The North Carolina




Visitor Center

Welcome to the North Carolina Visitor Center

From the mountains to the coast and all points in between

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Our I-95 South Welcome Center
will have their Tourism Day on May 12, 2017 from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm.  We will have Native Dancers, drumming/singing, Herman and Loretta Oxendine, representatives from the counties on I-95 CVB’s and VB’s, our Piedmont area and our Coastal area….all will be here to thank our travelers for visiting North to everyone.

Kat Littleturtle

Manager, Welcome Center I-95

North Carolina Department of Commerce


May 13, 2017

Started in 1988, the Carthage Buggy Festival is a celebration of the rich history of Carthage, North Carolina.  The Buggy Festival is held each year to commemorate the famous Tyson and Jones Buggy Factory that, from the mid-1800’s to the 1920’s, produced the carriages that were essential to life in rural North Carolina.  The festival is held in Carthage, located eight miles north of Pinehurst in the Sandhills region of North Carolina.  With an attendance last year of approximately 20,000, the Buggy Festival has grown into one of the biggest and best known festivals in the region.  The festival was selected as one of Southeast Tourism Society's Top 20 events for the month of May 2013.

The Buggy Festival grew out of a suggestion that Carthage, the County Seat of Moore County, needed to stage an event that would draw attention to its history.  Since the Tyson and Jones Buggy Factory had been one of the largest buggy manufacturers in the nation for over half a century, the focus on buggies seemed natural.  But you couldn’t have a buggy festival without a buggy, so where to find them became a burning question.

A search began and soon samples of those early modes of transportation were found and purchased.  Each festival since has seen more Tyson and Jones buggies on hand for festival attendees to view.

There is only one building remaining of the famed factory that flourished in Carthage until after World War I.  A fire destroyed one building in 1905, and in 1976 the biggest fire in the town’s history claimed all but one small section.  The town now owns the building and is working on raising money to restore the historic site.

The Tyson and Jones Factory may have gone up in smoke, but from the ashes, its memory has been preserved.  Each year, the Carthage Buggy Festival is an event people not only from Moore County, but surrounding counties and even surrounding states, look forward to with great anticipation.

The festival is held on the Saturday before Mother’s Day every year and over 125 food and craft vendors line the streets of downtown Carthage surrounding the Historic Courthouse, tempting festival attendees.  A stage is set up and will be host to entertainment from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Read More


Wesley Pines Retirement Community is celebrating their 40 year anniversary of service!  Join the area’s only Continuing Care Retirement Community in celebrating this momentous occasion at Shaggin’ Under the Pines on Friday, May 19th from 7 to 9 p.m.  Refreshments will be served and music will be provided by the Goldrush Band.  To learn more about this event please contact Amy Hammond at 910-272-3006 or email her at


The N.C. Peach Festival is a testament to the peach growing history of Montgomery County. We have a strong generational connection to the peach industry dating back over 100 years. It all began in the late 1800's when "Mr. H.R. Clark of Aberdeen, along with J.G. Tomlinson, A.W.E. Capel, and J.R. Page (prominent Montgomery County citizens), formed the Candor Fruit Company. An organization that was the first of its kind and would support peach growing on a commercial scale. In 1902, Mr. Clark purchased acreage below Candor and set out 30,000 young peach trees to start the first commercial peach orchard. From that point on, the peach industry thrived in the Candor and Sandhills region of North Carolina." - From the book "Pattern of Timeless Moments" A History of Montgomery County, by Mable S. Lassiter.

Join us for the 21st annual N.C. Peach Festival proudly held every year on the 3rd Saturday in July, downtown Candor, NC. The parade begins at 10:00 a.m. with a wonderful showing of local floats, firetrucks, and other fun parade entrants. Afterwards, stroll down to Fitzgerald Park where the rest of the festivities are located. Bring your lawn chairs, sit back, relax, and enjoy the best live entertainment around. There are always lots of fresh, sweet, local peaches, arts & crafts, and of course, the best homemade peach ice cream in the Great State of North Carolina!

Grown-ups and kids alike, can enjoy an abundance of vendors and activities including: Bounce Houses, Petting Zoo, Camel Rides, Gyro Ride, Mechanical Bull, Gaming Trailer, Bungee Trampoline, Pony Rides, Helicopter Rides, Rock Wall, Putt-Putt, and so much more!!!

This year, the N.C. Peach Festival will feature an awesome line-up of live entertainment including: Jim Quick & Coastline, The Sand Band, Rockin' Acoustix, and the McKenzie Brothers. We look forward to seeing you on SATURDAY, JULY 15TH, 2017 FROM 10:00AM - 4:00PM!

We are excited to be planning our 7th Annual Peachy Feet 5K, which always takes place on the Friday evening before the N.C. Peach Festival. Join us this year in Fitzgerald Park on Friday, July 14, 2017. Our course is certified, mostly flat, and presents a significant challenge for any level runner or walker. The Race Director is Ms. Tammy Owens, and you may contact her at or call (910)975-1397.

-N.C. Peach Festival Committee


North Carolina Historic Site
Historic Stagville

Comprises the remains of North Carolina's largest pre-Civil War plantation and one of the South's largest. It once belonged to the Bennehan-Cameron family, whose combined holdings totaled approximately 900 slaves and almost 30,000 acres by 1860. Today, Stagville consists of 71 acres, on three tracts. On this land stand the late 18th-century Bennehan House, four rare slave houses, a pre-Revolutionary War farmer's house, a huge timber framed barn built by skilled slave craftsmen, and the Bennehan Family cemetery.


Strike at the Wind! will be performed on stage in GPAC on June 23 and 24 for the first time in a decade. The Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina has partnered with UNC Pembroke to revive the drama that tells the local story of the Lowrie War in 1865.

The play will be directed by Dr. Jonathan Drahos and will cast between 20 - 30 local actors. A list of the cast will be announced soon.
Tickets are $25 advance and $30 at the door and can be purchased:
  • In person at the box office, M - F between 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • By calling 910.521.6361.
  • Online at


A Gathering at the McNair Monument set for May 13
By Paul Terry

A celebration of the McNair Clan and the continuing legacy of that Robeson County family, greetings in the Gaelic language from a Scotsman, bagpipe music, genealogy and all things Scottish will take place at an outdoor event on Saturday, May 13 beginning at 2 p.m. The program, which is open to anyone interested in local history and preservation of the unique, stone, McNair Family monument, will take place around the monument in a small, recently cleared cemetery in Rennert.

The program is being coordinated by Tommy Hall, a St. Pauls native and member of St. Pauls Presbyterain Church, which Duncan McNair helped organize in 1799 and of which he was the first Ruling Elder. The church eventually lent its name to the St. Pauls community, which grew around it.
The program will be informal, and will include an opening prayer from SP Presbyterian Church pastor Rev. P. J. Southam.

The greetings in Gaelic will be delivered by Rev. Jack Morgan. He will then present a discussion of the two Scottish flags, that of St. Andrews Cross and the Lion Rampant.

The piper for the event, Peter McArthur, will also speak on the history of the bagpipes.

A St. Pauls native and historian, Blake Tyner, will offer an overview of the history of the McNair family.

Attendees will be encouraged to ask questions of the panel of speakers. Refereshments will be served.

The event hopes to enlighten the people of the area about the distinguished McNair family, its contributions to social and political life here, as well as in South Carolina, where a descendant served as Governor, and to help ensure the preservation and protection of the tall, granite monument that has stood in a quiet clearing near the intersection of Great Marsh and Covington Farm roads for almost 100 years.


NC Spotlight:

Doug Wallin

Ballad singer and musician

Madison County, NC

Born in 1919 and raised deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Madison County, Doug Wallin sang time-honored ballads, hymns, and love songs in the style and tradition of his ancestors. He performed with a natural artistry and a reverence for the meaning and heritage of the old songs.

Wallin learned much of his seemingly limitless repertoire from his mother Berzilla, and from other close relatives. Many of his most cherished ballads, such as "The House Carpenter" and "Barbara Allen," originated in the British Isles and were brought to America with the first settlers.

Wallin lived in the Laurel Country, an area visited by English ballad collector Cecil Sharp nearly a century ago. Sharp was astonished to find "a community in which singing was as common and almost as universal a practice as speaking." At the time of his visit, folk balladry had all but disappeared in England. Sharp documented numerous ballads from Doug's relatives, several of which appear in his famous published collection English Folksongs of the Southern Appalachians.

Instrumental music was also valued in the Wallin family. Doug's father, Lee, was a banjo player and his brother Jack played the banjo and guitar. And although singing was his special gift, Doug played the fiddle quite well.

Doug Wallin stayed close to home most of his life, farming the family land. He rarely traveled from Madison County, but occasionally ventured out to share his singing with audiences at Western Carolina University, Mars Hill College, and Berea College. He also performed at the Festival of American Folklife, sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution, and the British American Festival, held in Durham in 1984. Doug Wallin was a 1989 recipient of the North Carolina Heritage Award.

Read More at:

Listen to Doug Wallin on YouTube:

Spring returning to Chimney Tops by Bob Carr
May's News from the Mountains
Dear NC Visitors Center Calendar of Events,  

Well, you know what they say about April showers and we've had our share here in the Smokies. Now time for some May flowers! Did you know on a given spring day, more than 1 million wildflowers bloom in GSMNP? It's certainly feeling more and more like spring here as the green keeps creeping up the mountains, an especially welcome hue in the areas recovering from this winter's fires.

Along with new wildflowers, this May seems to bringing good news with it! Read more below about an exciting project with the University of Tennessee, an amazing Smokies Strong gift, and lots of great events coming up.

We hope you can make it to the Smokies this spring!

Thank you for being a Friend,
Brent McDaniel
Director of Marketing
Friends of the Smokies

From Jim Matheny, WBIR
At the University of Tennessee, six graduating seniors are building a big graduation present. That is, they have to build the gift to graduate. When the gift is complete, the best thing about it will be the box. UT's Tickle College of Engineering is using the students' final senior design project to build an improved outdoor donation box for Friends of the Smokies.

"We've got the material science department, the mechanical engineering department, and the civil engineering department working together," said Jesse Johnson.  "It's been a challenge just coordinating everything with our schedules because it's a group that might not naturally be in the same classrooms, but it has been fun."

Friends of the Smokies has six outdoor donation boxes in the Great Smoky Mountains.  
Theft is rarely successful because the boxes are incredibly strong and workers collect the donations frequently.

The bigger problem is when a would-be thief tries to break in, the damage to the box itself costs FOTS a sizable chunk of change. Each existing box is a custom one-of-a-kind unit, so replacement parts are difficult to obtain and expensive.  Damaged boxes are usually replaced entirely and cost several thousand dollars, paid for separately by FOTS and not from donations. The box designed by the students at UT will set a new standard for donation boxes and be theft- and vandal-resistant.

When the new box is complete, the graduation gift will ultimately keep giving by keeping the gifts from visitors safe. Read more from WBIR.


Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park
800-845-5665 |


PO Box 1660
Kodak, TN 37764


160 S Main Street

Waynesville, NC 28786



Some of North Carolina’s greatest treasures can be found off the beaten path. You never know what you might find... an old-time general store, local artisan, or simply a picturesque view that takes your breath away. You’ll be swept away by the untouched natural landscape found on the backroads of this rural county.

In Anson County, you can discover all that and more. Come. Visit. Surround yourself with the beauty of North Carolina’s best kept secret.



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