The 46th annual Grifton Shad Festival, one of the oldest festivals in North Carolina, will kick into high gear this weekend in the southern Pitt County town of Grifton. Grifton is on N.C. 11 and N.C. 118, halfway between Greenville and Kinston.

 Friday events include live music at the Grifton Depot beginning at 6 p.m. Music will be performed by Good Times Band, Silver Wings and David Lee Jones.

  Saturday events begin at 8:30 a.m. with a 5K Mud Run (for details and registration, visit

 A Car and Truck Show will be held at Grifton School. Awards will be presented for Best of Show, Best Ford, GM, MoPar, Foreign, Most Unique, Mayor's Choice, Truck and Longest Distance Driven.

 The Shad Festival Parade, with grand marshal Allan Hoffman, will begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

 A Cornhole Tournament will take place from noon-4 p.m. Saturday in the empty lot on McRae Street across from The Depot. Entrance fee is $30 per team; registration will be held from 9-11 a.m. Saturday.

 Saturday events culminate with a street dance from 6-11 p.m. with music by Sutters Gold Streak Band and Back Yard Groove.

 Kayak and canoe races for youth and adults will be held on Lake Benjamin beginning at 1:30 p.m. Sunday (registration starts at 1 p.m.).

 The festival also will include an art show, aviation activities and vendors selling food and arts and crafts.

  Free parking is available at Lake Benjamin, 1170 Wiley Gaskins Road, Grifton (signs mark the way) and a free shuttle will drop off and pick up visitors every 30 minutes at the corner of Queen and Church streets. A free shuttle also will provide transportation to the event sites around town.

 For more information, visit

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