Big Dill Events At The North Carolina Pickle Festival

The North Carolina Pickle Festival is returning in person on April 23, 2022 with a line-up of crowd favorite events. From the popular pickle-eating contest to the Cuke Patch 5K, we made a list of highlights to help you make the most out of your festival experience.

Plan ahead, so you don’t miss out on a single one!

Pickles, Pickles Everywhere

You can’t attend a pickle festival without trying all the different pickles and pickled flavored snacks! Free pickles will be available all day at the Mt. Olive Pickle Booth, so make sure to stop there at some point during your day.

The delicious Bertie County Peanut people will also be in attendance with their pickle-flavored peanuts (among other favorites.) 

For the kids, make sure to take a ride on our Pickle Train that departs from the Mount Olive Historic Depot all day long. The train cars are made from 55-gallon plastic pickle barrels! Children will be sure to have a fun time riding along with their friends in this one-of-a-kind train ride. 

Contest Time

Throughout the day there will be plenty of contests to watch or compete in. Choose which one you want to enter, or encourage your friend to compete against you! Bring your friends and family to watch as you go head to head with other pickle lovers in these festival favorites.

Cuke Patch 5K

Come on out on Friday, April 22nd to run in our annual 5K Glow Run from 8-9pm. This event will light up the streets as you dress in your best costumes and adorn yourself with glow sticks to have a great time.

Prizes will be awarded for best male costume, best female costume and best group costumes, and a portion of the proceeds benefit the Mount Olive Parks and Recreation Department. Get your group together and register before the early bird discount ends on April 1st! 

Pickle Eating Contest

Held at high noon, the pickle eating contest will be the main event of the day! It will be held on Center Street at the Main Stage, (new location in the Southern Bank Parklet, in front of the 150th Anniversary Mural). Up to 14 festival attendees compete to see who can eat the most pickles and become the winner of the women’s and men’s divisions, and overall champion.

The winners receive a $100 in prize money, a year’s supply of Mt. Olive pickles and a trophy to show off to friends. 

Pickle Packing Production Challenge

How fast can you pack pickles in a jar? Test your skills all day near the Mt. Olive Pickle Booth and compete against your friends and family to see who can do it fastest. 

Tour De Pickle 

The Tour De Pickle takes place on Saturday, April 23rd during the festival with three routes winding through scenic Wayne, Duplin and Sampson counties.

Riders can choose between 25-, 50- and 75-mile routes. Register by April 1st for the early bird discount and to guarantee an official Tour de Pickle shirt on ride day.

Mascot Race

Join us at 2pm on the corner of Center Street and James Street to watch this head-to-head foot race that will be sure to have you cheering and laughing.

Mascots from businesses and organizations across the state will arrive to compete for their winning name to be engraved on the winner’s trophy. If your idea of a good time is watching a giant pickle, an iconic cow, fluffy bears and more run through the streets, then this is the event not to miss. 

Live Music

You can’t have a festival without live music so grab your dancing shoes, some friends and head on over to listen to local favorites. A live outdoor concert Friday night will be held in front of Ribeyes Steakhouse, and Saturday there will be music all day on the Main Stage. The schedules are as follow. Note that we’ll have music all day as well on the Praise Stage.

Friday, April 22 

7-10 pm – Steel County Express

Saturday, April 23 

9:10 am – 11:10 am – PushPlay (Top 40s hits)

11:20 am – 1:20 pm – Riggsbee Road (Bluegrass/Country)

1:40 pm – 3:40 pm – Southern Trouble (Country)

4:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Shoot to Thrill (AC/DC Tribute Band)

Picture Perfect

Snap the perfect photo to remember the day in front of the town’s two murals!

The first is the Mt. Olive pickle jars mural painted by Kinston artist Seraphim Smith. This mural, which is located on the 100 block of West Main Street, depicts six different types of Mt. Olive pickles in their jars, and the artwork is featured on this year’s festival t-shirts.

The Town of Mount Olive’s 150th anniversary mural is located at the Southern Bank Parklet on Center Street. Local artists Heather Williams and Beth Hill painted this mural in 12 panels, which are mounted on a wall facing the parklet.

You can take a journey through the town’s history while looking at the mural. The strawberry fields, for instance, illustrate that strawberries were the town’s top produce commodity in the early 1900s (that’s BP – Before Pickles). 

Pickles might be the theme of the North Carolina Pickle Festival, but community is what it’s all about. So bring out your friends and family for a fun-filled day of contests, activities and food that will leave you smiling. You’ll want to stop by your local store for some more Mt. Olive pickles to take home. We can’t wait to see you there!