Visit the Yam Festival Headquarters or see our Calendar too!
Flyer republished from NS Yam Festival 2023 headquarters

Download this flyer to share – 2023 NC Yam Festival Schedule of Events

Schedule of Events


Festival Theme:  “I Yam What I Yam”

“Welcome to our 52nd Year of Celebrating Sweet Potatoes”

North Carolina Yam Festival Headquarters Days and Hours of Operation 

  Friday, October 20, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 

   Monday, October 23 – Friday, October 27, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 

             Yam Fest Saturday, October 28, 8:00 – 5:00 p.m.

The Tabor City Public Library, located at 101 East Fifth Street, is the official     NC Yam Festival Headquarters especially during the months of September & October.  They may assist you with Information, T-shirts, Souvenirs, Tickets, Parade & Vendor Applications, and more. Be sure to pick up a Free Yam Festival Coloring-Activity Book for your youngsters.  Free Admission

Events Held Prior to Festival Month of October

Tuesday, May 30
Spring Planting Day

School-aged children and teens learned how to plant sweet potato slips, how to care for the plants as their sweet potatoes grow, and how to harvest their crop.  This event was held at the Yam Festival Office located at 103-D East Fifth Street.

Thursday, September 7
Information Meeting for NC Yam Festival Pageant Contestants                  Tabor City Visitor Center, 301 East Fifth Street, 5:15 -7:00 p.m.

Friday, September 15
NC Yam Festival Pageant Application Deadline

Festival Events & Activities

Saturday, October 7

  • North Carolina Yam Festival Scholarship Pageant  South Columbus High School, 40 Stallion Drive, Tabor City                              Baby Miss – Little Miss divisions, Pageant begins at 11:00 a.m. Junior Miss – Queen divisions, Pageant begins at 5:00 p.m.  Admission Fee is $10 (includes program) or $15 for a wristband to enter both pageants (also includes program).                     

Saturday, October 14

  • Entry deadline for the Poetry Contest Open to grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, High School                                                                                             Each work must be original and work may only be submitted by a teacher.   All contest entrants must be a student in Columbus County.  Any length of poem will be accepted.  For more information, please call Committee Chair, Kelly Jones at 910-642-5168 extension 24007.  

Friday, October 20                                                                                                                                                                                         

  • Accepting Entries for the Sweet Potato Quality Contest Youth & Adult Entries may be dropped off at the Tabor City Public Library, 101 East Fifth Street from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. 

Monday, October 23

  • Sweet Potato Quality Contest                                                              Location is the Tabor City Public Library, 101 East Fifth Street.   Youth & Adult Entries will be accepted until 8:30 a.m.  Judging begins promptly at 9:00 a.m.  Winners will be announced as soon as possible via Facebook. 
  • Deadline to enter the Tiger Tater Hat Decorating Contest For more information, please call 910-377-3248. 
  • Deadline to Enter Business & Residential Decorating Contest        Everyone is encouraged to decorate.  The festival theme for 2023 is “I Yam What I Yam”.  To enter, please call 910-377-3248 by 4 p.m.  Judging will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 24. 
  • Poetry Contest Winners will be Announced Via our NC Yam Festival Facebook page   

Tuesday, October 24 

  • Sweet Potato Food Cook Off    Deadline to enter is from 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.   All entries need to be dropped off at The Todd House Wedding & Event Center located at 102 Live Oak Street, Tabor City, NC 28463.  Closed Judging session will take place from 11:00 a.m. -12:00 noon.  Entries will be open to public viewing from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.  
  • Yam Festival Workers’ Appreciation Breakfast  Hosted by Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (by invitation only)
  • Paint a Yam Man Class   Instructor is LuAnn Milligan Pickell                Must reserve your space by calling the Yam Festival office at 910-377-3248.  Cost is $25 per person and will include everything you need to paint your very own Yam Festival “Yam Man”!  Location is the Todd House Wedding & Event Center, from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.                                                 

Wednesday, October 25

  • Art/Photography/Sweet Potato Crafts Registration                            Student and Adult Entries will be accepted at The Todd House Wedding & Event Center in the Banquet Hall, 102 Live Oak Street, Tabor City.  Entries will be judged.  For more information regarding Student entries, please contact Kelly Jones at 910-642-5168 extension 24007. For more information regarding Adult entries, please contact Princess Nealey Grantham at 910-641-2504.

Thursday, October 26

  • Taste of Tabor at Sunnyfield Equestrian Farm  Location: 1861 Ten Mile Road, Tabor City, 6-9 p.m.   Fun-filled evening with great food, live entertainment provided by the Thomas Road Band, and great fellowship.  A photo opportunity will be available. Tickets are only $25 for ages 11 & up, $10 for ages 7-10 and under 6 are free.                                 Ticket Locations:  Tabor City Public Library (910-653-3774) and the NC Yam Festival office (910-377-3248).  

Friday, October 27

  • Art/Photography/Sweet Potato Crafts Show   The Todd House Wedding & Event Center’s Banquet Hall, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.       
    • Street Dance                                                                                Located at The Todd House Wedding & Event Center Stage.  Live DJ, 7:00 p.m – 9:00 p.m.  Bleachers will be available in this location. 
  • Yam Bowl                                                                                               South Columbus High School Stallions vs Whiteville High School Wolfpack. SCHS, 40 Stallion Drive, Tabor City, 7:30 p.m.

                                                                                                                  The BIG YAM DAY!

Saturday, October 28

  • NC Yam Festival Headquarters & Outdoor Booth                                  Information, Free Yam Fest Coloring-Activity Books, T-shirts & other  Souvenirs (souvenirs prices vary)                                                                                                                  Tabor City Public Library (parking lot) located at 101 East Fifth Street.                    8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Free Admission.    
  • Tabor City High School Alumni Reunion at The Ritz Center              Doors will be open from 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. for registration.  The doors will reopen shortly before 2:00 p.m.  The Class of 1973 will be in charge of the program which will begin at 2:00 p.m. and conclude at 4:00 p.m.  All TCHS Graduates are invited to attend.  (Please contact your graduation class officers for information on potential individual class reunion plans.)                                                                                                      
  • Community Blood Drive with The Blood Connection Location will be near the Tabor City Public Library at 101 East Fifth Street. 8:00 a.m. -1:00 p.m.  Appointments may be scheduled. Walk-ins are welcome.  $20 egift card to all who donate.               
  • Car, Truck, Bike & Tractor Show (Hosted by Classic Cruisers Car Club)  Located on Live Oak Street from Tabor City Baptist Church to Pireway Road. Registration: 8:30 – 12:00 noon, Judging begins at 12:30 p.m.  Trophies will be awarded at 3:00 p.m.  For information on how to enter, please call Committee Chair Tiger Tater at 843-333-0947.
  • Arts, Crafts, Food Vendors and more                                                  Downtown on Main Street, Hickman Road, East Fifth Street, Live Oak Street, and around the Todd House Wedding & Event Center Stage from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.  No admission fee for you to enter the festival.  Vendors set their own prices for their products.  If you are interested in being a Food Vendor, please call Committee Chair Michelle Dudney at 910-207-3190.  If you would like to be a Vendor of anything other than food, please call Committee Chair Miranda Thompkins at 910-840-0567.        
  • Yam Row                                                                                                                  Located on Hickman Road in front of United Bank
  • Yam Festival Parade   Featuring more than 100 units consisting of high school bands, clowns, area beauty queens, various Shriner units, fire trucks and other emergency vehicles, floats, and so much more!  Begins at 10:00 a.m. originating at 7th and Main Streets, down Main Street, left onto Green Sea Road, then right onto Hickman Road, left onto Bell Street, then left onto Pireway Road, left onto 5th Street, and right onto Wall Street.   

Originating at 7th and Main Streets, down Main Street, left onto Green Sea Road, then right onto Hickman Road, left onto Bell Street, then left onto Pireway Road, left onto 5th Street, and right onto Wall Street.

  • Sweet Potato Give Away Begins after the parade in the parking lot of Tabor City Public Library located at 101 East Fifth Street.                                                                                                 
  • Entertainment on the Todd House Wedding & Event Center Stage                                                                                                           Entertainment begins following the parade and will continue until 5:00 p.m.  Expect to enjoy lots of locals as they sing and dance their way into your hearts.  Fun will be had by all.
  • Sweet Potato Pie Eating Contest                                                          Begins at 11:30 a.m. at the Todd House Wedding & Event Center Stage.  Youth & Adult Contestant spots are limited.  To register, call the NC Yam Festival Office by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, October 27.


  • KidsZone (No fees)  Located behind United Bank. Flimsy the Clown, Carnival Games, Inflatables, Exhibits, and Educational Outreach Booths (located on 4th Street next to United Bank), and LOTS of FUN!  FREE!
  • Gospel Explosion     Located on Hickman Road.  Will begin after the parade.  Will feature Gospel, Southern Gospel, Praise Teams and more.  For additional information, please call Committee Chair Tervon Strickland at 910-234-0752.
  • Art/Photography/Sweet Potato Crafts Show   Adult & Youth Divisions, The Todd House Wedding & Event Center                               11:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 
  • Mt. Tabor School                                                                                   Historical renovated one room schoolhouse at the corner of Stake Road and  East Fifth Street in front of Tabor City School  Will be hosted by School Marm Beth Niven Godwin from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Free admission.
  • Historical “Self-Guided” Walking Tour     Pick up a guide at the Tabor City Visitor Center or the Tabor City Public Library.                     For additional information, please contact Committee Chair Dianne Nobles Ward at 910-653-4141.  
  • Basic Life Support Competition (Hosted by Tabor City EMS)           Tabor City Rescue Squad located on the corner of East Fifth and Jones Streets,   1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Mascot Race                                                                                          1:30 p.m. in the parking lot of the Tabor City Public Library, 101 East Fifth Street.  Mascots from area festivals, schools, businesses, etc. will race with a sweet potato on a serving spoon.  Let’s see who makes it across the finish line first without dropping the sweet potato.  Call the Yam Festival Office at 910-377-3248  or Tabor City Public Library at 910-653-3774 to register.  
  • Stallion Classic (Hosted by South Columbus High School)              Located at South Columbus High School on the Stallion Football Field. Begins at 1:00 p.m.  Awards ceremony to follow.  Admission fee to be announced. 
  • Tabor’s Got Talent   Located at the Todd House Wedding & Event Center Stage across from the Todd House Wedding & Event Center.  Begins at 3:00 p.m.  This is a judged event.  For information on how to enter, please contact committee Chair Erin Mincey by email at [email protected].

Concert in the Courtyard                                                                         LIVE Concert by Jason Smith at The Todd House Wedding & Event Center located at  102 Live Oak Street, Tabor City, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.  No admission fee & No ticket necessary                                                                                    *(The Todd House Wedding & Event Center will be selling home cooked BBQ sandwiches with slaw, baked sweet potatoes with toppings, water, and canned drinks in the Parlor Room.)*  


Joseph Small
NC Yam Festival President
103-D East Fifth Street
Tabor City, N. C.  28463

Cynthia Nelson
NC Yam Festival Manager / Secretary
103-D East Fifth Street
Tabor City, N. C.  28463
910-377-3248 * 910-840-0292

[email protected]








  • 2 at Tabor City Public Library
  • 2 in Kid Zone Area
  • 3 (includes 1 handicap unit) beside old Town Hall on 4th Street   
  • 2 near Truist Bank / Live Oak Street Area    
  • 2 near Train Depot Museum on 4th Street  


Thank you to all SPONSORS for making these festival events possible!



TOWN OF TABOR CITY for going above & beyond year after year.


 ATLANTIC PRINTING for taking care of all of our printing needs.