I’m a down home country girl at heart and all it takes to make me happy is sunshine, good food, good company and if you add in “country folk” stuff like some livestock, horseback riding or fishing I’m darn near doing cartwheels and back-flips. I was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina. I lived there for half of my life but I am ashamed to say that I hadn’t really experienced it as an adult. During this visit back home to Raleigh I decided to EXPERIENCE my hometown and I am so pleased!
First up, The Got To Be NC Festival held at the North Carolina Fair Grounds. This was the 6th Annual event showcasing North Carolina Agriculture, businesses and everything that we North Carolinians take pride in; family, good eatin’, fun and nothing other than TRACTORS! This was 3 days worth of excitement and pure entertainment with enough for EVERY family member to enjoy. Oh, and did I mention that it is FREE gate admission AND FREE parking?
Being at the Got To Be NC Festival is a HUGE reminder to “buy local”. Let me tell you, there is some good stuff that comes out of this state if I shall say so myself! As soon as I stepped out of my car I smelled the beautiful aroma of sweet cotton candy, giant turkey legs and fresh hay! Mmmm hmmm, Now bottle that up and sell it!
There were vendors galore displaying and selling their products that are made right in the Tarheel State. There was everything from handmade jewelry, candles, clothing and any and everything in between.
The Food, Beer and Wine Expo held in the Exposition Building was absolutely fantastic costing just $2 for all day admission). All of the booths had free samples of some classic Southern favorites such as hot grits, fresh ice cream, nuts, pimento cheese, and a host of local wine and beer options. You could literally walk in with an empty stomach and dry mouth and walk out full as a tick and watered up.
I’m not much of a wine or beer drinker but I found great delight in trying some of the other local products. Amongst my personal favourites were Cocolene natural products and Cloister Honey.
What do I love about Cocolene other than it being a hometown business? Well, I tried the Cocolene Body Balm and it was soothing and moisturised without leaving a sticky thick film on my skin. Absolutely perfect for those extra dry areas such as hands, feet, elbows AND it is NATURAL. I’m so happy that I didn’t leave without it! Highly Recommend! Click here to make your purchase!
As for Cloister Honey, all I can say is OMG this stuff is AMAZING! I walked by the booth and I heard a voice asking if I would like to try some bourbon infused honey. Me, not being big on the taste of alcohol declined but before I knew it I had a sample in hand….I just couldn’t walk away. WOW, it was EVERYTHING! I HAD TO purchase the Cinnamon Whipped Honey and I have so far used it as a drizzle on top of my pancakes and I must say it made me forget about Maple Syrup! To see what other delicious honey delights they have to offer, click here.
As a U.S. Air Force Veteran I would have to say that my favourite item on display was the Freedom Tractor. A beautiful piece of art dedicated to the lives of all the men and women from North Carolina that paid the ultimate sacrifice since WWII. An absolutely stunning tribute. For the kiddos, there where more than enough carnival rides and model tractors for them to sit on and play “farmer”. There was face painting and pony rides, vendors selling candy apples, Sno Cones, and Cotton Candy. My little NuNu enjoyed people watching (she is nosy just like her mum) and eating all the food she could get her little hands on.
We had some great family fun at the Got To Be NC Festival and will be marking our calendars for the next one!
For more information on the Got To Be NC Festival click here