Media Contact: Ashby Brame
When planning your calendar of events regarding festivals that happen annually in the south, keep Johnston County’s towns in mind. Johnston County is conveniently located where I-95, I-40, and Highway 70 come together in the center of North Carolina. It is a fun and affordable destination with long-standing, unique events throughout the year.
Bentonville Battlefield Anniversary Event: March 18-19 – To mark the 152nd anniversary of the Battle of Bentonville, visit this state historic site for a day of themed programs. This year participants can learn more about the medical history of the Civil War. Compare and contrast the treatment received by soldiers during the Civil War with the treatment that our wounded warriors now receive by viewing examples of modern military field hospitals. Then tour the Harper House to learn about Civil War era medicine. The program will also feature artillery, infantry, and home-front demonstrations throughout both days. Tickets may only be purchased the day of the event. Due to the graphic nature of this program, parental discretion is advised.
Howell Woodstock: April 22 – Every April the Howell Woods Environmental Learning Center in Four Oaks celebrates environmental education with live music, hayrides, and recreational activities as well as local vendors. This event ends with a campfire, s’mores, and astrology activities.
Beach Fest: April 8 – This year’s show marks the 4th year of beach music celebration at The Farm venue in Selma, NC. The 2017 line-up includes Jim Quick & Coastline, The Embers, Band of Oz, and Hip Pocket.
Historic Downtown Smithfield Wine Walk: April 21 and November 17 – This fun and interactive event is a great way to support local charities and get to know local business owners. Over 20 stores in Downtown Smithfield participate, with each store offering a different wine to taste. Walkers are given a commemorative wine glass and a wristband to wear as they travel from store to store. All proceeds go to local non-profits.
Strawberry Festival: April 22 – An all-day celebration for the community focused on family fun and entertainment including a classic car show, face painting, activities for the kids, lots of food, and of course, strawberries from local farms across the county!
Ham & Yam Festival: May 6 – Taking place in Downtown Smithfield the first Saturday in May every year, the Ham & Yam Festival is packed with ham biscuits, barbeque pork, and sweet potatoes. There will be arts, crafts, kid’s activities, live entertainment, a pig cooking contest, and piglet racing.
301 Endless Yard Sale: June 16-17 – Johnston County and its towns along US 301 will host the sixth annual “Endless Yard Sale” which takes place annually the third weekend of June. The communities will join together with deals, antiques, collectibles, and more along a 100-mile stretch of highway between Roanoke Rapids and Dunn, NC.
State Singing Convention: June 23-25 – The oldest Southern gospel convention in the nation includes three days of gospel music competition including amateur duets, trios, quartets, choirs, and family groups.
Farm Fest: September 9 – An annual day-long country music concert featuring a line-up of today’s top acts at The Farm venue in Selma, NC. Previous artists include Florida Georgia Line, Chris Young, Love & Theft, Scotty McCreery, and Parmalee.
Clayton Harvest Festival: September 13-17 – Enjoy 5 days of exciting events on Main Street in Downtown Clayton. Concerts, karaoke, a dance party, food trucks, a classic car show, and over 200 craft vendors.
Benson Mule Days: September 21-24 – The 4th Saturday of September has been home to Benson’s Mule Days festival for over 60 years. This four-day family-fun festival is packed with mule competition events, rodeos, carnival rides, arts and crafts, street dances, and concerts.
Railroad Days Festival: October 7 – Join the fun in Uptown Selma as the town celebrates its rail heritage every year the first Saturday in October. The annual event will offer its regular fare, including live entertainment, vendors, food, rides, a parade and 5K run. However, this year Selma will be celebrating its 150th anniversary as a town and other special events will be happening during Railroad Days, like guided historical and architectural tours.
Historic Downtown Smithfield Ghost Walk: October 26 – Small groups will be guided through the cemetery where costumed reenactors will tell stories about famous (and perhaps infamous) local persons buried there. Previous featured ghosts include Percy Flowers, Ava Gardner, and Governor Gabriel Johnston.
American Music Jubilee Christmas: Shows Daily in December – Take a nostalgic trip back to an innocent age when anticipation of Santa’s visit made the holidays magical. Enjoy gospel favorites and the contemporary beat of hits like “Christmas in Dixie”, all in a Branson-style musical comedy variety show.
Meadow Lights: November 17 – December 31 – The largest and oldest Christmas light display in eastern, NC. Also, features the largest candy store with over 300 varieties of candy.