2022 Schedule of Events
Festival Theme: “ Back to the Future”
“Welcome to our 51st Year of Celebrating Sweet Potatoes”
North Carolina Yam Festival Headquarters Days and Hours of Operation
Friday, October 14, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Monday, October 17 – Friday, October 21, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Yam Fest Saturday, October 22, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
The Tabor City Public Library, located at 101 East Fifth Street, is the official NC Yam Festival Headquarters especially during the months of September & October. They may assist you with Information, T-shirts, Souvenirs, Tickets, Parade & Vendor Applications, and more. Be sure to pick up a Free Yam Festival Coloring-Activity Book for your youngsters. Free Admission.
Click here to download a printable version of the event schedule and a map of the event locations.
Events Held Prior to Festival Month of October
Tuesday, May 24
- Spring Planting Day
School-aged children and teens learned how to plant sweet potato slips, how to care for the plants as their sweet potatoes grow, and how to harvest their crop. This event was held at the Yam Festival Office located at 103-D East Fifth Street.
Thursday, September 1
- Information Meeting for NC Yam Festival Pageant Contestants
Tabor City Visitor Center, 301 East Fifth Street, 5:15 -7:00 p.m.
Friday, September 16
- NC Yam Festival Pageant Application Deadline
Festival Events & Activities
Saturday, October 1
- North Carolina Yam Festival Scholarship Pageant
South Columbus High School, 40 Stallion Drive, Tabor City Baby Miss – Little Miss divisions, Pageant begins at 11:00 a.m. Junior Miss – Queen divisions, Pageant begins at 5:00 p.m. Admission Fee is $10 (includes program) or $15 for a wristband to enter both pageants (also includes program).
Saturday, October 8
- Entry deadline for the Poetry Contest
Open to grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, High School
Each work must be original and work may only be submitted by a teacher. All contest entrants must be a student in Columbus County. Any length of poem will be accepted. For more information, please call Committee Chair, Kelly Jones at 910-642-5168 extension 24007.
Friday, October 14
- Accepting Entries for the Sweet Potato Quality Contest
Youth & Adult Entries may be dropped off at the Tabor City Public Library, 101 East Fifth Street from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
Monday, October 17
- Sweet Potato Quality Contest
Location is the Tabor City Public Library, 101 East Fifth Street. Youth & Adult Entries will be accepted until 8:30 a.m. Judging begins promptly at 9:00 a.m. Winners will be announced as soon as possible via Facebook.
- Deadline to enter the Tiger Tater Hat Decorating Contest
For more information, please call 910-377-3248.
- Deadline to Enter Business & Residential Decorating Contest
Everyone is encouraged to decorate. The festival theme for 2022 is “Back to the Future”. To enter, please call 910-377-3248 by 4 p.m. Judging will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 18.
- Poetry Contest Winners will be Announced
Via our NC Yam Festival Facebook page
Tuesday, October 18
- Sweet Potato Food Cook Off
Deadline to enter is from 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
All entries need to be dropped off at The Ritz Center located at 213 Hickman Road, Tabor City, NC 28463. Closed Judging session will take place from 11:00 a.m. -12:00 noon. Entries will be open to public viewing from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.
- Yam Festival Workers’ Appreciation Breakfast
Hosted by Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (by invitation only)
- Paint a Yam Man Class
Instructor is LuAnn Milligan Pickell
Must reserve your space by calling the Yam Festival office at 910-377-3248. Cost is $25 per person and will include everything you need to paint your very own Yam Festival “Yam Man”! Location is the Ritz Center, 213 Hickman Road, from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.
Wednesday, October 19
- Art/Photography/Sweet Potato Crafts Registration
Student and Adult Entries will be accepted at the Tabor City Baptist Church Fellowship Hall. Entries will be judged. For more information regarding Student entries, please contact Kelly Jones at 910-642-5168 extension 24007. For more information regarding Adult entries, please contact LuAnn Milligan Pickell at 910-234-2593.
Thursday, October 20
- Taste of Tabor at Sunnyfield Equestrian Farm
Location: 1861 Ten Mile Road, Tabor City
Fun-filled evening with great food, live entertainment provided by the Thomas Road Band, and great fellowship. A photo opportunity will be available. Tickets are only $25 for ages 11 & up, $10 for ages 7-10 and under 6 are free.
Ticket Locations: Tabor City Public Library (910-653-3774) and the Yam Festival office (910-377-3248).
Friday, October 21
- Art/Photography/Sweet Potato Crafts Show
Tabor City Baptist Church Fellowship Hall from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
- Street Dance
Located at the Town Gazebo in the parking lot of Tabor City Public Library, 101 East Fifth Street. Live DJ, 7:00 p.m – 9:00 p.m. No bleachers will be available, so please bring a lawn chair.
The BIG YAM DAY!
Saturday, October 22
- NC Yam Festival Headquarters & Outdoor Booth
Information, Free Yam Fest Coloring-Activity Books, T-shirts & other Souvenirs (souvenirs prices vary)
Tabor City Public Library (parking lot) located at 101 East Fifth Street.
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Free Admission.
- Tabor City High School Alumni Reunion at The Ritz Center
Doors will be open from 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. for registration. The doors will reopen shortly before 2:00 p.m. The Class of 1972 will be in charge of the program which will begin at 2:00 p.m. and conclude at 4:00 p.m. All TCHS Graduates are invited to attend. (Please contact your graduation class officers for information on potential individual class reunion plans.)
- Community Blood Drive with The Blood Connection
Location will be near the Tabor City Public Library at 101 East Fifth Street. 8:00 a.m. -1:00 p.m. Appointments may be scheduled. Walk-ins are welcome. $20 egift card to all who donate.
- Car, Truck, Bike & Tractor Show (Hosted by Jokers Mizfitz Car Club)
Located on Fourth Street (from Hickman Road to Pireway Road). Registration begins at 8:30, Show 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. For information on how to enter, please call Committee Chair Tiger Tater at 843-333-0947 or Harley at 252-226-6547
- Arts, Crafts, Food Vendors and more
Downtown on Main Street, Hickman Road, and also on Live Oak Street from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. No admission fee for you to enter the festival. Vendors set their own prices for their products. If you are interested in being a Food Vendor, please call Committee Chair Michelle Dudney at 910-207-3190. If you would like to be a Vendor of anything other than food, please call Committee Chair Miranda Thompkins at 910-840-0567.
- Yam Row
Located on Hickman Road in front of United Bank
- Yam Festival Parade
Featuring more than 100 units consisting of high school bands, clowns, area beauty queens, various Shriner units, fire trucks and other emergency vehicles, floats, and so much more! Begins at 10:00 a.m. originating at 7th and Main Streets, down Main Street, left onto Green Sea Road, then right onto Hickman Road, left onto Bell Street, then left onto Pireway Road, left onto 5th Street, and right onto Wall Street.
- Sweet Potato Give Away
Begins after the parade in the parking lot of Tabor City Public Library located at 101 East Fifth Street.
- Entertainment on the Todd House Wedding & Event Center Stage
Entertainment begins following the parade and will continue until 5:00 p.m. Expect to enjoy lots of locals as they sing and dance their way into your hearts. Fun will be had by all.
- Kids Zone (No fees)
Located on Live Oak Street. Flimsy the Clown, Carnival Games, Inflatables, Exhibits, Educational Outreach, Face Painting, and lots of Fun!
- Gospel Explosion
Located on Hickman Road. Will begin after the parade. Will feature Gospel, Southern Gospel, Praise Teams and more. For additional information, please call Committee Chair Tervon Strickland at 910-234-0752.
- Art/Photography/Sweet Potato Crafts Show
Adult & Youth Divisions, Tabor City Baptist Church Fellowship Hall
11:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
- Mt. Tabor
Historical renovated one room schoolhouse at the corner of Stake Road and East Fifth Street in front of Tabor City Elementary School, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
- Historical “Self-Guided” Walking Tour
Pick up a guide at the Tabor City Visitor Center or the Tabor City Public Library.
For additional information, please contact Committee Chair Dianne Nobles Ward at 910-653-4141.
- Basic Life Support Competition (Hosted by Tabor City EMS)
Tabor City Rescue Squad located on the corner of East Fifth and Jones Streets.
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
- Mascot Race
1:30 p.m. in the parking lot of the Tabor City Public Library, 101 East Fifth Street. Mascots from area festivals, schools, businesses, etc. will race with a sweet potato on a serving spoon. Let’s see who makes it across the finish line first without dropping the sweet potato. Call the Yam Festival Office at 910-377-3248 to register.
- Stallion Classic (Hosted by South Columbus High School)
Located at South Columbus High School on the Stallion Football Field.
Begins at 1:00 p.m. Awards ceremony to follow. Admission fee to be announced.
- Tabor’s Got Talent
Located at the Todd House Wedding & Event Center Stage across from the Todd House Wedding & Event Center. Begins at 3:00 p.m. This is a judged event. For information on how to enter, please contact committee Chair Erin Mincey by email at email@example.com.
- Sweet Potato Pie Eating Contest
Begins at 11:30 a.m. at the Todd House Wedding & Event Center Stage. Youth & Adult Contestant spots are limited.
To register, call the NC Yam Festival Office by 4 p.m. on Friday, October 21.
Joseph “Joe” Small
NC Yam Festival President
103-D East Fifth Street
Tabor City, NC 28463
NC Yam Festival Manager / Secretary
103-D East Fifth Street
Tabor City, NC 28463
910-377-3248 | 910-840-0292
The NC YAM FESTIVAL IS HELD THE 4TH SATURDAY IN OCTOBER
2 at Tabor City Public Library
2 in Kid Zone Area
3 (includes 1 handicap unit) beside old Town Hall on 4th Street
2 near Truist Bank / Live Oak Street Area
2 near Train Depot Museum on 4th Street