COVERThe name may have changed, but the fun is still the same. What used to be the North Carolina Turkey Festival is back but as the North Carolina Fall Festival, and it kicks off with a 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 10. The ceremony is at the P.K. Airport Ralph Pandure VFW Post 10 building. 

“Veterans will literally fall into the Airport to start the ceremony by bringing the American Flag through the spacious skies to land, reminding us all that our country is still free and that we are all kept safe, thanks to those who have stood and stand against evil daily, our military,  law enforcement, firemen and emergency medical personnel, all of whom will be remembered at this ceremony so please mark your calendars to come out that morning and say thank you to those who serve and protect us every day, in ways we don’t even know and to remember those who gave their lives that day as they ran into the Twin Towers putting others first in spite of their own safety,”  said Melissa Pittman, the North Caorlina Fall Festival coordinator. 

“There are many things going on at the airport this day and more information will be shared closer to the festival so keep watching and listening for what’s happening at the festival,” she added. 

The celebration runs through Sept. 17. 

Some of the new events include fireworks on Sept. 10, beginning at dark, at P.K. Airport to kick off the festival. There is a “selfie” booth on Saturday, Sept. 17. Guests can purchase photos and the proceeds help a local missionary team raise money.  Two new entertainment stages are on tap as well. 

There are plenty of familiar favorites at the festival for guests to enjoy, such as the card tournament, Senior Day, a parade (with a new route) and, of course, the Turkey Bowl will continue as it has over the past 31 years including the corn hole tournament, wine and music, a gospel concert, a motorcycle show and a step team competition “The dog show is at a new location and the car show has also relocated back to the end of Main Street starting at Prospect. T-shirts, golf shirts, sweat shirts and hooded zipper jackets are for sale again prior to and the day of the festival on the street,” said Pittman. “There are various craft, informational and commercial vendors all up and down Main Street and so many various types of food vendors that no one should complain they can’t find anything to eat on the 17th. After the activities and entertainment on Main Street, the annual concert is at Armory Park with music by Country on the Outskirts of Town and Rivermist.”  

The concert is 8 p.m. to midnight. Tickets are just $10 for two great bands. “Yes, you are still allowed to bring your coolers, (no glass), food, blankets, chairs into the park for a night of fun.”

Pittman added that attendees should also look for vendors of all types, handmade crafts, food and information booths. 

While maintaining well-loved traditions of the Turkey Festival, Pittman knew that she had to keep some of the elements from the beloved event when she made a new logo to take its place. “Last year, the board of directors held a “Design the logo” between local schools. Cultural Arts Director Teresa Burke sent letters to every school inviting them to compete for a cash prize for the winning schools’ art department by designing the new logo,” said Pittman. “Almost every school participated ... It was a hard decision to choose the winning logo, but after a blind display of the entries the winner was chosen … Our grand ole lady bird will continue to be represented, along with her husband who is free falling in jump boots to the Festival, and other things that children from Don D. Steed came up with that meant ‘Fall Festival’ to them. Those who designed the logo include: Ian Gill, Kindergarten; Kadyn Tyler, first grade; Yoshua Wallace, second grade; Joseph Baker, third grade; Mimi Matthews, fourth grade and Leslie Helm, fifth grade.” Each child will receive a free T-shirt from the Festival and the school received $200 for the art department.

Look for details about the N.C. Fall Festival on Facebook, or call the office at 904-2424.

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