For 107 years, the residents of Coats have been celebrating the town’s heritage as a farming community. Once again, folks will gather there this weekend for festivities that include a gospel sing, parade, arts and crafts and food vendors, a farm equipment show, car show, pig cook-off, barbecue plate sale, children’s activities, music and dance parties. It’s all part of the annual Coats Farmers Day Festival on Friday and Saturday.
According to the town of Coats website, “The story of Coats begins with an ambitious 26-year-old. He was James T. Coats, who bought 700 acres of farming land here in Harnett County and set up a general store. The store attracted other farmers as well as the railroad. With growth at the dawning of the 20th century, his modest plot of land became the Town of Coats, with Mr. Coats himself its first citizen.”
Coats Area Chamber of Commerce Director Pat Godwin is looking forward to this weekend.
“I’m very excited that we can share this 107th Farmers Day with the community and the guests that will be coming in from out of town,” Godwin said. “We expect wonderful weather for Friday night and Saturday.”
The scheduled events will begin Friday at 6:30 p.m. with a gospel sing on a stage on Main Street.
“The gospel sing lineup includes four groups that are coming to sing plus local people,” Godwin said.
Groups expected are The Gregorys, The Believers, Won 4 Christ and The Crusaders.
The Pig in the Park Cook-Off hosted by the Coats Lions Club starts at 9 p.m. Friday at 454 Park Lane. Grill masters will cook all night and the judges will make their decision at 7 Saturday morning. Barbecue plates from the Pig Cook-Off will go on sale at 11 a.m. Saturday for $9 each at 127 S. McKinley St. Plates will be sold until the food runs out.
Friday night at 9, there will be a dance featuring Nick’s DJ X2 at the Farmers Day Campground located at 118 Graham St. The cost is $8 for non-campers.
Full day on Saturday
The main event, of course, will take place on Saturday. There will be an opening ceremony at 10 a.m. on the Live at Farmers Day stage on Main Street. Entertainment will continue there through 5 p.m., including a performance from 3 to 5 p.m. by the hometown act, The Fleming Road Band.
The six-piece band featuring bassist Mitch Pope, guitarist Grant Ellington, vocalists Beth Toler and Penny Drouillard, vocalist and guitarist Teddy Byrd and drummer Sean Kincaid, will give a concert of classic rock sounds.
Registration will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday on Lemon Street for both the Car and Truck Show and the Farm Equipment Show.
“The car show is going to be one of the largest we’ve ever had,” Godwin said.
The registration fee to participate in the car show is $20 per vehicle. The show will start at 10 a.m. and awards will be presented at noon. There will be 14 categories of competition, including Fan Favorite and Chamber Choice. After the judging, all who are interested may line up to participate in the parade.
The Farm Equipment Show will include old and new tractors and various farming equipment. Items will be on display until 12:30 p.m. when all the farmers can line up for the parade. Once again, the farmers will serve as grand marshals for the parade.
The Kid’s Park will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. featuring inflatables and games at the corner of Main and South Railroad streets.
The annual Farmers Day Parade will take place at 1 p.m. featuring floats, dance teams, bands, clowns, dune buggies and more. During the parade, all attractions will close.
On Saturday night at 9, another Campground Dance featuring Nick’s DJ X2 will be held at 118 Graham St. The cost is $8 for non-campers.
Primitive style camping will take place during Farmers Day at 118 Graham St. The campground will open at 9 a.m. on Friday. The cost is $10 per person with children younger than 12 being admitted for free.
On Saturday morning at 10, campers may participate in a Trail Ride.
For more information on the campground, call Chris Ellis at 910-580-1288 or Kristen Ellis at 919-902-0776.
For more information on Coats Farmers Day, contact the Coats Area Chamber of Commerce at 910-897-6213.