Part of my job is working with an amazing team of marketers who promote festivals. Recently, we had the pleasure of working with the North Carolina Black Bear Festival in Plymouth, NC. I love festivals because you get to see the best of small town America. There’s a certain energy at a festival that just warms the soul. Small businesses set up to sell their products, local organizations showcase how they help communities, and usually there is a great car show! It’s so much fun to walk around to see a community come together to showcase its best while eating great food!
Usually, I have to stay overnight to capture the images and videos at the start of festival day and that means I may get to camp someplace fun. This time, I camped in Bear Grass, NC at Farm Country Campground. I grew up in the great community of Bear Grass and wanted to check out a family favorite restaurant, Deadwood! If you love a good, country steakhouse with some good ole western flare, then you have to visit this restaurant. I went to high school with the kids (now adults) that own it and have fond memories of hanging out at their house growing up. If you are able to visit in October, you have to ride their haunted train. The Price kids were known to be extremely talented, athletic, smart and loved scary movies so of course their train and decorations do not disappoint!
Across the street is Farm Country Campground, a little campground that Andy and I stayed at the night before the festival. Yes, Andy stayed with me. (I joke he’s like bigfoot near my campsite because he’s rarely sighted!) The campground was within walking distance of Deadwood so dinner was an easy choice. Everything at the campground was nice. Dinner at Deadwood was superb and you can tell this is a locals favorite because on a Friday night it was packed!
Early in the morning, I hit the road to Plymouth to begin my coverage of the festival, which was a short 20 minute drive away. I visited Plymouth as a child and some of my friends’ fathers worked at nearby Weyerhaeuser. This town is in the midst of a revitalization with older riverfront buildings getting facelifts. The Roanoke River runs through it and it’s so wide at this juncture that during colonial times it served as an important hub for commerce and trade.
The family friendly festival is along the picturesque waterfront and there are so many free events that I can’t list them all. From an air show, concerts, fireworks, dinosaur show to boat and bi-plane rides, this has it all and when you add the great food, you have every reason to give this festival a visit. The NC Black Bear Fest was started because coastal North Carolina has the world’s largest black bears and this specific area makes up the largest density of bears in the world! (There’s a reason my community was called Bear Grass and our school mascot was a bear!)
The festival was lots of fun and me and my team were honored to be a part of promoting it. We can’t wait for next year to head out there again!