I was eagerly waiting to attend the first Sunflower Festival in Chocowinity, organized by Raised in a Barn Farm team and wanted to go for it on Saturday, September 3rd. However, the Hurricane Hermine which hit NC on late Friday and Saturday underpinned my hopes. I was delighted though that the event was scheduled for Monday, September 5th the Labor Day and my husband and I were determined to attend the festival.
As I entered the Raised in a Barn Farm, I noticed a field full of sunflowers that had drooped and fallen to the ground due to the storm, but the spirits of the team and the owners were still soaring high. They braved the storm, and continued the festival with the sunflowers patches that were gaily dancing in the wind, looking cheerful and bright.
A gentle horse greeted me as I entered the grounds daughter squealed in delight as the horse nuzzled against her arms. The hens and chickens on the right were clucking and welcoming us too. I started by taking a tour of the patches of sunflowers, capturing with glory, the honey bees and butterflies pollinating the flowers.
I headed next inside the grounds where there were few arts and crafts stalls, a music platform and some fun activities for children. The owner mentioned that many of the vendors had backed out due to the storm, but it was great to see the support of the existing vendors who displayed their wooden crafts, decorative pillows, hand-made soaps, jewelry and bracelets etc.
The music arena attracted a lot of people and I saw people eating their food, sipping their drinks and enjoying the band. There were few children dancing to the tune of the music too.
The children (and big ones alike) were having lots of fun at the play area. The booth owners gave multiple chances to children to take a go at the lucky duck, hitting the frog, throwing a ball at the basket, climbing a bouncy house etc. The kids enjoyed the prizes – little stars, cuddly toys, rubber ducks, stamps, pencils and notepad, coloring pads etc. Some kids also had fun at the face painting counter and enjoyed the free treats that a volunteer was handing around.
I almost missed mentioning this – but I really enjoyed picking the fresh bright sunflowers right from the field at $1 per piece. Nothing was more exciting than going around the field, picking your own flowers, making your own bouquet and visualizing it on your very own vase back at home 🙂. Beware of the caterpillars though, they exist in abundance in some of the stems and are cozily hidden among the flowers or the leaves.
And yes, my husband and I were excited about the hot air balloon tethered ride, but that was scheduled a little late in the evening due to the wind forecast, and we had to drive around 2 hours back home, so we missed it. We will come back for it next year 🙂
Overall, a great event despite the downside of the storm. I wish they come back with a bigger bang next year. I look forward to attend the festival. Adieu.
2017 Sunflower Festival NC Schedule: June 23, 12 noon until 10pm, June 24, 10 am until 11 pm and June 25, 10 am until 7 pm.
Chocowinity is a two hour drive from Raleigh-Durham. Do not forget to take your hats, sunglasses, sunscreen and coolers as it will be pretty hot during the day in the open fields. No outside food is allowed. For further information, check out their official link: http://www.raisedinabarnfarm.com/