Pickles. Pigs. Swigs. It all comes together for the first time ever in downtown Mount Olive later this month.
Set for Saturday, November 20, Pickles, Pigs & Swigs will benefit the Mount Olive Downtown Development Corporation. Featured, of course, are Mt. Olive Pickles, craft beer from Mount Olive-based R&R Brewing, and a North Carolina Pork Council-sanctioned Whole Hog Cooking Competition.
First, the pigs. The 20-team cooking competition gets underway Friday evening in the Mount Olive Town Hall parking lot. Judging takes place Saturday morning, and the winners will be announced at 11 a.m.
“We have a great line-up of teams cooking in the competition, including several former state champions,” said Julie Beck, president of the Mount Olive Area Chamber of Commerce and the event chairman. “This event will really feature some of the best Eastern North Carolina barbecue around.”
BBQ pork plates, $10 each, go on sale beginning at 11 a.m. at the festival downtown on Center Street, and in a drive-through set up at the Mount Olive Historic Depot.
Saturday’s festival runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Southern Bank park at the Corner of Center and Main, the site of the 150th anniversary mural. That’s where the pickles and the swigs come in.
The day features live bluegrass, free Mt. Olive Pickles, a beer garden run by R&R Brewing, antique tractors, vendors, and rides on the Pickle Train.
“We’ll have some tables and chairs set up at the corner, and we encourage folks to bring their own chairs,” Ms. Beck said. “We see this as a laid back afternoon where people can sit down, eat a plate of barbecue, have a beer, listen to live music, take in the other activities and simply enjoy a great fall afternoon.”
Wilson-based Shannon Baker & Sometime Soon kicks off the musical line up at 11 a.m., followed by local favorites The Harmony Boys from 1:30-3:30. Riggsbee Road, an all-female country and bluegrass band from Raleigh led by Mount Olive native Shelley Kelly, rounds out the day from 4-6 p.m.