Several bands plan to take center stage during the annual N.C. Poultry Festival, previously known as Beak Week, in downtown Goldsboro in September.
Event organizers announced headliner Jerrod Niemann, a country singer known for his attention-grabbing lyrics and chart-topping hits, will perform during the festival on Sept. 8. Also slated to perform are Diggerfoot, Hip Pocket and the Mikele Buck Band.
Niemann topped country charts with his platinum-certified No. 1 anthem, "Drink to That All Night," from the 2014 album "High Noon," where he co-wrote eight of the 12 tracks.
The Kansas native released his first album, "Judge Jerrod and the Hung Jury," in 2010, and included a platinum No. 1 hit, "Lover, Lover," and gold-certified Top 5 hit, "What do You Want." His second release, "Free the Music," included Top 15 "Shinin' On Me" and poignant ballad "Only God Could Love You More." His fourth album "This Ride," includes the upbeat song, "I Got This," an uplifting duet, "A Little More Love," with Lee Brice and a romantic ballad "God Made A Woman."
From Academy of Country Music, Country Music Association, and Country Music Television award nominations to headlining and touring with some of country's hottest acts -- Dierks Bentley, Brad Paisley, and Keith Urban -- Niemann continues to make his mark by pushing boundaries, while offering a sincere nod to the legends before him.
The former Beak Week festival takes on a new name this year, the N.C. Poultry Festival, in an effort to expand and increase the popularity of the event and offer an awareness to Wayne County's poultry heritage.
The location of the festival, along Center Street also showcases the area, which has experienced growth following federal and local investment that has resulted in reviving the downtown area.
"In 2013, the city of Goldsboro began a renovation of Center Street in its downtown," said Ashlin Glatthar, director of travel and tourism for Goldsboro-Wayne County. "In an effort to draw people downtown to witness the changes, many nonprofit organizations, along with city departments, joined efforts to create a signature festival that was available to residents and visitors.
"Being the home of major poultry industries, it was a natural fit for Goldsboro-Wayne Country to celebrate its longstanding poultry heritage with a festival themed in its honor."
N.C. Poultry Festival is the new name, but Beak Week still lives as the nickname for the fun-filled week leading up to Saturday's street festival.
The main festival traditionally takes place the second Saturday in September.
Beak Week, which precedes the N.C. Poultry Festival, kicks off on Sept. 4 with a Beak Week Beer Run at Well-Travelled Beer, followed by a Chicken Chase 5K at Goldsboro's newest greenway, Turkey Trivia at Goldsboro Brew Works, the Fowl Play softball game, PEEP Show at the Arts Council of Wayne County and the Food Cluck Rodeo.
The Food Cluck Rodeo takes place on Sept. 7 and will feature a performance by the Journey Tribute band Trial by Fire.
"It takes a lot to grow an event," said Lynn Grantham, Goldsboro Parks and Recreation marketing and special events leader.
"It's a culmination of teamwork, generous sponsors and genuine drive to make the community a better place. Those are the ingredients that have taken the initial crowd size of 3,000 in 2013 to an estimated 15,000 in 2017."
The festival this year will feature helicopter tours of the city.
More than 60 arts and crafts vendors will line Center Street, selling items such as pottery, paintings, sculptures and jewelry.
The Arts Council of Wayne County will have its second annual PEEP Show, with marshmallow masterpieces highlighting local businesses with a creative connection to the arts.
The Kids Zone, sponsored by the Tri-County Electric Membership Corp. will feature multiple inflatables, interactive games and face painting.
Also added this year is a multiplayer mobile gaming theater.
Food and beverages will be available, including a beer garden and festival favorites, such as turkey and pork barbecue sandwiches from Pig In the Park, the Boys and Girls Club of Wayne and Johnston Counties' signature fundraiser.
Onsite breweries include Double Barley Brewing, Mother Earth Brew Co. and Goldsboro Brew Works. R.A. Jeffrey's Distributing Co. will also serve domestic favorites.
The festival and concerts are free to attend. VIP packages are available and can be purchased in advance for $30.
VIP tickets provide complimentary domestic drinks from the beer garden during the headline show, as well as free food, access to exclusive bathroom facilities and special seating during the festival. Pre-sale tickets must be purchased by Sep. 3 online at www.ncpoultryfestival.org.
Purchasing a VIP package includes an entry into a drawing for an exclusive meet and greet with Niemann.