One of our favorite moments at the 2018 N.C. Pickle Festival was the Ollie’s Anthem Competition. We had two entrants, Ricky Beasley of Mount Olive and Josh McGowan, sung by Chris Wood, of Fountain Town. They each performed their version of the lyrics to Ollie’s Anthem to a great hometown crowd. The winner, determined by audience participation, was to receive $350 in cash and a year’s supply of pickles, and the runner-up prize was $100. In the end, the crowd offered up a tie, so we divided the prize money between Ricky and Chris, and each got the pickles. The crowd went wild.
It was that kind of day Saturday. Glorious weather, thousands of people having a great time, and a smooth opening and closing. We did have a few glitches (and we will better prepare for greater demands on our free shuttle to downtown next year). But Saturday marked the best pickle festival experience in 32 years.
It takes a great deal of planning to pull off a successful event like this, and many people willing to go the extra mile to make it happen. A huge shout out to our volunteers, the organizations who coordinate their specific portions of the day, our local fire, rescue and police, our vendors and special events folks, and our sponsors. We couldn’t do it without each one. A special thanks goes to our presenting sponsors: Mt. Olive Pickle, the Town of Mount Olive, and the University of Mount Olive.
The festival is a chance for the Mount Olive community to put its best foot forward. And Saturday, we did just that.