People in the Eastern Region sure know how to throw a party, as evidenced by the many festivals held each year.
These events show the range and diversity of the arts, culture and experiences the region has to offer.
North Carolina Pickle Festival
The pickle is celebrated each year in Mount Olive during the North Carolina Pickle Festival, which turned 25 years old in 2011. The event occurs in late April, with attractions that include a carnival midway, live concerts, rock wall and bungee jump, camel rides, a 5K Cuke Patch Race, car show and free pickles provided by Mt. Olive Pickle Company. There is also a 75-mile Tour de Pickle bike ride.
North Carolina Seafood Festival
The first weekend in October welcomes the annual North Carolina Seafood Festival to the town Morehead City. The celebration recognizes the importance of seafood to the Eastern Region, and educates the public on its overall effects. There is live entertainment, a kids' zone and other attractions, along with the freshest of seafood to sample, including clam chowder, shrimp burgers, charcoal mullet and sea urchin on a stick.
BBQ Festival on the Neuse
The largest barbecue competition in North Carolina takes place for four days every early May in Kinston at the BBQ Festival on the Neuse. The 2011 get-together was the 30th annual. Festivities include live concerts, a bicycle ride, fireworks show, golf tournament and plenty of good eating. Heaping plates of barbecue are served with hush puppies and slaw, and one of the weekend highlights is the crowing of the top barbecue team.
Blackbeard the Pirate was a part of Eastern Region history, so Greenville has organized an annual PirateFest since 2007. Greenville is home to East Carolina University, whose mascot is the pirate. The event features live music, a street festival, Grog beer garden, fine arts and crafts, a pirate encampment and swordplay.