Fall is still a few weeks away, but this weekend kicks off a bevy of events in Granville County designed to bring guests from near and far to enjoy everything from classic cars to beautiful glass pumpkins.
It all starts with Saturday’s Hot Sauce Contest, and Granville Tourism Director Angela Allen said the 15th annual event is sure to please. She listed numerous events that will be going on throughout September and October on Tuesday’s TownTalk program with host John C. Rose.
Visit https://visitgranvillenc.com/ to find out about events in the county.
Several bands are scheduled to perform throughout the daylong event, and there will be plenty of food and beverage vendors sprinkled along the streets of downtown Oxford, she said.
Of course, one of the main events is the pepper-eating contest, which will take place from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Winners of the hot sauce contest will be announced at 11:30 a.m. at the Overton Main Stage. Then, Allen said, there will be a special memorial to mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11. American flags are posted along the streets in Oxford already, she said, and after a moment of silence is observed to remember all those whose lives were lost in the terror attacks, local singer Jonathan Abbott will sing The Star-Spangled Banner.
“The cool part about the hot sauce festival,” Allen said, “is that there’s something for everyone.”
The classic car show will be on Little John Street between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., featuring vintage vehicles and souped-up, tricked out cars and trucks, she said. Children’s games and activities can be found along Williamsboro Street between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Vendors also will be selling their own hot sauces, and Allen said that she considers that to be one of the event’s biggest draws. “It’s just a really good foodie event,” she said. “People love that hot sauce.”
Check out all the details at nchotsaucecontest.com.
But Granville County events don’t stop with the Hot Sauce Contest, Allen said.
The Cedar Creek Gallery in Creedmoor has opened its pumpkin patch, she said. But these pumpkins aren’t grown on vines – they are made of glass and there are hundreds of them ready for purchase at the local art and pottery gallery.
Allen said there’s something for everyone, from traditional orange to beautiful blues and reds – a kaleidoscope of colors. Beginning on Oct. 1, about 100 limited-edition pumpkins will be available for purchase at the gallery or online. Glass blower Lisa Oakley, owner of the gallery, will sign, date and number each work.
Cedar Creek is open every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The pumpkin patch will be open through Nov. 7. And the gallery’s fall festival returns this year for the first two weekends in October, featuring live glass blowing and pottery demonstrations.
Events are planned for outside, she said, adding that face coverings and social distancing protocols will be observed inside the gallery.
“This is a really neat time to be surrounded by art and see how it’s made,” Allen said.
Visit cedarcreekgallery.com to learn more.
A short distance from Creedmoor is Butner and the annual Harvest Show, hosted by the Lord Granville Agricultural Harvest Association, will take place on Oct. 1 and 2 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This event will be held at the corner of 12th and G streets in Butner and will feature displays of antique farm equipment, a working blacksmith and farm shop, and something Allen called “tractor games.”
Daily admission is $5 or $8 for a two day pass.
Back in the northern part of the county, the 6th annual military history show at the Henderson-Oxford Airport will be held on Saturday, Oct. 23. Proceeds go to the local Veterans Affairs committee, which provides advocacy, resources and services to local military veterans.
In addition to various military displays of uniforms, equipment and vehicles, Allen said there will be helicopter rides and reenactors, in period gear representing soldiers from various wars that the U.S. has been involved in.
And if you’re not too tuckered out from all the activity, this year’s edition of the Granville Haunt Farm is a destination that is a must-see – or a must drive-through.
Grey Blackwell said this year’s theme conjures up images from horror movies. “You’ll get to drive through their version of a gigantic movie screen,” Allen said, “as it comes to life on the other side.”
It’s a total drive-through event again this year, and there will be timed ticketing as well, eliminating long lines and traffic jams during the times that the haunt farm is in operation.
Beginning Friday, Oct. 1, the haunt farm will be open each Friday and Saturday in October.
Visit Granvillehauntfarm.com to learn more.