North Carolina Gourd Society

The North Carolina Gourd Society

Proudly Presents


The 76th Annual NC Gourd Festival

November 4-5, 2017


  • Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and
  • Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Admission: Adults: $2.00 - Children under 16: FREE!
  • In the Holshouser Building, NC State Fairgrounds, Raleigh, NC

This year's festival theme:

**Under the Sea **

Click below for the complete forms
General Information


The NC Gourd Festival takes place annually on the North Carolina State Fairgrounds, which also hosts many other events the same weekend.

Click on the following choices to view maps to the NC State Fairgrounds and vicinity: larger view area map and smaller view area map. Click here to view a map of the fairground buildings and gates with the surrounding roads. This year all gourd events will again be held in the Holshouser building, located near the Village of Yesteryear and the Flower & Garden Show areas of the state fairgrounds.

The admission fees help pay for the rental of the building and the insurance for its use. We are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, which means donations are tax deductible. Upon request, the North Carolina Gourd Society will provide a receipt for use in filing your taxes.

This year there are over 70 competition categories, including ones for any age or skill level. Have a look at the Vendor and Competition packet links above to find some you'd like to try.


What to Do at a Gourd Festival


At this celebration of the venerable cousin of squash, you will see gourds from around the world and from our own backyards. Displays of historic and exotic gourds will show how this garden oddity has served in our households since the beginning of civilization. You will meet crafters and growers who can teach you how to turn a moldy gourd straight from the garden into an object of lasting beauty. On sale will be gourds, gourd craft, supplies and seeds.

Buy a dried gourd straight from the gourd patch, or try your hand at gourd craft. Choose some seed and grow a gourd or ten. Gourd growers and crafters will compete for ribbons in around 70 categories---from heaviest and longest to best gourd animals, flowers, masks, bowls and more.

Click to see pictures from past festivals.

Fall Quarterly Meeting and Awards Banquet


Each year our Fall Quarterly meeting is held on the Saturday evening of our Festival. We would love to have you attend!! The North Carolina Gourd Society will host its Fall Quarterly Meeting dinner and Best of Show awards ceremony at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 4, 2017 at the Golden Corral Buffet, 3551 Grenelle Street, Raleigh NC 27603, (919) 772-6603.


Volunteer Information

It takes many people to run a two-day gourd festival and since the North Carolina Gourd Society is a non-profit organization, we can't hire people to help. Club members do all of the setup work, provide club table coverage, and assist with the placement of the competition gourds as well as help with the judging. Help is needed in the following areas:



  • Friday: assist with general setup, help set up the display gourds, set up the competition tables, and set up the club table.
  • Saturday: collect admission, stamp hands, staff the club table, assist the gourd craft demonstrators in setting up and taking down their exhibits, assist with the auction. Three one-hour volunteers are needed as clerks to the competition judges and to help distribute the winners’ ribbons.
  • Sunday: collect admission, staff the club table, help take down the club table, and help take down the gourd displays.

We can use volunteers who can spare an hour all the way up to nine hours in a day. If you are interested in finding out more about gourds and want to see the Festival from the inside, please contact Teresa Vales, Festival Volunteer Coordinator at (843) 821-6468, tvales@hotmail.com for more information. Each volunteer who works four or more hours receives a free gourd t-shirt.