I was hired by the Mount Olive Pickle Company in April to photograph the 2019 Pickle Festival in downtown Mount Olive, North Carolina. This was my fourth year photographing this event. I received a list of events that I needed to cover and I was on my way! It was really fun walking around meeting new people and photographing them having a good time! There was some rain on both Friday and Saturday during the events, but that did not turn the crowds away. The mayor of Mount Olive started the festival off with the eating of the first pickle.
There were several very talented bands and musical acts on two different stages. There was an Eagles tribute band and a Beatles tribute band as well as several rock and country music bands. Every year they also have a praise music stage with numerous bands performing.
A couple of my favorite events were the pickle eating contest and the BMX bicycle ramp jumpers. The pickle eating contest was held in front of massive crowds and had about a dozen participants. The winner of the pickle eating contest ate almost 7 full size dill pickles in a few minutes time! They had an overall winner and winners based on gender. The BMX bicycle ramp jumpers flew through the air performing flips and twists that you just don't see everyday! A few sprinkles here and there had them delay their acts because the ramps they were jumping off of were getting too slippery to land on.
The Mount Olive Pickle company is great because they have a booth where they hand out free samples to everyone. They have a variety of flavors! The booth is constantly packed with people as they eat their free sample and get their pictures taken with the mascot, Ollie the Cucumber.
Some of the more interesting things to see at the festival are the food ninja, who carves amazing sculptures out of fruits and vegetables as well as a man who makes hats out of balloons. There were also two different magicians at the festival. Every year they have a car show where you see everything from old Volkswagen Beatles to Corvettes and custom hotrods.
There is also plenty of great food at the festival! I always make it a point to try different types of food at the booths! You have to love the smell of food at festivals!
The Pickle Festival is family friendly place with rides for the kids. Children of all ages enjoy the rides such as slides, merry go rounds and the pickle train that runs all day long.