One of the Oldest and Most Shadtastic Festivals in all of NC!

Annual Grifton Shad Festival

Events, Guests & Venues


April 18 – 23, 2017

Most events will be on the
weekend of April 20-23.

Pageant is April 8th & Fishy Tales April 10th
Some events are earlier.
Most are outdoors and FREE.

Grifton “The Family Town”

Grifton Shad Festival
PO Box 928
Grifton, NC 28530

On NC 11 & 118, halfway
between Kinston & Greenville

FREE SHUTTLE SERVICE  – Signs will mark the way. You can use the free shuttle to and from the air activities.


We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at the 2017 Grifton Shad Festival Parade! Eat Mo Shad! Saturday, April 22, 2017 @ 10:30am.

Sponsored by Doug Henry  of Ayden

Emceed by John & Cameron Moore

Contact us from the numbers below or send us an email.

 Jean Sugg @ 252-939-6198

Denice Dixon @ 252-341-7031

Jackie Suggs @ 252-258-5597

More Info

Grand Marshal - Wood Ducks Mascot

Gizzard Pageant

Gizzard Pageant – April 20, 2017, 7pm

Grifton School Auditorium

Emceed by John Moore

If you wish to participate in the “Gizzard Shad” pageant Please contact:

Christin Nichol  @ 252 -531-4399

or Julie Monroe @ 252-841-0918

Miss Grifton Shad Queen Pageant

Pageant date: April 08, 2017 @ 7:30pm

NOTICE: All ladies interested in participating in the “Miss Grifton Shad Queen Pageant" contact Directors Belinda Howard at 252-413-8907 or Susan Howard at / (252) 917-2622.


MUST: Be between the age of 14-18, unmarried and without children, live in the Grifton residence area or within our voting district, and be a reputable role model.


Directors –  Susan Howard at or (252) 917-2622

Baylee Suarez – Miss Grifton 2017

Saturday Night Music Events - Street Dance

April 22, 2017


Emcee John Moore

6:00 - 7:00 pm

Tunes by "Tony LeFavi" in the Beer Garden


 7:30 -  9:00 pm

Dakota Blue

9:30 - 11:00 pm

Bill Lyerly

The 5K Mud Run

APRIL 22, 2017
Start time 8:30 am

CA$H prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place
in both men’s and women’s divisions.
The run features 10+ unique and challenging obstacles while keeping safety in mind. After the race, free food, beverages and/or cold beer invite triumphant runners to unwind.
Pre-register by April 13 and receive a mud run T-shirt.
Teams are welcomed and encouraged to participate.

Timed event

Sanctioned by Run the East

Price: $40.00 Race Fee + $1.75 Sign Up Fee +
Price increases to $50.00 after April 13, 2017.
Go here for more info…
Shad Shack

Check out our new design in addition to the classic design. Come check us out and get your new shirts.

New Deign - Comfort Colors $20 - In Many Colors

Classic Design - Gildan  $15 - In Many Colors

Youth & Toddler $12

All Tie Dye  shirts $20.00
Check out our Shad Festival flags. $15 for the mini/garden flag and $15 for the 2’x3′ size.

shadgardenflagshadflagCall Jackie Coley today to get yours at 252-531-1730 or email her at Let’s show our Shad Pride please. Thanks!

Creekside Park

shadcreekparkThe Contentnea Creek RV & Trail Park gives travelers, campers and outdoor enthusiasts all over Eastern, North Carolina a central location to relax and discover. The park has an abundance of primitive camping sites, as well as 10 hookup sites for recreational vehicles and campers along with 3 pull through sites. Extended stay along with shaded areas are all available. There are 30 amp and 20 amp powered hookups available for use. Pets are as well allowed. Campers, hikers and backpackers will enjoy the firepits, blazed trails, fishing and more

In 2002, planning began for the Contentnea Creek RV & Trail Park located on the Lenoir County side of town. The property acquired for this site is a result of the flooding from Hurricane Floyd in 1999. In 2004, RV hookups with electricity, water, and sewer connections were finished.

Picnic tables, benches, and grills were constructed by the Ayden-Grifton High School Metals Class, and a ½-mile walking trail was built. There is also an air conditioned restroom and bathhouse facility for primitive campers. Rentals are managed by the Grifton Police Department to provide 24 hour service and fees are $10.00 per space per night.



(252) 524-4161

Festival Vendors

Market Place Vendors 2017

  • Scentsy
  • Heather Maeberry, clothing
  • Greene Co. Health Care,Inc
  • Gideons International
  • LuLaRoe, Beck Harris, Clothing
  • Raymon Semple, graphic design items
  • Face Painting By Sea Shel
  • Scentsy
  • East Coast Home Care
  • Lipscense
  • J&J Gifts
  • JoJo's Collection Boutique
  • Sada Fashions
  • Antiono Grant
  • Steven Hurst
  • June Dail
  • Laura & Harvey Freeman

Craft Show Vendors 2017

  • Beverly Purser, Handmade Jewerly, ornaments
  • Dan Yeomans, Waterfowl Art
  • Enrique Lescano Rivera, Handmade Jewerly
  • 2 Posh Pineapples, monogrammed items/hand painted canvases
  • TAG Jewelry
  • Deborah Russell, wooden crafts, jewelry, toys
  • Heavenly Angels - wreaths, candles, cemetery arrangements
  • Bob's Windplanes & Novelties - aluminum crafts
  • Sew Pretty - hairbows/ dresses for little girls
  • M&M Creations, metal crafts
  • Alice Norment
  • Catch the Vision
  • Barbara Robinson
  • Lighthouse Studios

 Food Vendors 2017

  • BoJangles
  • The Cake & Candy House
  • JM Chang
  • That's a Wrap
  • Grifton Fire Department
  • Papa's Funnel Cakes
  • Four Corners Grille
  • Sunshine Delight
  • A Shucking Good Time  
  • Snowie of the Carolinas
  • Little Jimmy's Italian Ice
  • Masonic Lodge 388
  • East Coast Wings
  • Sparky's Snowballs
  • Farrell Farms Inc
  • Dixieland Kettle Corn
  • The Cheese Curd Shack
  • Grifton Shriner's
  • Snack -A-Tack
  • Sweet Treats
  • Big Daddy's Pizza
  • Kona Ice

Kayak and Canoe Races

Mo Fun than Ever! <:>>><
2017 Grifton Shad Festival Kayak and Canoe Races
Sponsored by: A Time for Science

Date: Sunday, April 23, 2017 
Time: Registration starts @ 1:00 – Races start at 1:30 p.m.
Location: Lake Benjamin, 1170 Wiley Gaskins Rd, Grifton, NC
Contact: Dew Burch @ 252-524-5138
1. Youth Kayak – 12 and Under
2. Adult Kayak
3. Canoe
• 15 (1) person Kayak with paddles
• 2 Canoes – 2 person team - Please call Dew Burch to
• Entry Fee: $ 5 Kayak - $10 Canoe
• All Participants need to bring a personal flotation device
(life vest)
• Parent/Guardian Present/Wavier Signed for youth 12 &
• Bring your own (1) person Kayak
• Bring your own Canoe
• Water Shoes
• Towels
• Participant’s line up @ start/finish line.
• At start command, participant’s race on foot to canoes
located at water’s edge
• Paddle through marked course. A visual will be provided. Those not following course will be disqualified.
• End race @ start/finish line.
• Trophies Awarded for each divisions.


If you are interested in racing, please let us know by clicking on the survey link below.
I am interested. Survey Link

Art Show

The 47th Annual Grifton Art Show will be a feature of the Grifton Shad Festival this April.  Eastern North Carolina artists are invited to enter their artwork in the following categories: painting, fiber arts, graphic art/drawing, photography, and three-dimensional art.  Artists may enter up to 3 pieces.  For adults (over age 18), the entry fee is $5 per entry.  There is no charge for school-age children and young adults up to age 18.  Prizes or ribbons will be awarded in each category.

Art submissions will be accepted on Friday, April 7th (6:00-7:30 pm) and Saturday, April 8th (9:00 am -12 Noon) at the Grifton Museum, 437 A Creekshore Drive, Grifton, NC.  Look for the Art Show sign.

For Art Show information, entry forms, and a schedule of Shad Festival events visit

Contact Persons:  Tommy Sugg @ 252-560-7828.

Shirley Mewborn @ (Subject Line: Grifton Art Show)

The public is invited to view the artwork on Saturday, April 22 (Noon to 5 pm) and Sunday, April 23 (Noon to 4 pm).  To be a part of the People’s Choice Award, you may vote for your favorite creation during Saturday hours.

Cornhole Tournament
Sat, April 22, 2017 12pm – 4pm
McCrae St, Grifton, NC 28530, across from Depot
$30 per team

Please register by 11am on tournament day!

The Shad Festival’s 2nd Annual Corn Hole Tournament will be held on Saturday, April 22, 2017, at 12:30. The event will be held on the empty lot on McCrae Street – across from the Grifton Depot. Signs will be posted marking the event area. Double Teams/Double Elimination. Boards and bags provided. Contact Galen Treble at 252-939-5438 or for an application or register April 20th, beginning at 9:00 a.m and before 11am. All participants will receive a free Shad Festival t-shirt. Cash prizes will be given to 1st  ($100) and 2nd  ($50) place wining teams along with full bragging rights.

Car & Truck Show

Contact: Johnny Hoover 252-229-1179

Registration $20.00 - 9am
Awards between 1 & 2pm.
50/50 Raffle Drawings
*Awards: (1 & 2 for Ford, Chevy, GM)
Best of Show, Best Ford, GM, MoPar, Foreign, Most Unique, Mayors Choice, Truck, Longest Distance Driven
Location: cars will be parked on the eastern end of downtown Queen Street
Bring your entire family to enjoy the day at one of NC oldest festivals.

Aviation Activities
Helicopter Rides/Aviation Activities

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Helicopter Rides $20. 299 River Rd, Grifton (Horse Stables), Cottage Brook Hobby Farm, Grifton, NC.

The Aviation East Division of the North Carolina Forestry Service will display an Astar 350B3 helicopter at  299 River Rd, Grifton (Horse Stables), Cottage Brook Hobby Farm, Grifton, NC. This helicopter transports initial attack crews when dropping water or foam on fires with 200 gallon dip buckets. This event will start after the Grifton Shad Parade.

Signs will mark the way. You can use the free shuttle to and from the air activities. The shuttle will load at the corner of Queen and Church Streets and will run every 30 minutes.

Sunday Events, Community Church, Music, etc.

Join us on Sunday

9am  –  Community Church Service @ Creekside Overlook Park by Boat Landing (bring your chair)

12:30 - 1:30pm   -  The Still Shakers Band

2 - 2:45pm  -  Green Grass Cloggers w/ the Sandy Ridge Ramblers

3pm   -  Andro C Brown - Contemporary Christian/Gospel

 Vendors & Craft Show, Marketplace at will, 12-4 pm, First Citizens

Souvenirs 12-4 pm, Shad Shack.

Hot Dogs & Drinks 12-3 pm by Depot

Grifton Civic Center, 1-5 pm. Art Show, 12-4 pm. Children’s Ceramic Art Show, 12-4 pm.

Friday Night Music Events - Street Dance

                     April 21, 2017

 Friday Night Events 

"Bryan Mayer"  CMA Artists      7:30 - 9pm

"Silver Wings"               9:30 - 11pm

Fishy Tales
Event Name: Fishy Tales (Lying Contest) - Monday April 10, 2017 @ 7:00 PM
Event Sponsor: Hwy 55 Burgers Shakes & Fries (Grifton)
Event Chairperson: Kelly Buck - Cell # 252-320-6042
Email –

Additional Contact Person: Annie Harrison
Email –

Event Start Time: Monday April 10, 2017 7:00 PM
Event Location: Grifton School Media Center
Mistress of Ceremonies – Amy Hahn
Sign-up deadline: 6:00 PM April 7, 2017
Cost per person for entry to the event: $1.00
(Proceeds will cover the fees for free books given to the Grifton School kids that participate)

SHAD-O”(bingo) 7pm Grifton School Cafeteria

Carnival Rides by Inner Show Rides

Carnival Schedule

4/19 Wednesday $18.00 Wrist band night 5-9 PM 
4/20 Thursday $20.00 Wrist band night 5-9 PM
4/21 Friday – regular ride pricing
4/22 Saturday- regular ride pricing