WILSON – Final preparations are underway for the 18th annual North Carolina Whirligig Festival which will take place on November 5th and 6th in Historic Downtown Wilson.

The festival, which occurs annually during the first full weekend in November, is an all-inclusive festival showcasing art of the region. The inspiration? Vollis Simpson’s Whirligigs, of course. Vendors specializing in works using re-purposed, recycled, reused, or handmade materials line the streets to amaze festival goers. Admission and parking are free, as well as all activities within the festival.

Whirligig Festival

In addition to arts and crafts vendors, the NC Whirligig Festival hosts more than 100 foods, commercial, and non-profit vendors. Within the festival footprint are four entertainment stages featuring performances from local bands, dance troupes, choirs, and active artists. Other fan favorite activities are back at the festival this year, including extreme inflatables, the Whirli-Kidz Zone, the Hustle for Health 5K (formerly known as the Whirli-Run), and a BMX Stunt Show, a performance by The Embers, and a number of art contests.

To match the festival’s growing popularity, the NC Whirligig Festival Planning Committee has added four new elements to this year’s festival:

The NEW PNC After Concert

The PNC After Concert lets festival attendees enjoy the festival after hours. This free concert will take place at the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park Stage on Saturday,  November 5th from 6:30 pm-8:30 pm. This year’s PNC After Concert artist will be Uptown Funk- Bruno Mars Tribute.

The NEW Beer & Bones Zone

Grab your brew and BBQ in one place! The Beer & Bones Zone will be located at the   Whirligig Park field and PNC Pavilion. Bones Zone hours will be all day on Saturday and   Sunday and Beer Zone hours will be Saturday, November 5th, 4:00 pm-8:00 pm.

NEW Official Festival Mascots: Saw Dog and Professor Whirl E. Gig

Kids of all ages will love meeting the new NC Whirligig Festival Mascots: Professor Whirl  E. Gig and his sidekick Saw Dog! Inspired by the whimsy of the Whirligigs and the genius  of their creator, Vollis Simpson, Professor Whirl E. Gig is an agent of imagination! He is here to help Whirligig Festival fans of all ages find fun and creativity. Saw Dog is inspired   by the Whirligig of the same name that can be seen at Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park. The Professor and Saw Dog can be found at the Whirli-Kidz Zone during the festival.

Changes in the Wind Documentary Screening and Book Launch

For the first time in recent years, NC Whirligig Festival visitors can attend an attraction  the day before the festival on Friday, November 4th at 6:00 pm at the Edna Boykin Cultural Center. The Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park, in partnership with Wilson Arts, have organized a screening of the recent PBS documentary on the life and work of Vollis Simpson, Changes in the Wind. Keith Barnes, author of the newly released book about  Simpson, Creator of the Whirligigs, will also be in attendance to sign copies of his book.  Barnes and the Tarheel Traveler, Scott Mason, will be in front of the Vollis Simpson  Whirligig Park Museum during the festival to sign books and answer questions.

For more information about the 18th Annual North Carolina Whirligig Festival, visit https://www.whirligigfestivalnc.org/ or the festival’s social media accounts.