The festival beckons you


Come one, come all.

The 36th annual N.C. Pickle Festival is this weekend.

Everything you need to know for the two-day event is in today’s edition of the Mount Olive Tribune. Read the front page and dive into the 24-page pullout section that includes a detailed map of the festival.

Spend the day in downtown Mount Olive.

Explore and experience everything you can.

In other words, overdose on pickles.

The NCPF committee started work in January and had some doubts as to whether the COVID-19 pandemic might play a role in this year’s festival. They decided they wanted “a 100 percent live” event after the cancellation in 2020 and the virtual celebration in 2021.

These folks put time and effort into planning the “best” NCPF seen in these here parts since it all began in the late 1980s. Festival-goers will experience what I call the four “F’s” — food, fabulous entertainment, family fun and fellowship.

Warning — bring your sunscreen. Early weather forecasts predict sunny skies and mid-80 temps. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing, and be sure you stay hydrated.

Geez, I sound like my mom.

Yet, there’s more to the NCPF than the average folk understand.

It’s not a one-man show.

Behind-the-scenes workers ­— volunteers, law enforcement, fire and rescue personnel and first responders — play a significant role in staging an event that attracts more than 10 times the town’s population of 4,500 each year. Without their knowledge and selfless work ethic, festival-goers don’t get the full experience associated with the NCPF.

Out-of-town visitors help stimulate the local economy. They stay overnight, eat in local restaurants (if they don’t get stuffed at the festival) and shop.

Each festival is a learning process.

When it’s over, the committee meets to discuss any issues that arose and the financial windfall. Any money earned is usually banked for the next festival and the creative juices begin to flow again.

If you attend the festival, search for NCPF co-chairpersons Julie Beck and Lynn Williams.

You may not be able to find them at first, but if – or when – you do, be sure to speak to them. They’re an integral part of this annual celebration and their efforts know no bounds.

Seek out a town official, law enforcement, first responder or volunteer and tell them “thank you” sometime during the weekend. They’re all part of the committee that makes this festival successful.

Though this long-awaited edition of festival hasn’t started, the NCPF committee is to be commended on a job well done.

Rudy Coggins is assistant editor of the Mount Olive Tribune. He can be reached at


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