Get Ready for The 2023 Columbus County Juneteenth Festival!

“…it’s a part of the history of this place.
It’s not Black History; it’s everyone’s history!
-Shelle Blanks

The Columbus County Juneteenth Planning Committee is gearing up for it’s 4th year of celebrating the freedom, resilience and cultural contributions of African Americans; led by Community Organizer, Shelle Blanks. This will be the 2nd year that the festival will be held at the Columbus County Fairgrounds and the 4th year overall that Blanks and her team have organized to bring the community together for this annual observance.

The 2023 Schedule:
This year’s Juneteenth celebration is spread across 3 days at different locations in Whiteville, NC. View all the events in the CC Juneteenth Calendar.

• Friday, June 16th
The Miss Juneteenth Pageant will take place at 501 N. Madison Street(6pm).

• Saturday, June 17th
The Juneteenth Parade in Downtown Whiteville at 10am
Lunch on the Lawn at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, following the parade.

• Monday, June 19th
The Juneteenth Festival will take place at The Columbus County Fairgrounds(12-6pm).

Vendors, Sponsors, Parade Participants and Pageant Contestants are asked to click the following link for Registration & Details »

Who & What to expect:

This year’s parade is set to feature Corvette, Bike and ATV clubs from across the state of North Carolina, The Cowboy Tar Heels Triple K Ranch, and dance teams all the from Atlanta, Georgia. The festival at the fairgrounds will offer attendees a black business expo, food and craft vendors, a ‘black farmers market’, music, performers, games (spades tournament and bingo) and an expanded kid’s zone with bouncy houses and other activities.

A notable addition to the festival is the cultural museum exhibit; with life-size figurines including Harriet Tubman and Columbus County’s own, Millie and Christine McKoy. Members of the McKoy family will be present at the festival as well.

An invitation to all!

When discussing the importance for all of Columbus County’s residents to attend and be engaged in this event, the festival’s founder and organizer says “…it’s a part of the history of this place. It’s not black history; it’s everyone’s history!” In addition to the fun activities, Shelle Blanks encourages all (African Americans as well all ethnic groups) to take advantage of this opportunity to be educated on the journey from the first Juneteenth to today. On the topic of history, Blanks says “The more awareness, the better we can become as a people and how we can move forward. When you understand history, you get a more in-depth understanding of where you are… and where you can go.”

For more information about the Columbus County Juneteenth Festival contact Shelle Blanks at 910.207.8982.

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Follow our social media coverage of Juneteenth in Columbus County on our new facebook page!

The 2023 Plant Swap and Sale ahead of Farmers Market Opening Day!

The Columbus County Farmers Market is preparing for the opening day of their 2023 season. While the official first day is Saturday, May 6th, farmers and vendors across the county are preparing for an ‘agricultural pep rally’ this weekend, known as The Annual Plant Swap and Sale. This event takes place at the farmers market building this Saturday, April 15th from 8am to 1pm. Manager, Amber Howard, says “A lot of local farmers start their planting season about this time, so this gives them a chance to trade, and we have a lot that do their own crossbreeds to cultivate better plants. So they can all trade or buy from other farmers or vendors.”

For the community, there will be plants available to purchase; and for this weekend only, there is no vendor fee for those who desire to set up a booth. Howard says, “the community that is looking to buy plants or trade plants, they’re more than welcomed to come. [Also] we are looking for new vendors and you don’t have to be a farmer because we do offer handmade crafts.”

Ahead of opening day next month, Howard says to expect a car show on opening day, expanding events with more community partnerships and a great season of crops and engagement in Columbus County. The vendor application for the farmers market can be found on their website (linked below):

• Website (
• Vendor Information
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The Columbus County Farmers Market is located at 132 Government Complex Rd. in Whiteville. Market hours will be 8am – 1pm, every Saturday from May 6th to December 9th. Also be sure to follow the #ColcoNC calendar for the Farmers Market 2023 Special Events!

The Columbus County Farmer’s Market 2023 Special Events Schedule!

Check out the list of events below or click the following link for the Farmers Market 2023 Special Events Schedule in the calendar.

Spring Plant Swap & Sale*
Sat. April 15th • 8a-1p
Click for more details »


Official Opening Day – CRUZ-IN Car Show*
Sat. May 6th • 8a-1p
Click for more details »


Farmers Market Run Run & Walk*
Sat. May 20th
Click for more details »


Old Fashioned Farm Day*
Sat. Jun 17th • 8a-1p
Click for more details »


Farm-to-Table Dinner Fundraiser at The Spillway
Thur. Jun 22nd • 6:30p
Click for more details »


Watermelon Day*
Sat. July 15th • 8a-1p
Click for more details »


Kid’s “Back-to-School” Fun Day & Family Health Festival
Sat. Aug 12th • 8a-1p
Click for more details »


Honey Day – CRUZ-IN Car Show
Sat. Sep 16th • 8a-1p
Click for more details »


Chicken Bog & BBQ Day
Sat. Oct 21st • 8a-1p
Click for more details »


Collard, Cornbread Day & Sweet Potato Day
Sat. Nov 18th • 8a-1p
Click for more details »


“Christmas from the Heart” Craft Show & Sale
Sat. Dec 9th • 8a-1p
Click for more details »


Check back for updates!

The NC Strawberry Festival 2023 Schedule!

The 2023 Strawberry Festival is nearly here and “Reflection” is this year’s theme! Take a look at all of the details and interesting events centered around the 90th presentation of the state’s oldest agricultural festival!

2023 Special Guests:
Special Honoree, Rose Abolila Crawford, Miss Chadbourn 1949

Karolyn Martin
, Miss North Carolina 2022

Parade Marshal:
G.W. Stanley retired in 2022 from the N.C. Department of Agriculture. Per a N.C. Strawberry Festival Association press release, “Mr. Stanley has been a huge asset to our festival over the years.”

Check out the list of events below or click the following link for the Strawberry Festival 2023 Calendar.

Wine Social

Sat. April 22nd • 7-10pm
Chadbourn Depot Museum
Click for more details »


Strawberry Jam

Sat. April 29th • 11am-3pm
Strawberry Festival Field (behind Hardee’s)
Click for more details »


Strawberry Festival Pageant

Sun. April 30th • 3pm
Southeastern Community College Auditorium
Click for more details »


Opening Ceremonies

Chicken Bog Fundraiser & Concert
Tues. May 2nd • 5 – 10pm
Strawberry Festival Field (behind Hardee’s)
Music by Blackwater Rhythm and Blues Band
Click for more details »


Evening of Strawberry Encounters

Fri. May 5th • 6pm – 9pm
Chadbourn Pentecostal Holiness Church
Click for more details »


90th Annual NC Strawberry Festival

Sat. May 6th
Strawberry Festival Field (behind Hardee’s)
Click for more details »


Check back for updates!

Columbus County Easter Weekend 2023 Events

Columbus County is gearing up for an eventful Easter Weekend 2023. Following last weekend’s County-sponsored egg hunts there are still several community events to participate in.

Check out the list of events below or click the following link for the Easter Weekend 2023 calendar.

Culinary & Vendor Market
Fri, April 7, 3pm – 7pm
222 Brown Street, Chadbourn, NC
Lets make this a huge turn out as we welcome the food trucks and tent vendors in the city of Chadbourn!


Easter Egg Hunt at Lake Waccamaw
Fri, April 7, 5pm – 7pm
Lake Waccamaw Methodist Church
506 Lakeshore Dr, Lake Waccamaw, NC 28450
Pizza, ice-cream sundae bar, face painting, crafts, and a visit from the Easter bunny!


Farmer’s Union Paint Party of Downtown Store
Sat, April 8, 9am – 11am
Farmer’s Union Downtown Store Paint Party
Farmers Union, NC 28433
-Fundraiser, items for sale (Hotdogs, chips, lemonade, soft drinks, water)
-Volunteers needed
-Donations accepted
-Contact information (910-770-5683 or 910-918-6474)


Back 2 Blacktop Fundraiser-Bolton
Sat, April 8, 11am – 6pm
Bolton Youth & Senior Citizens
15354 Sam Potts Hwy Bolton, NC 28423
Plate Sale Fundraiser (Chef Flossie Hickman)
Baked or fried chicken, potato salad, green beans, & a roll
Price: $10 dark meat, $12 white meat, add cake slice for $3 more
Contact information:


Easter Fun Day/Popup Shop
Sat, April 8, 2pm – 6pm
Sterling Services Enterprise, Inc
511 E Arcadia Rd, Riegelwood, NC 28456
Fun Day for both kids and adults
-Vendors available

Check back for updates!

Early Details for The 36th Annual Columbus County Fireworks Celebration.

This story originally appeared on Tabor.City.

During an event brainstorming meeting of the Greater Tabor City Chamber of
Commerce some 37 years ago, an idea was born to hold a 4th of July Fireworks
Celebration that could be enjoyed by Tabor City, Columbus County and our
neighboring counties that wanted to come for a visit.

The Chamber Board members began planning this event and the following
summer the Inaugural Fireworks Celebration was held. Chamber Board Members
Jack Miller and Rick Worley took a little road trip and purchased $500 worth of
fireworks! Local entertainment was scheduled for a pre-show before the
fireworks were set off with the assistance of Tabor City Fire Department.

Through the years a lot has changed as more stringent guidelines have been put in
place regarding the disbursement of pyrotechnics, all of which are to make
everything as safe as possible for everyone. In addition to that change, it is
important to note that $500 would not go very far these days. It takes thousands
of dollars to do the display that we have and each year that number tends to
increase. We are beyond appreciative to each sponsor that generously gives to
help us keep this event alive and well.

Continue reading the full story on Tabor.City.

Annual Spring Has Sprung Festival

This story originally appeared on Tabor.City.

Approximately five years ago, our Board of Directors decided that Tabor City needed a festival in the Spring. We already have a Fall festival, the NC Yam Festival, which was borne out of this Chamber, so brainstorming began for a festival to be held during the Spring.

In 2021, the Inaugural Spring Has Sprung Festival was held the first weekend in May. In spite of Covid, we had a great response. Everyone seemed to enjoy getting out and about. Many of our vendors sold out of their wares! The Car Show was a huge hit. The kids and parents alike loved the FREE KidZone. Free, thanks to our generous sponsors.

By 2022, an annual date was set for the 4th Saturday in April. We saw growth in participation which was pleasing to all of us. Flimsy the Clown was one of the new additions and the kids absolutely adored Flimsy.

2023 will be the 3rd year and we are looking forward to a fun-filled day with lots of craft and food vendors, a Cruise in, entertainment and a FREE KidZone with inflatables, a petting park, trackless train rides, and a magician. Many may know Magic by Ray. He has been the in-house magician at Riverbanks Zoo for many years. He has performed all over North and South Carolina.

Continue reading the full story on Tabor.City.


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