For me, this is a warm-up to the North Carolina State Fair.
The annual Got to Be NC festival, which celebrates North Carolina agriculture, kicks off Friday at noon. Rides, food, exhibits will fill the state fairgrounds through Sunday.
Admission is free at the gate, but some individual attractions have an admission fee. Also, you will need tickets or wristbands to enjoy the carnival rides.
Here are some of the highlights of this year's festival:
Food and Wine expo - This is the place to be if you love to eat! The expo is happening all three days, but North Carolina chefs will be signing their cookbooks on Friday only! Admission is $2 per person and children 11 and under get in free. Admission includes coupons to some of the vendors on display.
Shriners Fish Fry - All three days enjoy some fried North Carolina mountain trout, catfish, flounder and shrimp.
Mason's Pig Jig - More than 40 chapters of Masons are participating in this year's annual Masonic Carolina Pig Jig BBQ Cook-off. Food will be served to the public after judging on Saturday morning (around 11 a.m.). Tickets are $10 for adults and children 6 years old and under eat for free. All proceeds benefit the organization's children's homes in Oxford.
Petting Zoo - There will be a free petting zoo all three days, so bring your cameras!
Pig Races - Just like at the fair, pigs will be racing!
Border Collie Herding - Watch these dogs herd some animals on Friday at the Walmart Grandstand. Free admission.
Third Day - This Christian rock band will play Dorton Arena on Friday night. Tickets start at $22.
Leon Jacobs Jr. - He will be playing classics from the 1950s and 1960s outside of Dorton Arena all weekend.
Bluegrass Band Competition - Bands will be vying for more than $800 in prize money during this competition on the outdoor Dorton Arena stage on Saturday starting at 11 a.m.
Carolina Rollergirls - On Saturday, go to Dorton Arena to check out the Carolina Rollergirls battle it out with the Blue Ridge Rollergirls, Cape Fear Rollergirls and Charlotte Rollergirls for the title of "Queen of the Rink." Tickets are $10 and include admission to the entire day of bouts.
BMX Bike Contest - Outside of Dorton Arena near the waterfall on Sunday, see these bikers fly on ramps in hopes of winning cash prizes. Free admission for spectators.
Carolina Fiber Fest - No, this isn't a festival about bran flakes. This fest focuses on fiber art from "sheep to shawl." Spinners and weavers will be at the Jim Graham Building to showcase fabrics made from sheep's wool, alpaca and more. The event runs for all three days and has free admission. You can also see some of the animals, including rabbits, sheep and alpaca.
Classic car show - Outside of Dorton Arena on Friday check out some classic rides. And go back on Saturday to see some Harley-Davidson bikes on display.
Antique Tractor Parade - All three days check out a parade of antique tractors. Friday it all happens at 1 p.m. and at 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. And if you are a fan of tractors, you might want to hit the Tractor Pull at the Walmart Grandstand on Saturday. Admission is free.
To find out more about these events and others, check out the Got to Be NC website.