Mark your calendars for Pickle Festival

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The approaching North Carolina Pickle Festival always generates excitement, and right now it is just a few weeks away.

Matter of fact, it arrives two weeks earlier this year due to a conflict with the popular Wings over Wayne event in Goldsboro.

Pickle Festival 33 is set here in Mount Olive this year the second weekend in April — April 12 and 13.

Mark your calendars, and bring it on. It gets better and better.

Pack up the young’uns, the dogs and cats, and whatever you want to bring. It is fun time and it is all geared as a family event — something for everyone.

Two live bands will open the Friday night kickoff with a street dance in front of Ribeyes, and on Saturday at the Center Street Main Stage live music will go from 9 .a.m. until 6 p.m. with four different bands.

Mount Olive’s population is just short of 5,000. It will swell to around 50,000 on Festival Saturday.

Just do yourself a favor — if you have never been you will make memories to last a lifetime and if you have been, well, there is always something new. You will always see someone you know.

If you are looking a girl friend there will be an abundance of them there, too. The girls might also be on the hunt. It is a weekend of food, frolic and fun.

By the way, the pickles are free. This time around pickle beer will be available. I haven’t tasted that yet. It is being brewed by R & R Brewery, located on North Center Street. Several years ago there was pickle wine.

Folks come from everywhere in the state, out of state, and even out of country. The dozens of vendors provide a near endless array of foods.

The best part of the festival, to me, is casually strolling along the street and looking at the smiles and other expressions on the faces of the kids. It tells it all, and, isn’t that what it is all about?

Many of us were kids when this festival kicked off more than three decades ago, and today, as adults, we understand the expressions on the faces of the children. Most of those expressions reflect complete laughter and enjoyment, but oftentimes there is surprise and confusion. But mama and daddy know how to deal with it — one way or the other. They have been there and done that.

If you cannot find something at this festival that grabs your interest, then you probably don’t even like Santa Claus.

I urge all of you to attend, and get in the game.

Y’all come now. You hear?

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