "wake the insects," a popular tradition in China that marks the beginning of spring.

The event is sponsored by PNC Bank and the North Carolina Arts Council and in pARTnership with Cliffs of the Neuse State Park, Eastern Wayne High School art club and Goldsboro Parks and Recreation Department.

For more information about the Blue Dragon Festival, call the Arts Council at 919-736-3300.