After more than 45 years of celebrating an age-old form of communication, particularly in Sampson, the Second Annual Hollerin’ Heritage Festival will be held Sept. 13 and will feature the long-standing tradition of the Hollerin’ Contest.
Since 1965, the art of hollering has been celebrated at the annual contest in Spivey’s Corner. For the second year, the contest is being held in conjunction with the Hollerin’ Heritage Festival, moved from its original June date to September because of poor attendance and heat issues.
Gates are scheduled to open at 11 a.m. The Hollerin’ Contest will begin at 4:30 p.m. with the Junior and Teen Hollerin’ divisions and the Conk Shell Blowin’ contest.
The National Hollerin’ Contest was founded by Ermon Godwin as a means of helping fund the Spivey’s Corner Fire Department.
Last year’s decision to move locations and dates for the Hollerin’ Contest proved beneficial. Aaron Jackson, chairman for the Hollerin’ Heritage Festival committee, said attendance was the “best we’ve had in 10 years.”
“There were between 1,500 and 2,000 people attending last year,” Jackson attested. “There were about 1,700 tickets sold.” Admission is per person, but Jackson said young children are normally allowed in at no charge.
One of the reasons the event was moved from June to September was due to the extreme temperatures in the summer. In September, Jackson added, the temperatures are cooler and for the event last year, worked out.
This year’s festival will feature a classic car show, antique tractor show, kid’s zone, living history exhibits, a BBQ cook-off (sanctioned by the N.C. Pork Council), the 46th annual National Hollerin’ Contest, demonstrations by the North Carolina Work Horse and Mule Association, live music, souvenirs and vendors. Jackson said there will be 10-15 more vendors on hand this year than last year.
“We’ve expanded our heritage exhibits to get back to what the festival is all about,” Jackson expressed. “We are trying to incorporate everything with hollering.”
Tony Peacock, 2013 Hollerin’ Contest winner, will conduct traditional hollerin’ lessons at 12:15 p.m. Lesson will last about 20 minutes.
“Tony is a great public speaker,” Jackson said. “He will allow the spectators a chance to participate and learn about the heritage of hollering.”
Headlining at this year’s festival will be The Mikele Buck Band. There will be other featured entertainment such as The Bluegrass Buddies, Cage and Ben Bullard and the N.C. State Clogging Team.
The top three winners from the BBQ Cook-off will have the opportunity to have their barbecue served first.
“It will all be good, but come early for the best barbecue,” Jackson added.
For families, Jackson said there will be plenty of fun activities, such as face painting and inflatable rides, offered for kids.
For anyone interested in registering for the hollerin’ contest, registration is available online now and will be open the day of the festival until 2 p.m.
“We’re really looking forward to it (the festival),” Jackson pointed out. “We’re very excited about this year’s events.”