THE NORTH CAROLINA RICE FESTIVAL attracts families, history enthusiasts, educators, tourists and residents alike to the Leland, North Carolina (Brunswick County), area to learn about and celebrate the region’s rich and diverse cultural history of rice farming. The Board of Directors of the North Carolina Rice Festival, Inc. (NCRFI) is dedicated to supporting efforts to preserve and promote the history and culture of our area, both within and beyond the planned Festivals.  

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Our Mission

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To create an annual, self-sustaining event that can educate and entertain attendees while exposing them to the unique rice-growing culture of Brunswick County and its surrounding locales.

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To explore the cultural connections between our coastal locale and the Rice Coast of Africa, and

To focus on Brunswick County's past as the top rice-producing region in the state of North Carolina

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To showcase the region's unique status as the northernmost area of the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor.

The North Carolina Rice Festival: A Brief History

A Bushel of Rice

  • Founded in 2014 by W. C. Lanier, a local community event organizer
     

  • Festivals were held in Belville, North Carolina, for three years
     

  • In June 2017, the rights to the Festival were purchased by the Leland (NC) Tourism Development Authority (LTDA)
     

  • LTDA scheduled a Festival for October 2019, but canceled the planned event due to Hurricane Florence
     

  • In May 2019, a new 501(c)(3) organization—the North Carolina Rice Festival, Inc.—was created for the purpose of planning and hosting North Carolina Rice Festivals annually and granted full rights to the festival name and brand from the LDTA