Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Shine to Wine

Posted April 30, 2008

What is the best North Carolina festival? It’s a tough question because we have so many different things to celebrate from shad to shagging to pottery to pops in the park.

Ace videographer Jay Jennings gave me this blog idea when I asked where he was headed this coming weekend. Jay and his wife Debbie are headed to North Wilkesboro for the 4th Annual Shine to Wine Festival. I’ve never been to the festival but the name is certainly creative.

Wilkes County has a notorious history as the moonshine capital of North Carolina. However, the white lightning legend has been fading in recent decades as the community embraces the flourishing viticulture industry of the Yadkin Valley. 16 wineries in the area have signed up for this year’s Shine to Wine Festival on Saturday. I will do a follow-up report if warranted next week on Jay’s experience.

For now let’s talk about your favorite festival.


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  • mindofreason Apr 30, 2008

    Merlefest in Wilkesboro every March...Great music, great food, and great atmosphere...

  • ladybugs-mom Apr 30, 2008

    My husband, daughter & I just got back from Merlefest, the premiere Americana music festival in North Wilkesboro. This was our 6th Merlefest and we love it more and more each year. The music is amazing, and people come from all over the world for it. We sat next to some folks from Scotland who were there for the 4th time this year.

    Don't miss it. Next year the festival will be April 23-26.

  • jakiret99 Apr 30, 2008

    Our Turkey Festival in Raeford brings friends from everywhere!
    I was in the same situation as fishnett at our last one. My
    grandaughter,from out of town,tired of me talking to everyone I met, asked me, "Grandma, do you know everyone in Raeford?"

  • drnc Apr 30, 2008

    The Croaker Festival in Oriental is fantastic.

  • battenclan09 Apr 30, 2008

    We have several festivals around my area (Nash/Wilson Co.). My family and I try to go to all of them. Let's see we first have The Blooming Festival in May held in Nashville, then the Pumpkin Festival in Oct. held in Spring Hope, The weekend after that is always the Down East Festival In Rocky Mount, and finally in November we have the Whirligig Festival in Wilson. We have lots of options and it is great family fun. The Pumpkin Festival is always like a high school reunion for my husband and myself, since it has always been a tradition of ours to go, even before we met.

  • mamananagramps Apr 30, 2008

    I love the Riverfest Festival..Arts and Crafts and many shows at Wilmington NC Waterfront either the first or second weekend of October.

    Second..Cary Lazy Daze..which has gotten too crowded.

  • softballmom Apr 30, 2008

    The Spot Festival in Hampstead and the Shrimp Festival in Sneads Ferry. Great seafood!!!!

  • bleslie Apr 30, 2008

    I hear they don't like you to talk about Mumfest. Is that true?

  • 2thebeach Apr 30, 2008

    I love the Azalea Festival in Wilmington. It has been a harbinger of summer for me for over 40 years. I met my husband there and we still get to the AF from time to time.

  • Riverracer8 Apr 30, 2008

    The Woolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk - held in October. Great food, crafts, and where else can you go to a woolly worm race and actually win cash? I wouldn't miss it.




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