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Food Takes Center Stage at 30th Annual Ham & Yam Festival

(SMITHFIELD, NC) – One big change is coming to the 2014 Ham & Yam Festival, scheduled for May 2 and 3. In an effort to return to the agricultural roots of the festival, all food vendors will offer an item that features either country ham or yams.

“For the 30th annual Ham & Yam Festival, I wanted to return to the roots of the festival, and celebrate the fact that ham and sweet potato producers are still thriving here in Johnston County,” states Sarah Edwards, festival organizer and Interim Director of the Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation.

In addition to the Kiwanis Club’s ever popular Stevens Sausage country ham biscuits, food vendors will offer sweet potato funnel cakes, sweet potato pie, sweet potato ice cream, sweet potato desserts, sweet potato fries, sweet potato chips, sweet potato smoothies, sweet potato muffins, and baked sweet potatoes.

The Kiwanis Club’s annual Ham & Yam supper, scheduled for Tuesday, April 29, will feature Stevens Sausage country ham, yams, cabbage, and corn bread. The supper is from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Centenary United Methodist Church, located at 140 E. Market Street in Downtown Smithfield; tickets are $7.00, and will be available at the door.

In addition to the food, a full schedule of events on Friday, May 2 and Saturday, May 3 will attract thousands of people to Downtown Smithfield, where the festival occupies several blocks. Craft and commercial vendors line the streets, local entertainers perform on two stages, and there are activities for the entire family. The festival features free concerts on Friday and Saturday nights; America’s favorite 80s tribute band will take the stage at 8:00 p.m. on Friday after Girlz Girlz Girlz opens at 6:00 p.m. Neon Radio will open the free Saturday night concert at 6:00 p.m., with Who’s Bad: the Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Band taking the stage at 8:00 p.m.

The Ham & Yam Festival is organized by the nonprofit Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation. To learn more about the Ham & Yam Festival, please visit www.hamandyam.com, or call Sarah Edwards at 919-934-0887.

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