- What is the Cotton Festival and why should we attend?
The Cotton Festival is Dunn, North Carolina’s annual celebration of the farmer and in particular the cotton farmer and their contributions as well as the cotton farming and harvesting heritage that plays an important role in the Dunn area. It is a time to put the spotlight on downtown Dunn, a growing and thriving area of commercial and retail development. It’s also a lot of fun for the whole family, from the little cotton blossom all the way to the big cotton bales.
- When is the festival?
The festival is held the first weekend in November. For 2016, the date is November 5th.
- Where is the festival?
Everything takes place in downtown Dunn. On Saturday, the event takes up more than 11 city blocks mainly on Broad Street, Wilson Avenue and Edgerton Street. Access to the festival from Interstate 95 is Exit 73 and follow US 421 into downtown.
- What kind of stuff is there to do downtown?
With two stages of entertainment featuring a variety of music, a classic car show featuring more than 100 cars, more than 100 vendors offering commercial products, food and crafts there should be something here for everyone’s taste! More downtown shopping from some of the most unique shops you can find will all add up to a great family outing! No admission is charged to get into the festival, but rides, food and crafts have a charge.
- If it is the Cotton Festival where is all the cotton?
November is peak season for cotton farmers and downtown Dunn was once known as the largest wagon cotton yard in the country. During the festival, the local cotton gin, that until recent years was located in downtown, offers free tours through the gin so that everyone can see cotton production up close and personal. Shuttles are offered from the festival site to the gin and back every half hour. Check in at the Information booths for tour time information.
- Who arranges this big festival?
The NC Cotton Festival falls under the operation of the Dunn Area Tourism Authority, headed by Sharon Stevens. She is assisted by a large group of volunteers who do everything from arrange for the entertainment to clean up afterwards. In addition, nearly every City Department plays an important role in the production of the festival. It’s a grand undertaking!
- How long has Dunn had the Cotton Festival?
The event started in 1998 and has grown each year since, last year attracting approximately 12,000 people.