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North Carolina Rice Festival Coming to Leland in 2019

North Carolina Rice Festival Coming to Leland in 2019



Press Contact: Jackie Harlow

(910) 550-2477

LELAND, NC - The Leland Tourism Development Authority recently purchased the name, logo, and intellectual property of the North Carolina Rice Festival from the estate of WC Lanier, the former festival owner and promoter who in 2014 had a vision for a rice festival in this area of North Carolina.

When offered the NC Rice Festival by the Lanier estate, the Leland TDA Board recognized an opportunity to bring what Mr. Lanier started to a broad audience and expand the event to celebrate local history and culture.

In order to establish the NC Rice Festival as an independent entity, a non-profit organization will be formed to operate and manage the festival, with initial financial support provided by the Leland TDA.

"Our goal is to host a festival that is fun, with great food and entertainment, while also providing a historical and cultural experience," said Jackie Harlow, Tourism & Marketing Coordinator for the Town of Leland/Leland TDA. "We would like to educate attendees about the history of rice cultivation in the region and the story of the people, including the Gullah Geechee, who grew the rice and developed a unique, vibrant culture which we hope to celebrate together."

The festival's new direction will expand events from one day to three, change venues, and move to a new date. The NC Rice Festival will now take place the first weekend in March, beginning in 2019. Festivities will begin with an opening reception on Friday, March 1, 2019 at the Leland Cultural Arts Center, continue with day-long festival activities in Leland Municipal Park and Town Hall on Saturday, March 2, 2019 and will conclude with area community events on Sunday, March 3, 2019.

"The North Carolina Rice Festival is the type of destination event the Leland TDA has been looking for," said Michael Callahan, Leland TDA Board Chair. "It's an opportunity to draw tourists, build community relations, and explore the history of Leland and the surrounding area, with the potential to grow into a large-scale event in the future. We're excited to promote the NC Rice Festival and share the heritage and culture unique to this part of Southeastern North Carolina."

As plans for entertainment, attractions and programs are confirmed, notifications will be sent to the media and updated on the festival website:

For additional information regarding the North Carolina Rice Festival please contact Jackie Harlow at (910) 550-2477 or email