Staying in Focus: Local Flavor: A Gourd by Any Other Name…

Daily Prompt: Write a piece about a typically “local” experience from where you come from as though it’s an entry in a travel guide.

Attention vegetable lovers of the world! The wait is over and the date has been set for 74th Annual North Carolina Gourd Festival.  Located at the North Carolina Fairgrounds in Raleigh, the theme for this year’s festival is ‘Gourd Bling”.

This two-day event ,planned for Saturday (9:00 am –  5:00 pm) and Sunday,(10:00 am – 4:00 pm), September 12 – 13, 2015, will be held in the Holshouser Building on the State Fairgrounds.

This year there will be 70, yes, 70 competitions for your gourds to take part in. Be ready to cheer your gourd on in these exciting vegetative competitions.

In addition, you will be able to view gourds from around the world as well as those from our own backyards. Available for purchase are gourds (possibly those from owners whose gourds lost their competition), gourd crafts (hint: be sure to use lots of bling) and seeds for growing future gourd competitors.

As I write this, I look outside the window, as snowflakes blanket the yard, and it is hard to envision a garden of gourds growing in the warmth of the summer sun. Newbies to the gourd phenomenon might want to fill these cold, winter days, searching for gourd seed in the seed catalogs, planning a garden and researching how to grow a gourd with bling.

A last reminder: With all the excitement this announcement brings, don’t forget to plant the seeds for your award-winning gourd, as spring arrives and the earth softens for planting. You can ramp the excitement by challenging your neighbors in a gourd-growing competition.Right before the festival, gather together for gourd soup, a gourd curry, followed by bottle – gourd ice cream (which is green). This will build enthusiasm and anticipation for the festival events.

Mark your calendars now. Best of luck to gourd enthusiasts, young and old!

May the gourds be with you.:)

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