Farmers Day starts this Saturday in China Grove

Published 12:10 am Thursday, July 16, 2015

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correctly reflect the schedule of events.

By Josh Bergeron

CHINA GROVE — China Grove’s largest annual event takes place this weekend with a full lineup of performers, attractions and vendors.

The 33rd annual Farmers Day Festival will be Saturday, starting at 9 a.m. with an opening ceremony on the festival’s main stage. A number of performers will follow, and the day wraps up with a fireworks show at 10 p.m.

The main stage, which will also be the site of fireworks, will be at the intersection of South Main Street and Patterson Street. Food vendors, a mechanical bull and other activities will be across the street, in front of the China Grove Family House Restaurant. Vendors will line Main Street. A children’s stage will be at the intersection of Centerview Street and Main Street. Hannah Park will also have a stage with a number of bands scheduled to play.

Because of Farmers Day, Main Street will be closed from Church Street to Patterson Street. The town of China Grove suggests using Franklin Street for festival traffic and China Grove residents. U.S. Highway 29 is the suggested route for traffic going around China Grove.

There are no specifically designated parking areas for festival goers. Visitors can park on public streets where it is allowed.

Dogs and pets will not be allowed at the event.

Farmers Day, which began in 1982, annually attracts thousands to downtown China Grove. When it was initially created, the festival was intended to honor local farmers by inviting them to sell produce. The tradition continues 33 years later.

China Grove Mayor Don Bringle said Farmers Day has grown to become an important tradition for the town. Bringle estimated 20,000 to 25,000 people attend the festival every year, and said he hopes Farmers Day can continue for another 33 years.

As a part of the festival, a farmers market will be set up in front of the China Grove Roller Mill. A dunking booth will be adjacent to the China Grove Town Hall. The booth has a long lineup of police officers and South Rowan High School coaches scheduled to be dunked.

The scheduled events for the festival’s main stage include:

• An opening ceremony at 9 a.m.

The ceremony will include a welcome from Bringle, an invocation, the presentation of colors by South Rowan High School’s color guard, national anthem, Pledge of Allegiance and performance by South Rowan High School’s JROTC Demonstration Team.

• The Reformers Quartet will play at 10 a.m.

• The Chris Marks Band will play at 11:30 a.m.

• Swashtones will play at 2 p.m.

• The Y Service Club Raffle Drawing will be at 5:45

• The Center Stange Dance Company will perform at 6:45 p.m.

• Darrell Harwood will perform at 7 p.m.

• Fireworks will be at 10 p.m.

The schedule of events for the Hannah Park Stage will include:

• The Cross-Ties Band will play at 9:30 a.m.

• The Little Mr. and Miss Farmers Day Contest will start at 10:30 a.m.

• The Center Stage Dance Company will perform at 11 a.m.

• Keith Dudley will play at noon.

• Southern Style Cloggers will perform at 12:30 p.m.

• Diamond Shaped Daylight will play at 1 p.m.

• Exit 54 will play at 2:30 p.m.

The children’s stage will have a magicians and children’s show at 10:30 a.m., noon and 1 p.m.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.