When planning your calendar of fun and unique events you would like to attend this year, keep Johnston County’s towns in mind.
Bentonville Battlefield Anniversary Event: March 17-18 – To mark the 153rd anniversary of the Battle of Bentonville, visit this state historic site for a day of themed programs. This year participants can experience years of military weapons and technology. Reenactors from multiple time periods will set up to showcase how the American military has changed through the centuries. Various weapons demonstrations will occur throughout the day.
Beach Fest: April 14 – This year’s show marks the 5th year of beach music celebration at The Farm venue in Selma, NC. The 2017 line-up includes Jim Quick & Coastline, The Embers, Band of Oz, and Chairmen of the Board.
NC Wine & Beer Festival: April 7 – Sip local NC craft beverages, sample amazing chef inspired menus from foods sourced from area farms, and shop local vendors and artisans. There will be three awesome bands strumming along on the main stage, so grab a lawn chair and a friend, and enjoy The NC Wine & Beer Festival at The Farm!
Strawberry Festival: April 28 – An all-day celebration for the Greater-Cleveland community focused on family fun and entertainment including a classic car show, face painting, activities for the kids, lots of food, and of course, strawberries from local farms across the county!
Ham & Yam Festival: May 5 – Taking place in Downtown Smithfield the first Saturday in May every year, the Ham & Yam Festival is packed with ham biscuits, barbeque pork, and sweet potatoes. There will be arts, crafts, kid’s activities, live entertainment, a pig cooking contest, and piglet racing.
Mondo Roots Cultural Arts & Music Festival: June 2 – Taking place in Downtown Clayton this festival is an all-encompassing celebration of art, music, culture, and diversity including performances from national acts and live art demos from local artisans. Last year’s headliner was Nappy Roots.
301 Endless Yard Sale: June 15-16 – Johnston County and its towns along US 301 will host the seventh annual “Endless Yard Sale” which takes place annually the third weekend of June. The communities will join together with deals, antiques, collectibles, and more along a 100-mile stretch of highway between Roanoke Rapids and Dunn, NC.
State Singing Convention: June 22-24 – The oldest Southern gospel convention in the nation happens at the Singing Grove in Benson. It includes three days of gospel music competition including amateur duets, trios, quartets, choirs, and family groups.
Four Oaks Acorn Festival: September 8 – Visit Four Oaks for family fun including children's activities, live entertainment, vendor fair, antique car and tractor show, barbecue competition, and much more!
Benson Mule Days: September 20-23 – The 4th Saturday of September has been home to Benson’s Mule Days festival for over 60 years. This four-day family-fun festival is packed with mule competition events, rodeos, carnival rides, arts and crafts, street dances, and concerts. It also boasts the largest parade in North Carolina!
Railroad Days Festival: October 6 – Join the fun in Uptown Selma as the town celebrates its rail heritage every year the first Saturday in October. The annual event will offer its regular fare, including live entertainment, vendors, food, rides, a parade and 5K run.
Historic Downtown Smithfield Ghost Walk: October 25 – Small groups will be guided through the cemetery where costumed reenactors will tell stories about famous (and perhaps infamous) local persons buried there. Previous featured ghosts include Percy Flowers, Ava Gardner, and Governor Gabriel Johnston.
The Shindig: November 3 – For the last few years this little Americana music festival in Downtown Clayton has gained momentum and popularity among music and beer lovers alike. Previous performers include The Black Lillies, American Aquarium, and Forlorn Strangers.
Historic Downtown Smithfield Wine November 16 – This fun and interactive event is a great way to support local charities and get to know local business owners. Over 20 stores in Downtown Smithfield participate, with each store offering a different wine to taste. Walkers are given a commemorative wine glass and a wristband to wear as they travel from store to store. All proceeds go to local non-profits.
American Music Jubilee Christmas: Shows Daily in December – Take a nostalgic trip back to an innocent age when anticipation of Santa’s visit made the holidays magical. Enjoy gospel favorites and the contemporary beat of hits like “Christmas in Dixie”, all in a Branson-style musical comedy variety show.
Meadow Lights: late November – December 31 – The largest and oldest Christmas light display in eastern, NC. Also, features the largest candy store with over 300 varieties of candy.
Learn more about the Johnston County Visitors Bureau at www.johnstoncountync.org.
For a current listing of events in Johnston County through-out the year, and for more details to come on each of these events, be sure to always check www.johnstoncountync.org/events.