Grifton gears up for Shad Festival: Fun events next weekend raise funds

December 18, 2021

So many activities are taking place this weekend to raise money for the 50th anniversary Grifton Shad Festival that the day will take on the feel of Shad Festival — without the shad.

The festival planning committee is ramping up for the April 2022 event with a list of activities that includes a motorcycle poker run, a “Cruise-in” car, truck and bike show, a chili cookoff, music, vendors, a community yard sale and more. Most of the Saturday events will be centered around the Grifton Depot, 528 Queen St. Here are the details:

  • Motorcycle poker run: Participants gather at 9 a.m. at Ron Ayes Motorsports, 1929 N. Memorial Drive, Greenville. Kick stands up by 10 a.m. with stops to be announced at registration. The ride will end at 1 p.m. at the Grifton Depot. Cost is $10 per bike. Questions: call Tommy Sugg at 560-7828 or text Luke Woolard at 375-6095.


  • Organizers are recruiting participants to a cruise-in show for cars, trucks and motorcycles starting at 11 a.m. at the depot. The event will include vehicles from Kinston Classic Car Club and the Ayden Car Club. All others are welcome as well.

Chili cook-off:

  • Get out your best chili recipe and compete for prizes and bragging rights! The entry fee is a pot of chili — at least 6 quarts. Organizers encourage the cooks to set up in time for their chili to be ready for tasting at noon.

If you cook your chili at home, bring it to the depot by 11:45 a.m. in a container/pot that canbe kept warm. Entrants are responsible for their own method of cooking, ingredients and utensils.

Those wishing to sample and enjoy the chili will pay $10. Those folks can get a sample of each pot of chili, vote for the cook/chili they like the best, and get a pint of their favorite chili. Winners will be announced by 1:30 p.m.

Free music:

  • Old Friends Band will begin playing at 1 p.m. on the stage at the depot. The Donald Thompson Band will follow.

50/50 raffle:

  • Past and present Miss Grifton Shad Queens and contestants will sell 50/50 tickets from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Drawing will follow immediately.

Prize raffle:

  • Committee members will sell raffle tickets for a Benelli M2 20-gauge automatic shotgun complete with carrying case and four chokes; Panama Jack mini-bar (retail $1,499); and a custom made butcher block, gas grill, and more. Tickets are $5 each or five tickets for $20.

T-shirt sales:

  • Organizers will have the traditional “Eat Mo’ Shad” shirts available as well as 50th Anniversary T-shirts, and a special First Annual Poker Run and Chili Cook-Off T-shirt.


  • Marketplace vendors will set up with products such as Scentsy and homemade crafts from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at First Citizens Bank. Vendor cost is only $20. Those interested in being a marketplace vendor, call or text Jean Sugg at 939-6198.

Community yard sale: Anyone who wants to set up a personal yard sale is welcome to set up at First Citizens Bank at 9 a.m. Charge is $10 per set up. Everyone is welcome. Call or text Jean Sugg at 939-6198.


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