RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – For the first time since 2019, the “Got to be NC” festival has popped up Friday at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds.

Event manager Ken Yelverton told CBS 17 crews this will be the second hottest time the festival has happened.

During the event’s premiere year in 2007, Yelverton said temperatures topped 100 degrees.

While it won’t be that hot for the 2022 festival, it’ll be in the upper 90s.

Despite the temperatures, Yelverton is confident they’ll get lots of guests.

“We’re expecting a lot of people,” he said. “There’s a lot of excitement.”

Among the more than 120 total vendors at the festival, there are some new faces, like Martin Lawrence and Ronald Perry.

The two men own Lawrence and Perry BBQ.

“This is our first year at the festival. We’re excited,” Lawrence said. “This has been a long-term goal of ours to get out here.”

They will be making the trip to Raleigh from Franklin County each day of the festival.

The business partners want to make sure people can try their specialty Que Fries and smoked ribs.

While they are looking forward to the guests coming to the festival to sample local cuisine and have a good time, they also want people to stay safe during the record temperatures.

“Make sure you stay hydrated. We’re going to stay hydrated as well. Drink plenty of water,” added Lawrence.

The festival is one of many events going on across the Triangle over the weekend.

Artsplosure kicks off in Downtown Raleigh on Saturday.

Also on Saturday is the annual Victory Ride fundraiser.

Durham will host its Blues and Brews Festival over the weekend.

Event managers all agree, that it’s important that people take care of themselves, while out and about.

They’re advising finding shady spots or heading inside to take breaks from the sun, as well as checking in with local vendors for cool drinks and treats.

If guests need additional assistance, they’re prepared.



“Wake County EMS will be with us, as they are every year, so if something were to happen, they’ll be right on them,” added Yelverton.

Experts advise wearing sunscreen and a hat for protection against the sun.

They also say it’s not enough for people to drink water when guests are already outside: it’s best to get “pre-hydrated” and start getting electrolytes and water in before you head to any event.