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Kinston BBQ Festival

Kinston BBQ Festival

The BBQ Neuse Fest is a festival that takes place every year in May. In the Lenoir County of Kinston, North Carolina. Where locals and visitors can come and celebrate good food, art, music, wine, and beer. With musical guests and a nice park for family and friends to come together and enjoy themselves. By either dancing, enjoying food or drinks, or some of the rides they have there. This festival is also used as an opportunity for other businesses to expand and sponsor BBQ cook teams in a cook-out competition, to help expand their brand to the festival-goers.

Either you're here to eat amazing food or enjoy good wine, or just dance to great music, even spend time with the family for a weekend getaway. The Kinston BBQ Festival is the place to be and you shouldn't miss it during your visit to North Carolina. 

Kinston, North Carolina

A city in the Lenoir County of North Carolina, with a small population of twenty-thousand people according to the 2010 census. Kinston has been the county seat of Lenoir County since it was founded in 1791. In the year 2009, Kinston won the All-America City award, making it the second time in two decades that it won the title.

The Festival

The festival known to many as the BBQ Fest on the Neuse is held every year in May. With its 40th annual recently coming and going. You can catch the next one around the same time next year. But if you’re wondering what you can do at the festival, we have you covered.


By going to the website, you’ll find that this festival is a two-day event that starts at five o’clock. Unless you’re a volunteer and/or vendor, then the set-up/arrival starts around eight in the morning.

However, you’ll find a hefty list of things to do. Just a heads up, each activity is on a certain street and is called a staging area.

Heritage Street Stage Area

In this area, you’ll find a few vendor's markets and a wine and beer garden for all the beer and wine lovers. You can also have a view of the classic car from 1990 or older (sorry 91, maybe next year). With special shopping and dining events.

If you’re up to watching a little competition, you’ll also find the Wil King Hog happenin’ cook-off competition taking place later in the evening, and there you can meet the team and its sponsors. Lastly, a band will play on stage to end the night.

Also, the festival has a special musical guest appear each year. This year it was Brooke McBride who is a native of the state of North Carolina. If you love country music, then you may have heard one of her songs called “It’s A Little Too Late.” If not, just click on this link and you can watch a live performance.

Pearson Park Stage Area

This park is nothing more but a fun zone for dance parties and vendors to sell the products to the crowd that’s there. So, if you’re looking to have a little more fun for a few hours, Pearson Park is the place to be.

Blount Street Area

If you’re an art lover as much as you are a BBQ lover. Then you can find a community council for the arts and buy paintings between the times of  10 am to 6 pm.  From 1 pm to 5 pm, you can visit the smART Gallery located at 210 N Queen Street.

Sponsoring A Team

If you have a business that will benefit from the BBQ festival, then don’t waste this opportunity to sponsor a cookout team. By doing so, you have the chance to increase your company’s brand by exposing it to such a large crowd. You can even expand the amazing experience that people are already enjoying.

By doing so, you are handed free tickets to the festival, Id signs, and recognition on the Neuse website.  Along with a stage introduction and recognition.

Registration for Vendors and Winery & Brewery

If you want to participate in the festival as a vendor. There are a few things you must know. The first is that the fee for spacing starts at seventy-five (75) dollars. Next, if you missed the initial deadline, there will be an additional fifty (50) dollar fee. After that, you’ll have to send a photo of your complete set-up so they can know where to place you. Electricity and water are on a first come first serve basis.

For Wineries and Brewers, spacing starts at $150 and the same late fee applies here. Water and electricity are also on a first come first serve basis.  Lastly, a photo must be sent to complete your application. Also, overnight security is provided for both groups.

Becoming A Volunteer

If you want to be a volunteer for this festival, use this link to fill out the form to be part of the fun.

Support towards other festivals.

The Neuse Fest also shows its support to other festivals in North Carolina, such as the Wings of Wayne, Pink Hill Rose Fest, and NC pickle Festival.


The people are raving about the festival and most say that they had a blast while there. With great food, music, and fun for the family. Some even enjoyed some of the rides that were there as well.  Most importantly, people love the vendors and have said if you’re visiting the state, you shouldn’t miss this festival.

This place is for Publicity

This place is for Publicity

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