Thousands of people came out to the public celebration at the Raleigh Entertainment and Sports Arena.
"Governor Hunt is one of my favorite people. I've always supported him and believed in what he stood for," says Hunt fan Elizabeth Collins.
"I wanted to come out and enjoy the festivities and also to give support to him for all of the years that he has been in government," says fan Deborah Ayala.
Hunt says he was honored by the event, but he says the praise should go to the people of North Carolina.
"The excitement, the enthusiasm about this state, the caring for young people and the belief in the future is what is really coming through tonight, and that pleases me immensely," Hunt says.
Performances included a jam session featuring Doc Watson and a video tribute to the late Dale Earnhardt.