Buggy Festival Promises Fun for the Whole Family
By Martha J. Henderson
Special Sections Editor
The Carthage Buggy Festival was started in 1988 as a celebration of the rich history of Carthage.
It commemorates the famous Tyson and Jones Buggy Factory that produced the carriages that were essential to life in rural North Carolina from the mid-1800s to the 1920s.
One of the biggest and best-known festivals in the region, the Carthage Buggy Festival attracts thousands of visitors to the Moore County seat every year.
Buggy Festival Committee members invite you to bring the whole family out to experience the joy and pride of an entire community celebrating its heritage.
With the 24th annual festival set for Friday, May 11, and Saturday, May 12, organizers have done everything they can to ensure that festival-goers of all ages will have plenty of activities and entertainment to fill their day with fun.
Festival Kickoff Event
On Friday, May 11, the Carthage Buggy Festival fun gets under way at Nancy Kiser Park.
From 6 to 9 p.m., the park will be filled with a display of antique firetrucks, a cruise-in of classic cars, live music provided by the Crawley Creek Company and grilled burgers and hot dogs.
The Carthage Firefighters Association has invited departments from all over to bring their antique firetrucks to be part of the show. Carthage's own antique firetrucks, a 1945 Seagrave fire engine and a 1932 Chevrolet fire engine, will be on display.
Classic car buffs can get a -preview of Saturday's car show as members of the Sandhills Classic Street Rod Association display their vehicles at the park on Friday evening.
The Crawley Creek Company will be performing its combination of country, modern and gospel, mixed up with a bluegrass sound from 6 to 9 p.m.
The Carthage Historical Museum, including Tyson's Kitchen, will be open to -festival-goers from 5 to 9 p.m-. The Carthage Garden Club will be holding a fundraising bake sale inside Tyson's Kitchen during the evening.
As always, the Carthage Firefighters Association will have hamburgers and hot dogs available for sale.
Buggy Festival fun and festivities start bright and early on Saturday, May 12, with the presentation of colors by the Marine Corps drill team at 9 a.m.
The Union Pines High School Band will then play the national anthem.
After opening remarks by local dignitaries and members of the Carthage Buggy Festival Committee, the band will perform several more numbers.
The Rev. Eugene Ussery will once again serve as master of ceremonies for the event.
A number of daylong festival activities also get started at 9 a.m., including the Benefit Classic Car and Truck Show and the children's activity area. More than 120 crafts and food vendors also will open for business.
Sponsored by the Sandhills Classic Street Rod Association, the Benefit Classic Car and Truck Show is for 1977 and older American-made vehicles only. More than 150 cars will be on display. Awards will be presented at 2:30 p.m.
Children of all ages can play from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the children's activity area free of charge. Amusements include Tubs of Fun, the Frog Hopper, swings, a super slide, train ride, bungee jump and much more. And, best of all, everything is free.
Food and crafts vendors will be offering a wide variety of goods at booths lining the festival area. Whether you fancy a funnel cake, ice cream, hamburgers or kettle corn, you are sure to find something to satisfy your taste buds. You'll also find plenty of opportunities for shopping at the more than 100 vendors who are offering everything from -homemade dog treats and hand-thrown pottery to tie-died clothing, floral arrangements and garden flags.
At noon, the crowning of Ms. Buggy Festival and Mr. and Mrs. Tara Plantation and Pinelake will take place on the Buggy Festival stage.
Festival-goers should watch the skies above historic downtown Carthage around noon. Plans are to have a airplane flyover around -mid-day, compliments of Gilliam-McConnell Airfield.
And, what's a buggy festival -without buggies? Throughout the day Saturday, more than two dozen buggies will be on display around the courthouse square. These buggies will include a few Tyson and Jones buggies, a doctor's buggy and several built by Amish communities.
A number of vintage tractors, all makes and models, will be on display on McReynolds Street during the festival.
The Fayetteville Model A Club will return to the Buggy Festival this year, bringing a selection of Model A cars and trucks for display. Don't miss these -vintage automobiles, which will be parked on Martin Street.
Every year, Buggy Festival organizers bring an exciting -lineup of musical -entertainers to its stage, including -cloggers and bands playing gospel, -country and bluegrass music.
Taking the stage first at 10 a.m. will be the Deep River Bluegrass Band playing traditional bluegrass with a twist as well as some country. The band comprises Jeff Medlin, James Hill, Teddy White, Ronnie Bailey, Harold Pickett and Jimmy Kennedy.
The Harvesters Quartet is returning to the Buggy Festival stage once again. Based out of Sanford, the group has been a gospel music staple since 1953. Phillip Hughes, Danny Parker, Allen Hunter, Jim Collins and G.W. Southard will perform at 11 a.m. and at 3 p.m.
At 12:30 p.m., the Quicksilver Cloggers, Aileen Garner, Lou Smith, Jane Drzewicki, Brenda Ritter, Jennifer Garner, Bonnie Hanham, Sarah Daffron and Pam Kennedy, will be kicking up their heels in a lively dance routine. Founded in 1996, the Quicksilver Cloggers dance to a variety of music genres, including bluegrass, country and pop.
Mitzi Brooks has been a longtime favorite for music lovers at the annual Buggy Festival. Brooks will bring her Southern gospel sound to the stage at 1 p.m.
The ninth annual Buggy Idol contest will be a fitting finale for the family-fun -festival as potential stars of all ages will sing their hearts out as they try to win over the judges and take home the top prize of being named the "Buggy Idol." The contest begins at 4:30 p.m.
For the safety and well-being of festival-goers, pets are not allowed at the festival or the car and truck show again this year. Service dogs are permitted.
Parking spaces for festival attendees are located on the streets and parking lots surrounding the Buggy Festival area. Handicap-accessible parking is available in the Fidelity Bank parking lot on Monroe Street with golf cart access to the festival provided by volunteers.
With all that the 24th annual Carthage Buggy Festival has to offer, Sparks says the best thing about the bustling, fun-filled family festival is that all the -activities are available free of charge to all.
Martha J. Henderson can be reached at (910) 693-2476 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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