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2018 Vendor Applications are now available


Vendor applications for the 2018 N.C. Pickle Festival are now available online! The festival accepts applications in five categories: Commercial Food, Commercial, Non Profit, Church & Civic, Information, and Arts & Crafts. Applications are accepted on a first come, first served basis, and organizers reserve the right to limit certain types of vendors to ensure an appropriate mix. So the sooner you get your application in, the better.

The early bird deadline is March 15, 2018. For applications and complete details, go to the Vendors Page.


2018 North Carolina Pickle Festival Theme Unveiled


NC Pickle Festival front pocket

NC Pickle Festival main design

The design for the 2018 North Carolina Pickle Festival has a cultural theme once again. Julie Beck, long-time festival director for Mount Olive’s hometown event, is known for her world travels and often, the theme of the North Carolina Pickle Festival reflects her travels. Last summer, Beck traveled for five weeks to five countries; but it was her experiences in Germany that spoke the loudest to her. As a result, the 2018 design has a German focus.

“I have traveled to Germany ten times and each time I visit there, I feel at home. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that my maternal great-grandmother used to live in Germany and traveled via boat from what was then East Germany and settled in the United States. My mother still has the trunk that her grandmother used to transport her personal items. With the last name of Beck, a true German surname, I am definitely connected to that country,” stated Julie Beck.

In the summer of 2017, Beck worked at Camp Lachenwald, an international Girl Scout camp. This was the third summer that she worked at this camp that is open to American girls whose military parents are stationed somewhere in Europe. During her free time, Beck and other camp counselors traveled around the country, but it was her experiences in Munich that led Julie to use a German theme for the 2018 North Carolina Pickle Festival theme. Every day, they ate bratwurst and weiss (white) wurst, large German pretzels, spaghetti eis (ice cream that is shaped to look like a plate of spaghetti), German potato salad and weinerschnitzel (breaded veal). They also visited the Hofbrauhaus (famous beer hall) where we saw ladies dressed in dirndls (special dresses) and men in lederhosen (shorts made of leather) and listened to Bavarian oompah bands. “The whole German experience was amazing and it spoke to my heart and soul and I knew this has to be our festival theme,” said Beck.

When Beck returned to the United States, she contacted her NC Pickle Festival co-chairperson, Lynn Williams, and told her that she wanted a German theme. Immediately, Williams responded, “You do know that in Germany, they call a pickle a gherkin and that gherkins are smaller kinds of cucumber that has been pickled.” She then informed Beck that the Mount Olive Pickle Company always has the “Pickle Polka” played at their Pickle Drop on New Year’s Eve celebration. Once Beck heard these comments, she knew that they were destined to have a German focus for the 2018 North Carolina Pickle Festival.

The design, created by Graphic Imprints from Billings, Montana, features Oktpicklefest where gherkins (pickles) are dressed in their dirndls and lederhosen while enjoying bratwurst and pretzels. In addition, the gherkins danced around the Maypole and listened to a German Oompah band.

Lynn Williams reflected on the design, “This is good. It perfectly depicts our festival where people come to eat good food, enjoy the musical entertainment and consume lots of pickles (gherkins). I don’t know what we will do for a theme if Julie ever quits traveling but that will never happen,” she said laughingly, “so we will continue to have cultural themes for the North Carolina Pickle Festival for years.”

The 32nd annual North Carolina Pickle Festival will be held on April 27-28, 2018 in downtown Mount Olive. Stay tuned to the NC Pickle Festival website,, for updates for the event. For more information, contact the Mount Olive Area Chamber of Commerce at 919.658.3113.

So how many pickles can YOU eat at one time?


The N.C. Pickle Festival announces a new Pickle Eating Contest for the 2017 event. It will be held at noon on Saturday, April 29 at the News Argus Corner, located at the intersection of Center and East James streets.

The festival will accept up to 10 participants, five men and five women, aged 18 and over, in advance on a first come, first served basis. Those interested in participating should call the Mount Olive Area Chamber of Commerce at 919-658-3113, or email at The festival will also accept two more – a man and a woman – on the day of the festival. Those interested in participating should put forward their names at the contest site by 11:30 a.m. on the day of the festival. If more than one man or woman puts their names forward, the participants will be determined by random drawing.

Each participant will be presented with a bowl of Mt. Olive whole Kosher Dills (of course!) and the man and woman who eats the most pickles in five minutes will be declared the winners. The prize is a trophy, $30 cash, and bragging rights, at least until next year. Sounds dill-licious.

Ring in Spring at the N.C. Pickle Festival


Read all about the N.C. Pickle Festival in a blog post by Thomas Schultz for!

N.C. Pickle Festival changes up Friday Night


The 2017 North Carolina Pickle Festival announces an all new Friday night April 28 and an all new location: downtown Mount Olive.

The Friday night before the N.C. Pickle Festival’s main day on Saturday has traditionally featured an outdoor concert at the Mount Olive Municipal Airport, and pay-one-price carnival rides downtown from 5-9 p.m.

This year, a free outdoor concert by Dakota Blue is planned for downtown at Ribeyes Steakhouse, located at 112 N. Center Street. The traditional pay-one-price carnival rides returns. And, new this year is the Cuke Patch 5K Glow Run through downtown.

“The Mount Olive Airport is no longer available to us as a concert venue, and we decided to bring everything to downtown on Friday night,” said Julie Beck, festival co-chairman. “We’ve always done the Cuke Patch 5K on Saturday morning, but we thought it would be fun to do a Glow Run and add it to the mix on Friday night. It’s really shaping up to be a nice group of events downtown.”

For complete Friday night details, click here.

Deadline extended for Vendors and Chili Cookoff


The application deadline for both vendors and chili cookoff teams has been extended to Monday, April 3, 2017. We decided to give everyone a bit more breathing room! Get the details for vendors  and the Homestyle Chili Cookoff.

So, you have more time. Get your applications in!

Chili Cookoff looking for a few good teams

The N.C. Pickle Festival will again host a homestyle chili cookoff during its 31st annual event Saturday, April 29, 2017 in downtown Mount Olive.

Presented by First South Bank and the Goldsboro News-Argus, the chili cookoff will be sanctioned by the International Chili Society. The winner will be eligible to advance to the ICS World’s Championship Homestyle Chili Cookoff as a North Carolina Homestyle regional champion.

Teams will compete for cash awards in People’s Choice and Showmanship categories. Prizes include $300, $150 and $75 for the main competition, $300 for People’s Choice, and $75 for Showmanship.

Homestyle chili, as defined by ICS, is simply the cook’s favorite combination of ingredients resulting in a dish seasoned with chili peppers and spices. All chili for the competition must be prepared on site the day of the N.C. Pickle Festival, but cooks may prepare their People’s Choice chili in advance to serve throughout the day.

For complete details, click here.

Vendor applications are now being accepted

Vendor applications for the 2017 N.C. Pickle Festival are now being accepted. Avoid paying late fees and register by the early bird deadline, March 14. The festival accepts vendor applications in five categories: commercial, food, non-profit, information and arts & crafts. Applications are accepted on a first-come, first served basis, and we notify you within a few weeks if you will be accepted for this year’s event.  Click here for details.



  • NC Pickle Festvial

    123 N. Center Street, Mount Olive, NC 28365

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