For nearly 50 years, the National Hollerin’ Contest was held at Spivey’s Corner in northern Sampson County. This year the festival was suspended by the sponsor, the Spivey’s Corner Volunteer Fire Department, due to a lack of interest.
The festival was held every June but in 2013 was moved to September because of the heat. Even with a new date interest in the festival has waned in recent years, according to a June press release by the fire department.
The Hollerin’ Contest was an important event for many. It reminded people of a simpler time without cell phones when hollerin’ was the only way to communicate with neighbors or farm workers in the field.
A former winner of the Hollerin’ Contest has announced that he plans to hold an annual hollerin’ event to keep the lost art alive, and he is hoping to draw enough participants for it to be held next month.
Robby Goodman won the Junior Hollerin’ Championship 38 years ago. When he heard the contest would no longer be held he began work to keep it alive.
“All of us was kind of hurt by it,” said Goodman in a News & Observer article published Tuesday . “It was like a funeral, honestly. We said, ‘Man, we got to do something.’ ”
Goodman plans to relocate the festival to Hope Mills in Cumberland County – about 35 miles away – with a new name, the Worldwide Hollerin’ Contest.
The event is planned for Saturday, October 8th at Paradise Acres a 12 acre facility. There will be hollerin’, activities for children and adults, including a playground, basketball court, volleyball court, bounce house, giant slide, even a train ride.
Admission is $3 per person and children under 5 will be admitted free. Goodman is also looking for sponsors to help with the cost of the event. Eighty percent of all proceeds raised will go to Wags4Tags, which helps train emotional support dogs and pair them with a psychologically or emotionally impaired Veteran. The dogs are rescued from shelters before they can be euthanized.
For more information about being a sponsor or to sign up to holler call 910-633-4735.