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Zucchini 500 has produce going fast at the N.C. Research Campus Farmers Market

KANNAPOLIS ó Children, start your imaginations.
The first-ever “Zucchini 500” will take place June 25 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the N.C. Research Campus Farmers Market in Kannapolis.
Children of all ages can create a race car with a zucchini ó think soapbox derby ó and compete for prizes in five categories, including a NASCAR Theme and Most Nutritious.
Bobby Waltrip, of the legendary Waltrip racing family, will be on hand to call the races.
Kids can put the produce to the metal by racing their cars down the 16-foot-long track, or they can vie for prizes based on craftsmanship. Participants will be divided into two age groups: Nine and under and 10 and up.
“It’s OK to ‘play with your food’ at the Zucchini 500,” said Leah Chester-Davis, coordinator of communications and community outreach for the N.C. State University Program for Value-Added & Alternative Agriculture.
N.C. State and the N.C. Cooperative Extension staff will host the event. The farmers market is located at 201 West Ave.
“We want to get more children involved in agriculture and educate them on the importance of this industry to North Carolina and to our health,” Chester-Davis said. “We hope families will come out to enjoy the event and meet the farmers.”
Scientists at the David H. Murdock Research Institute on the Research Campus are getting in on the fun as well, creating “advanced” zucchini cars for show, said Phyllis Beaver, marketing director for Castle & Cooke North Carolina, campus developer.
“There’s no age limit to living healthy and having fun,” Beaver said. “The Zucchini 500 is a great opportunity for the community to meet the scientists on campus, see some hi-tech zucchini cars and enjoy local foods.”
Each child that participates will receive a free sundae from Bruster’s Ice Cream. Winners can receive prizes including a 3-month family membership from the Cannon Memorial YMCA and tickets to the Summer Shootout Series from Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
Other event partners include 4-H of Cabarrus County and Girl Scouts Hornets’ Nest Council in Charlotte.
The Research Campus Farmers Market is open from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursdays.

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