Fayetteville, N.C. — Every year, the Fayetteville Dogwood Festival kicks off with a barbecue spread.
The annual Crime Stoppers Barbecue is a draw in itself by Friday at lunch, when cars line up to pick up plates piled high with pulled pork, rolls, potato salad and cole slaw. They expect to hand out 2,400 plates and raise about $10,000.
Volunteers cook and serve for hours, and the proceeds from each $7 plate go into the pool that Crime Stoppers uses to reward those who help to solve crimes.
"Crime Stoppers has the ability to provide money to an informant who wishes or chooses to remain anonymous and allow law enforcement to make an arrest," said Duncan Hubbard. "That informant doesn't have to go to court, that informant doesn't have to get involved at all. They just give us the information. They remain anonymous."
Later, the festival kicks into gear with concerts, a street fair with arts and crafts, food vendors, and a midway full of rides.
WRAL will have a booth at the festival, too.
Here's a schedule of when to meet your favorite reporter:
Saturday, April 25
Brian Shader and Elizabeth Gardner noon-3 p.m.
Greg Fishel 3-6 p.m.
Sunday, April 26
Gilbert Baez noon-3 p.m.
Bryan Mims 3-6 p.m.