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The Johnston County Visitors Bureau BLOG is published weekly with news and feature articles on visiting the county.

Celebrate New Year's Eve at The Farm

Celebrate New Year's Eve at The Farm

If you’ve been to, or heard of, Farm Fest then you know that The Farm in Semla, NC puts on one heck of a show. Last year, their first ever New Year’s Eve bash was a packed-house success. This year’s event will be no different. Dance and groove to the sounds of Jim Quick and Coastline. Enjoy small bites provided by Backyard Bistro catering. Cheers to the new year in style. And watch the ball drop on the big screen at midnight!

The Farm asks that you come dressed in your festive attire (no jeans please) and celebrate 2017 with wonderful music and great friends. Doors will open at 8:00PM and there will be a cash bar including beer, wine, and soft drinks.  You must be at least 18 years of age to join the party. Taxis will be available outside after the event for those that will need a ride home.

This year, the Johnston County Visitors Bureau has worked with area Smithfield hotels to offer an exclusive hotel rate for visitors that have tickets to The Farm event and need accommodations in the area. There is a link to purchase tickets on this page here. Participating hotels are located just miles from the venue and include Baymont, Best Western, Country Inn & Suites, Holidays Inn Express, Sleep Inn, and Super 8.

Trent Lassiter, General Manager at The Farm Entertainment Venue is ready to put on the event again, “We are excited to be ringing in 2017 at The Farm!  This is our second year hosting a New Year's Eve event like this and it's sure to be a good time.”  

The Farm’s other events like Farm Fest and Beach Fest draw hundreds of people from all around the eastern part of the state.  People are looking for unique events to attend and The Farm’s packed calendar proves that Lassiter is willing and ready to offer it, “Lots of people from our area, not to mention visitors and travelers on I-95, used to have to drive over to Raleigh and other places for a NYE party such as this. But now, they can toast the new year in Johnston County with a fun night of entertainment at a great venue.”

For more information on New Years at The Farm and hotel rates, visit our dedicated webpage. To find out more about The Farm’s events and concerts throughout the year, visit their Facebook page.

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Johnston County Wedding Expo(s)

Johnston County Wedding Expo(s)

Say I Do in JoCo

Locals and visitors alike seek to make Johnston County their wedding destination. A JoCo wedding can be rustic, unique, elegant, outside in a vineyard, or inside a whimsical historic home. And with the right team, it can be all those things at once.

I have worked on the fringes of the wedding industry for years. Never as a planner, but as a provider of wedding services and a member of an association comprised of event planners. Weddings can be exceedingly elaborate or frugally modest. I have never been married, but I have lived through some weddings, let me tell you, and I have two pieces of advice.

The first tip is this: designate a wedding planner. Notice that I did not say hire. I said designate. Wedding planners are angels from God sent to organize chaos into control, cheer in your corner, wipe the sweat from your brow, fight some of the harder battles for you, and make it look like walking on air. This makes them exceedingly qualified to get you from "She said yes!" to the post-reception send-off with supreme grace. This can also make them expensive depending on the level of service you are asking of them. You certainly get what you pay for (in the best possible way). However, in the event that you cannot hire a wedding planner, designate a trusted friend or family-member (not an immediate family member) who you trust to be honest, organized, and un-biased. If it helps, call them a wedding coordinator. They will help you coordinate all the details that you can't quite accomplish on your own. After all, someone has to tell the wedding party when to walk down the aisle while you stand out of sight of your groom.  

The second piece of advice is this: go to a wedding show held within the geographical region that you wish to get married. This holds especially true for destination weddings. If you are not familiar with the area, a wedding show will introduce you to vendors within the local wedding industry. If you live in the area you want to be married in, you're not off the hook. Even if you have been planning your wedding since you were 5 years old (twice-over now that you have a Pinterest), you don't know what you don't know until you attend a local wedding expo. How many cake makers, reception venues, florists, transportation companies, caterers, and wedding planners are in your area? You don't know. Because even though you live here, you've never gotten married here. Or maybe you have... this is a judgment free zone.

Experience a Wedding Expo

The excellent news is that there will be 2 wedding expos in the month of January in Johnston County. Locals are welcome. Non-locals are also welcome. If you live in the Triangle area, or in any area surrounding JoCo, but you don't want a Raleigh wedding, or you want a little hint of a destination wedding without having to travel so far... come get to know JoCo. We've got bride-choice wedding venues and southern hospitality at the ready.

The 2nd Annual Bridal Expo is happening at The Farm this Sunday January 10 from 11AM to 4PM. This event is FREE but to save time, plan on registering here before you come. There will be dozens of vendors on site for you to talk to about your upcoming big day! The Farm itself is also a venue and tours will be conducted every hour beginning at 11:30AM.

The 2016 Clayton Wedding Expo is on Saturday, January 23, from 11AM to 4PM at The Clayton Center. Discover the latest bridal trends as you chat with vendors about everything from venue selection to catering and from bridal fashions to honeymoon destinations. The Clayton Wedding Expo is free and open to anyone planning a very special event in the coming months. Pre-registration for the Expo is not required, but it is highly recommended and can be done here. The first 100 pre-registered brides will receive a free gift bag.

You can also browse a list of wedding venues in each town within the county at any time at the Johnston County Visitors Bureau website here. We are all here to help you say I Do in JoCo!

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Trent Lassiter- JoCo's Next Generation of Entrepreneurs

Trent Lassiter, who is widely known in Johnston County as the general manager of Springhill Outfitters, has built the county’s largest banquet hall and entertainment complex on his family's farmland near Selma. Trent is a 2009 graduate of Mt. Olive University, which recently presented him with the Young Alumnus Achievement Award for his exceptional business achievements. The Farm is a one-of-a-kind venue located on approximately 10 acres on Batten Road just off I-95 Exit 101 beside Springhill Outfitters.

Trent had the idea for this building after hosting the Farm Fest concert in 2012, as he needed a facility that would provide space for bands, staging, and for indoor events as well.  He also knew of other needs for a large meeting space in the county. As a member of Duck's Unlimited, their annual dinner needs space for 400+ people so he made sure the facility could accommodate a crowd that large.  Trent also saw a need for a facility for weddings in the county, and the banquet space was built with a dance area in the middle of the floor with that in mind.  Overall, the building is 10,000 square-feet and can be utilized for multiple types of events like weddings, banquets, concerts (indoor and outdoor), birthday parties, and business seminars and retreats.  One of the more unique features is the patio space with a fire pit and outdoor lights.

The outside portion of The Farm can handle up to 5,000 people for concerts and has ample space for exhibitions/shows which will also bring people to the county. Construction of The Farm was completed in October 2013 and this year's concert series will begin on May 31st with one of Trent's friends, Scotty McCreery, American Idol Winner taking the stage with Eric Paslay, Blake Kearney Band and special guests Sadie and John Luke Robertson from Duck Dynasty on A&E.

“There is nothing like this anywhere in the county,” he said. “I think people are really going to like it.”

Trent has had the idea for The Farm for several years, but seriously decided to make it happen for two reasons; he said he has always had a love of the concert-type entertainment industry, and really believes that The Farm is something that will be good for the county. He hopes visitors will stay in local hotels, eat out, shop and come back to visit another time.

We agree Trent, and we thank you for having the vision and dedication to make it happen!

Needing a Meeting Facility? For booking information at The Farm please contact Anna Evans, the venue manager, at 919-750-5464 or visit thefarmnc.com.



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Beer Wine & Shine Trail

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Travel around the county to four award-winning wineries, two breweries and get a taste of brandy along the way!  Receive a Free $30 coupon book when you complete the trail.


Meeting Planners

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Johnston County offers conveniently located and affordable conference facilities for meetings, reunions, and unique destination weddings sites.  Why not select a historic home or horse farm for your next event?


Group Tour Operators

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Groups have discovered exits along I-40 and I-95 for outlet shopping, music theatre, museums and heritage sites.  Call today for custom itinerary planning.


Hotel Packages

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We have created several special hotel packages including a Girlfriends Getaway for outlet shopping, we know you need a break and great deals on shoes!  Click here to book your getaway today.


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