Fayetteville/Fort Bragg/ Sandhills NC

VOL6 ISS2 2016

Issue link: http://emagazine.relocationguide.biz/i/713604

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Page 53 of 99

THE ORIGINAL RELOCATION GUIDE — FAYETTEVILLE | FORT BRAGG | SANDHILLS REGION VOLUME 6 — ISSUE 2 52 HOKE COUNTY HOKE COUNTY Folks like "talking turkey" in Hoke County. Melissa Pittman, executive director of the North Carolina Fall Festival couldn't be happier about it. For 30 years, the popular North Carolina Poultry Festival (formerly the North Carolina Turkey Festival) has been a signature event in the county. The festival that highlighted turkey and poultry is now known as The North Carolina Fall Festival. "Though our grand "Lady Bird" will continue to be in our logo design, the name change from "Turkey to Poultry to Fall" is to be more inclusive for all businesses in Hoke County not just the poultry industry," said Pittman. "By using the name 'Fall Festival' we are supporting our schools which go back to school in the fall; our poultry industries which of course have their largest sales in the fall/winter; the military with its many soldiers in the 82nd who 'fall' out of perfectly good planes; the airport in Raeford which hosts many free fall events and training throughout the year, and our hospitals who treat many "falls" throughout the year," Pittman explained. The festival that Pittman oversees with the help of volunteers is not a small venture. In September, between 35,000 to 40,000 turn up in Raeford for food, live music, art and seeing old friends. Lines form early for turkey legs, chicken wings and other foods. The week- long event includes a state-wide turkey cooking contest, a "Stuffin' and Stompin'" turkey dinner and Turkey Bowl football game. Started in 2012, the Hoke BBQ Fest and Carnival is five-day event that some compare to a small scale North Carolina State Fair. Fun is had by all with fair foods such BY LYNNE BRANDON as barbecue and funnel cake, carnival rides and karaoke. Helicopter rides are a highlight. The county is equally known for its equestrian events that bring in locals and spectators from across the country. The prestigious Carolina International CIC3*& Horse Trials were held here in March for the equestrian competition. New course designer, Ian Stark, brings a wealth of experience having designed renowned tracks both in Europe and the United States at the CCI3* and CIC3* levels. More than 400 horses and riders attended the CIC event, competing for $75,000 in prize money. The four- day event is also a selection trial from which the U.S. Olympic Equestrian team is chosen, and with 2016 being an Olympic year the event included stellar competition. Elements of the courses are built by some of the same men building the Olympic course in Rio de Janeiro for the games in August. The 65th running of the Sandhills most anticipated spring event, the Stoneybrook Steeplechase, occurred in April. Each year nearly 10,000 people come to the steeplechase to watch nationally acclaimed horses, jockeys and trainers vie for more than $75,000 in purse money. The Carolina Horse Park is the permanent home of the race as well as the site for other nationally recognized equestrian competitions throughout the year. A rich history also sets the small county apart. See the monument dedicated "to the American soldier" on the battlefield at Monroe's Crossroads, The Raeford-Hoke Museum and the historic Parker-Ray house, the former home of Willa Ray, daughter of W.G. Ray, one of the first licensed doctors in North Carolina. A remnant of war times resides in the form of a rescued and restored piano at the Mill Prong house. Nature lovers have miles of trail access to Calloway Forest Preserve, a protected space of 3,288 acres of fire-maintained, longleaf pines. Once on the brink of extinction, the pines are making a comeback thanks to the stewardship of Nature Conservancy. Hunting is allowed and wildlife lovers can see variety of bird species including the protected red-cockaded woodpecker. Thrill seekers can experience flying at the indoor wind tunnel at Paraclete XP Skyventure. The skydiving business offers parachute training for members of the military, and allows civilians to experience the rush of actual flying. Paraclete hosted the 2015 Indoor Skydiving Championship and the USPA National Parachuting Championships. [] festivals, equestrians, longleaf pines

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