The 37th annual Smithfield Ham & Yam Festival presented by Stevens Sausage and Agri Supply is back in Downtown Smithfield on Saturday, May 6th! The festival runs from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., and with more than 130 vendors, a variety of entertainment on two stages, inflatables, great food, and more, the Ham & Yam Festival offers a fun, family-friendly atmosphere with something for everyone!
Festival staples like the Kiwanis Club of Smithfield’s country ham biscuits and the Johnston County 4-H’s What’s That Yam Thing? Contest, presented by WRAL, are always favorites for attendees, as are the vendors and the entertainment that the festival provides.
“We are very excited to have more artists, crafters, and makers as vendors at this year’s festival, and there’s still room for a few more,” stated Sarah Edwards, festival organizer and Executive Director of the Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation. “We are also so thankful to have the recently renovated Neuse River Amphitheatre ready for the festival, and we have some great entertainment lined up for it, as well as the Third Street stage!”
The renovations to the amphitheater were funded by a State Capital Infrastructure Fund (SCIF) Grant of $989,500 and include new seating, handicap accessibility, a rebuilt stage, plus a new roof, new wiring and lighting, and an improved drainage system. The design for the project was performed by McAdams Company of Raleigh; Balfour Beatty Construction performed the transformations to the amphitheater. Concept drawings by WithersRavenel were presented to the Town of Smithfield in 2018 and were paid for by Smithfield's 2% rooms tax via the Johnston County Visitors Bureau.
"The amphitheater project, completely funded from a SCIF (State Capital Infrastructure) grant, is a huge win for the Town of Smithfield. The amphitheater and its infrastructure have been in need of repair for some time so we are overjoyed that the renovation is almost complete. We can't wait to celebrate with our concert and ribbon cutting on May 5th and look forward to many events and concerts to be held at the Amphitheater in the coming years and decades," stated Brian Eaves, Public Information Officer for the Town of Smithfield.
To celebrate the brand new venue the town will host the local band Bad Decisions for a FREE concert at the newly renovated amphitheater on Friday, May 5th, at 7:00 p.m. A ribbon cutting will precede the concert. Originally built in 1987, the Town pledged $5,000 to help the Smithfield Kiwanis Club underwrite the cost of the stage at that time; the total cost was $10,000 and the Kiwanis Club paid the remaining amount plus miscellaneous expenses. The new amphitheater is situated along the Buffalo Creek Greenway, a part of both the Mountains to Sea Trail and the East Coast Greenway. It will serve as the backdrop for many special events to come for Smithfield residents and visitors!
During Ham & Yam, the Neuse River Amphitheatre stage will feature performances from The WEJ, Crucial Fiya, 2Digh4, and All My Rowdy Friends, the One and Only Ultimate Hank Williams, Jr. Tribute Show. On Third Street, attendees will enjoy performances from the JoCo Community Choir, Artistry in Motion Performing Arts Center, local school bands, The Soul Rhythm & Groove, DNR, and Gypsy Railroad.
The Ham & Yam Festival is organized by the nonprofit Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation. To learn more about the Ham & Yam Festival visit www.hamandyam.com.