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Carthage Buggy Festival


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.

Children of all ages, come join the fun FREE OF CHARGE in the kids area.  New rides this year include the Super Atomic Rush, Jungle Playland, the Big Top and the Foam Pit.  Come prepared to get wet in the Foam Pit!  The Scrap Exchange will return with their fantastic, wacky collection of fun stuff to let your imagination run wild.  Take a turn to jump as high as you can on the bungee trampoline or experience a simulated fire and learn how to protect yourself in the Fire Safety Trailer.  

An impressive display of buggies and historic tractors can be found along with one of the largest classic car shows in the area.  

Ms./Mr.  Buggy Festival winners, nominated by the children at Carthage Elementary School, are crowned on Saturday during the festivities.  Awards are also given for the King and Queen of Pinelake Nursing Home and Tara Plantation Retirement Home.

Most impressive of all, the Carthage Buggy Festival is planned, publicized and staffed each year by a group of dedicated volunteers, including local leaders, business people, and citizens.  

To truly appreciate what the Buggy Festival means to the community and to visitors, it has to be seen firsthand.  Only then can you see the historic buggies, classic cars, and exquisite arts, crafts and antiques; hear the sounds of bands playing; smell the aromas from the food vendors and experience the joy and pride of an entire community celebrating its heritage.  This is the essence of the Carthage Buggy Festival.

Each year the Buggy Festival Committee saves only enough “seed money” to get next year’s festival started.  The balance of any money raised goes back into the community.

For more information or to obtain a vendor application, please visit our website at

Communities in Schools of Moore County will be hosting their fourth annual Run for the Buddies race that will begin and end at New Century Middle School located at 1577 Union Church Road in Cameron. Registration opens at 7:00 a.m. The Fun Run starts at 8:00 a.m. and the fee is $15.00. The 5K begins at 8:30 a.m. and the fee is $25.00.  Register by downloading the form at, online at or onsite the day of the race.  For more information contact Enjoli Reed at or 910-295-1072.  Come and enjoy the Buggy Festival after the race!

The Friends of the Library will hold their Big Buggy Fest Book Sale Thursday, May 11 - Saturday, May 13 at the library located at 101 Saunders Street.  Browse for book bargains while enjoying the day at the festival!  For more information contact the library at 910-947-5335.