We'll take all of the berry festivals please!

The weather is warming up and that means it’s time to get outside to some of the North Carolina berry festivals! Our state has no shortage of fun stuff to enjoy during the spring and summer and a long, rich history with farming and agriculture. The merging of those two results in a berry good time!

North Carolina and blueberries go back pretty far. According to the North Carolina History Project ” In North Carolina, blueberries are the highest-ranked fruit crop and overall, the 16th-ranked commodity for the state. In 2008 North Carolina produced 28.5 million pounds of blueberries, an estimated $50 million in value. With roughly 9.2% of the 2009 blueberry production in the United States, North Carolina is the 6th largest producer of blueberries in the nation.

Annual blueberry harvests occur mainly during June and July. Although blueberries are native to North American soil, they were first planted in North Carolina in 1936. Blueberries are sweet in taste and rich in fiber and Vitamin C. The fruit also has the highest antioxidant level of any fruit. The blueberry has been commonly referred to as a “superfruit” because of its many health benefits.”

However, let’s not sleep on strawberries! Strawberries are one of the most consumed fruits in the world. In 2009, North Carolina farmers harvested 1,500 acres — or 19.5 million pounds — of strawberries and produced nearly $20.5 million in value for the state. These numbers put North Carolina as the 3rd largest producer of the heart-shaped fruit. The Tar Heel State trails only California and Florida.

Strawberries are annually harvested in the late spring and early summer, usually from mid-April to early June. Although there are many varieties of strawberries, three are commonly grown in North Carolina: Camarosa, Chandler, and Sweet Charlie. Like blueberries, strawberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C and rich in fiber and antioxidants. They are also a great source of vitamin K, vitamin B, and folic acid.

While we are at it, the humble blackberry deserves some press as well. A true North Carolina fruit, the blackberry is either native to North Carolina or were introduced very early to the state. Native Americans have been enjoying wild blackberries for thousands of years, and the early European settlers also consumed blackberries fresh, dried, and as preserves.

So, we celebrate these delicious, healthy berries in the best way possible, with some North Carolina berry festivals, of course!

  • Strawberry Festival- May 4th, 2024- Cameron, NC

    White Hill Farms Strawberries & Produce is hosting a strawberry festival in Moore County on May 4th this year.  Antique Tractors will be on display along with wagon rides for the whole family, plus local vendors and food trucks.

  • The North Carolina Strawberry Festival- April 30-May 5th- Chadbourn, NC

    North Carolina’s oldest running agricultural festival! Hosted the first weekend in May in Chadbourn.  Celebrating its 91st anniversary this year, the schedule is jam packed with so many fun and delicious things to do!

    Learn more here.

    https://www.tiktok.com/@ncstrawberryfestival/video/7331872045900385578

     

  • North Carolina Blueberry Festival- June 14th- Burgaw, NC

    Not only does the NC Blueberry Festival celebrate all things blueberry, this year they are adding a Whole Hog Cook Off! Also featuring a car & truck show, live music and all the blueberries your heart desires.

    More information here.

  • NC Blackberry Festival- July 12 &13- Lenoir, NC

     

    The North Carolina Blackberry Festival is a celebration of blackberries, cobbler, and fun! Held in Lenoir, North Carolina, the festival offers tons of family-friendly events. There’s free music, kid’s activities, and a blackberry-eating contest.  This is the festival’s 21st anniversary and they are celebrating with the Little Miss Blackberry Pageant, live music and more! Be sure to register for the blackberry pie eating contest! 

    More information here.

     

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