Skip to Main Content


Skip to Next Section

Great Carolina Fest Inspiration

Ryan Allen

Entertainment Manager

At Carowinds, we have an entire department dedicated to taking our guest experience to the next level with world-class entertainment. Naturally, we enlisted this department's expertise when dreaming up Great Carolina Fest. The entertainment team has gone above and beyond to make this event our best yet. Entertainment manager, Ryan Allen, is the brain of this operation, and was happy to share the inspiration behind this new and exciting event.

Where It All Began...

Whether on the shore or in the mountains - in the Carolinas, The Porch is where friends become family, stories become legends, food portions are large, songs become sing-alongs and iced tea flows freely. So, when the Carowinds entertainment team was asked to help produce the all-new Great Carolina Fest – the porch is where we started! 

food festival

It's no coincidence that one of our entertainment stages is named the Piedmont Porch.

We brainstormed for some time about how to make “the porch” come to life without actually putting a porch in the middle of Carowinds.  We knew what we wanted our guests to experience: genuine hospitality, warm welcomes, interesting entertainment, and, of course – great food. So, how did we do it?  We can’t wait to show you! 

The festival is going to fill the Harmony Hall midway with festival exclusive entertainment, selfie spots galore, exciting new treats, and the chance to celebrate why there’s no place finer than Carolina…

food festival

The wall is about to be the hottest selfie spot on the state line.

The Best Regional Entertainment

On top of our exciting live entertainment offerings like Decades Live!, The Catawba Creek Duo, and the brand new Turn It Up! – we’re raising the curtain on four very special stages during Great Carolina Fest.

The Johnston County Stage celebrates the peaches of South Carolina with The Peach Pair, a set of dueling piano players.  Join them during the afternoon for a sing-along like no other.  You never know what they are going to play – but we’re sure you’ll know the words!

food festival

Painting the Johnston County Stage.

KinFolk and The Great Carolina Game Crew make their home at the Piedmont Porch.  Throughout the Festival, folk musicians like members of The Hinson Girls will share stories of family and tradition – all through music.  During the afternoon, join the Great Carolina Game Crew for over-the-top-family fun. You never know what games the Crew has in store. 

The Stateline Stage is the chance to kick off your evening at Carowinds – discovering and rediscovering local musicians and bands from both sides of the Stateline.  This stage will also host Food Network star Chef Damaris Phillips on June 9. At 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Damaris will be hosting Carolina cooking demonstrations while telling stories of growing up in the South. Stick around after the show for a meet and greet with this culinary icon!

Food Network

Damaris Phillips is the winner of Food Network Star, Season 9 and host of Southern at Heart

Pull up a chair and enjoy The Carolina Craft Beer Corner which celebrates regional beers and is the perfect place to reconnect with friends and family.  During the evening Brew Beatz, a group of musically inclined brew masters will be making unique tunes with unexpected instruments.  Who knows, you may even have a Brew Beatz Master in your family! 

carolina craft beer

The Carolina Craft Beer Corner is still receiving some final touches.

Mouth Watering Carolina Eats

Of course, no festival is complete without food and wow – do we have some great food for Great Carolina Fest!  Chef Kris and our talented culinary team have created six tastes just for the festival.  From Bourbon Peach Pie to Bacon Wrapped Quail, the menu at Great Carolina Fest is going to be, well, GREAT! 

Carolina peaches

Our Bourbon Peach Pie is sure to be a fan favorite.

And because Chef Kris and his team had so many unique ideas for eats and treats during the Festival, we’ve incorporated exciting dishes throughout the park.  From Frog Legs and Fries in County Fair to Neese Sausage Pizza at Papa Luigis in Carousel Park, the entire park will make you feel like you’re eating your way around the Carolinas. Even more exciting – some of these dishes are part of our dining plans!

Great Carolina Fest happens every day June 9-24, starting at noon – running until 9:00pm.  We’ve got plenty of space – so bring the whole family for a festival that can only happen at Carowinds!

Share This

Ryan Allen

Entertainment Manager

Post a Comment

Skip to Next Section

Afterburn 20th Anniversary Time Capsule

I have been a fan of Carowinds for as long as I can remember. There really has not been a time when this special place wasn’t in my life. Early on, however, I had one small problem…I was terrified of roller coasters.
Read More

7 Sensational Ways to Cool Off at Carowinds

That Carolina summer heat is no joke. If you're looking for ways to cool down in the park, we've got you've covered!
Read More

Introducing the All-New WinterFest Wonderland Parade!

Winterfest at Carowinds is already known as one of the area’s most sought-after immersive holiday celebrations as the park is completely transformed for the season. This year brings an even more spectacular experience with the debut of the larger-than-life WinterFest Wonderland Parade, a Christmas parade brimming with dazzling displays, exciting performances and extravagantly decorated holiday floats.
Read More

Meet the Carowinds Carpenters

When you consider Carowinds’ more than 4,000 employees, you probably think about the parking lot and gate crews, ride and game attendants, lifeguards or security staff. However, there is another group you’ve likely never seen on a trip to Carowinds. Allow us to introduce you to our carpentry team.
Read More

9 Cool Merch Items 

One of the best ways to commemorate your trip to the park is to pick up something special from one of the park shops. Carowinds has some awesome new merch (we’re not biased or anything) that you need to know about!
Read More

Gluten-Friendly Eating at Carowinds

We understand that many park guests avoid eating foods with gluten (whether it's because of a sensitivity, a medical condition, or personal preference). With that in mind, we thought you'd appreciate a handy list of all of the places in Carowinds guests can enjoy gluten-friendly* foods.
Read More

Autism Awareness Week

The week of July 8 – July 14 is Autism Awareness Week at Carowinds. We are proud to partner with the Autism Society of America to make sure we serve our guests with autism and their families. Carowinds provides special accommodations so that every member of your family can have an enjoyable experience during your visit to the park.
Read More

Party On! Hurler Celebrates Its 25th Birthday

Afterburn isn’t the only roller coaster at Carowinds celebrating a major milestone this year. You might say that after opening 25 years ago this month, it’s Party Time (Excellent!) for Hurler, Carowinds’ tallest operating wooden coaster.
Read More

They Came, They Saw, They Ate

We’re sure you’re all aware of Carowinds’ newest restaurant: Blue Ridge Country Kitchen. It has quickly become a guest favorite, hosting thousands of folks for down-home Carolina cookin’ in its cool, indoor seating and shady, outdoor seating. But, does it stand up to the test of local foodies? We decided to find out.
Read More

Inside Look at New Carowinds Hotel: Your Room is Almost Ready!

Here's an inside look at the in-progress model room inside SpringHill Suites by Marriott at Carowinds. These clean, modern, and spacious suites were designed for the whole family. The living and sleeping areas are built with comfort and convenience in mind.
Read More