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Pimiento Festival was held Saturday

Crowds from Pike County and beyond converged downtown Saturday, May 16, for the fourth annual Zebulon Pimiento Festival. ’The crowd has doubled every year,’ said Chris Curry, executive director of the Zebulon Downtown Development Authority. About 1,000 people attended the festival last year. This year’s event will run from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on the courthouse square. The DDA and Downtown Merchant’s Group are hosting the festival. ’It’s a celebration of our downtown Zebulon and our small town values. You get to see your neighbors and friends and catch up,’ Curry said. One of the highlights will be a patriotic parade by the Pike County Old Tractor and Equipment Club, which will hit the downtown area around 11 a.m. Vintage tractors will circle the courthouse before parking for public display at the pecan grove at the farmers’ market. A sidewalk chalk art contest will run throughout the festival. The Pimiento King and Queen will be crowned at 11:45 a.m. The royal couple will be chosen from among those people who grew or canned pimientos in Pike County. The hotly contested World’s Best Pimiento Cheese Spread Contest kicks off at 1 p.m. The contest is sponsored by Pike County Farm Bureau. At stake is the $100 first prize. Contestants should bring their spreads in plastic containers on ice to the stage before 11:30 a.m. Call Rebecca Rolling at 770-567-3431 for details about the contest. Children’s games will be offered throughout the event. Festival goers can buy food, crafts, art, jewelry, furniture, photographs and other items. Civic groups will man informational booths. ’We’re encouraging all the merchants to have special sales and bargains through the day,’ Curry said. Entertainment will be provided all during the festival. Some scheduled performers include Eli Ingram at 10:30 a.m. and the Zebulon Dance Academy at 12 noon. Curt Jennings will take the stage at 2 p.m. Anyone wanting to rent booth space at the Pimiento Festival can go to www.zebulondowntown.com, or stop at A Novel Experience on the Zebulon square. The Pimiento Festival crowds can also shop at the farmers’ market adjacent to the post office during the morning. The annual Pimiento Festival pays homage to Zebulon’s and Pike County’s agricultural history, including the role the area played in growing and canning pimientos.

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