Wake County, N.C. — One of our favorite spring events is finally here!
The annual Got to Be NC festival, which celebrates North Carolina agriculture, kicks off Friday at noon at the N.C. State Fairgrounds.
Admission is free at the gate, but some individual attractions will cost you. Also, you will need tickets or wristbands to enjoy the carnival rides.
Parking is free and there will be a free shuttle running from Carter-Finley Stadium to Gate 9 during 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. on Saturday and from noon--7 p.m. Sunday.
Some 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. Admission is $2 per person and children 11 and under get in free. Admission includes 24 coupons, many for 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 $15 for adults and $5 for children 11 through 5 years old. Children 6 years old and under eat for free. All proceeds benefit the organization's children's homes in Oxford. World Boxing Association Heavyweight Champion James "Bonecrusher" Smith will be making an appearance this year.
AgriPlaza animals - Check out diving ducks, chickens hatching and miniature donkeys. Free admission.
Pet and Horse expo - A cat show, parade of dog breeds, art and costume contests and a rabbit exhibit will take place in the Jim Graham Building over the weekend.
Pig Races - Just like at the fair, pigs will be racing!
Independent Labrador Specialty Dog Show - Happening Saturday and Sunday at the Holshouser Building. Admission is free.
Outside of Dorton Arena - Leon Jacobs Jr. will be playing classics from the 1950s and 1960s all weekend. Dark Water Rising will play on Friday afternoon and North Tower will take over Sunday afternoon.
Bluegrass Band Competition - Bands will be vying for prize money during this competition on the outdoor Dorton Arena stage on Saturday starting at 11 a.m. Bands competing this year: Diamond Creek, The Edwards Family, Victoria Lee and New Ground, The Ingrams and Lonseome & Then Some
Carolina Rollergirls - On Saturday, go to Dorton Arena to check out the Carolina Rollergirls battle it out 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.
Classic car show - Outside of Dorton Arena on Friday from 3-8 p.m. check out some classic rides.
Antique Tractor Parade - All three days check out a parade of antique tractors. Friday it all happens at 2 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.