North Carolina Rice Festival has a new home

LELAND, NC (WWAY) — The North Carolina Rice Festival now has a new home in Leland. For the last three years, the annual event has been held in Belville at the Brunswick Riverwalk.

The Leland Tourism Development Authority announced they recently purchased the name, logo, and intellectual property of the festival from the estate of WC Lanier.

Lanier was the former festival owner and promoter who in 2014 had a vision for a rice festival in this area of North Carolina. He died on May 15.

“Our goal is to host a festival that is fun, with great food and entertainment, while also providing a historical and cultural experience,” said Jackie Harlow, Tourism & Marketing Coordinator for the Town of Leland/Leland TDA. “We would like to educate attendees about the history of rice cultivation in the region and the story of the people, including the Gullah Geechee, who grew the rice and developed a unique, vibrant culture which we hope to celebrate together.”

The festival’s new direction will expand events from one day to three, change venues, and move to a new date.

The NC Rice Festival will now take place the first weekend in March, beginning in 2019.  Festivities will begin with an opening reception on Friday, March 1, 2019 at the Leland Cultural Arts Center, continue with day-long festival activities in Leland Municipal Park and Town Hall on Saturday, March 2, 2019 and will conclude with area community events on Sunday, March 3, 2019.

“The North Carolina Rice Festival is the type of destination event the Leland TDA has been looking for,” said Michael Callahan, Leland TDA Board Chair. “It’s an opportunity to draw tourists, build community relations, and explore the history of Leland and the surrounding area, with the potential to grow into a large-scale event in the future. We’re excited to promote the NC Rice Festival and share the heritage and culture unique to this part of Southeastern North Carolina.”

Categories: Brunswick, Community, Local