The North Carolina Blackberry Festival will be in Downtown Lenoir next weekend, July 14 and 15, 2023. This is the 20th anniversary of the festival, and it's going to be bigger than ever this year!
There will be fresh blackberries and cobbler for sale, festival food, and lots of free music. The "Let's Glow Crazy" 5K Glow Run & Fun Run and famous Blackberry Cobbler Parade are back, and there will be fun games for the kiddos in the Kids Zone. The Downtown Lenoir Development Alliance has curated a select list of 230 vendors from across the state and region to get your fix of festival shopping.
"The North Carolina Blackberry Festival is a signature event in the state, and we're proud to have the Downtown Lenoir Development Alliance (DLDA) organizing it this year," Mayor Joe Gibbons said. "The 20th anniversary marks the largest festival yet. We're going to have hundreds of great vendors, lots of free music, and fun activities for children. The DLDA and Main Street staff have done a wonderful job, and we're looking forward to a fantastic event next weekend."
A crowd walks on North Main Street during the 2022 North Carolina Blackberry Festival.
Mayor Joe Gibbons hands out blackberry cobbler.
Fresh blackberries for sale.
Children get ready for the blackberry eating contest.
The festival opens at 12:00 pm Friday, July 14, 2023. The Kids Zone, located at the corner of Harper Avenue and Main Street, will be open from noon to 6:00 pm. Bricen Calloway takes the Downtown Stage at 5:30 pm. There will be a Kids Party with Hype Nation at the Kids Zone from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Throwdown Jones will rock the Downtown Stage at 7:30 pm, and the Let's Glow Crazy 5K Glow Run & Fun Run will start at 8:00 pm. The festival will close at 10:00 pm Friday.
On Saturday, July 15, the festival will open at 9:00 am. The Kids Zone will be open until 7:00 pm. The Little Miss Blackberry Pageant starts at 10:00 am, and the Blackberry Eating Contest will be at noon on the Downtown Stage. Participants can register for both events on Saturday. The Caldwell Crooners will lead the National Anthem at 12:30 pm followed by the Blackberry Cobbler Parade at 1:00 pm. Darren Bryant will take the Downtown Stage at 1:30 pm followed by Al G and Friends at 4:00 pm. The Kings of Noise will close out the music for Saturday night starting at 7:00 pm. The festival closes at 9:00 pm.
In addition to the festival food court on West Avenue between Main and Mulberry streets, there will be a Food Truck alley on West Avenue between Boundary Street and Aiken Controls. There is a new craft vendor section located across from Food Truck Alley, and don't miss the three farms that will be selling fresh blackberries in the Aiken Controls parking lot.
Mayor Joe Gibbons said it takes hundreds of City staff and volunteers and generous sponsors to put on an event like the N.C. Blackberry Festival.
"We really appreciate all of the City departments who help make this event happen as well as all the volunteers who donate their time," Mayor Gibbons said. "I also want to thank all of our event sponsors. We have a lot of wonderful people in our city and amazing businesses that support community events. That's what makes Lenoir such a special place, and a great place to live."
The festival footprint on Main Street from Ashe to Harper avenues an on West Avenue from Mulberry Street to the Lenoir Police Department will be closed to traffic at midnight, 12:00 am, Friday, July 14. Public parking lots are shown in the map below.
Click the following links to see a list of vendors, the festival schedule, and festival rules:
Thank you to our event sponsors:
Click the following link to visit the N.C. Blackberry Festival website, ncblackberryfestival.com.