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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!

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Ryan Allen

Entertainment Manager

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