The Original Drifters To Headline 35th Annual Smithfield Ham & Yam Festival

The Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation has announced that The Original Drifters will headline the 35th annual Ham & Yam Festival with a free concert scheduled for 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 4th.

With roots in doo wop, soul, and R&B, The Original Drifters are among the most purchased, most played, and most popular groups in the history of beach music.  More than fifty years ago, The Drifters launched what would become an incredible career.  The music that made them a legendary act carries on today through The Original Drifters.  The current lineup, assembled by Bill Pinkney, an original member of The Drifters, includes bandmates Chuck Cockerham and Richard Knight Dunbar, as well as Russell Henry and Roger Whitehead.  Among their most popular hits are “This Magic Moment,” “Save the Last Dance for Me,” “Up on the Roof,” “On Broadway,” and “Under the Boardwalk.”

“We are excited to bring The Original Drifters to Smithfield for the Ham & Yam Festival,” states Sarah Edwards, festival organizer and Executive Director of Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation.  “With their talent and multi-generational appeal, we’re looking forward to a great show that will have the audience up dancing and singing along!”

In addition to the free 8:00 p.m. concert on Saturday, May 4, there will be entertainment on the festival’s three stages throughout the day.  “We are fortunate to have a large number of very talented up and coming musicians and entertainers here in Johnston County and North Carolina, and are pleased to be able to shine a spotlight on them at the festival,” states Edwards.

A full schedule of events on Saturday, May 4 will attract thousands of people to Downtown Smithfield, where the festival occupies several blocks.  Craft and commercial vendors line the streets, food vendors offer a variety of fair foods and menu items featuring country ham and sweet potatoes, and additional entertainment comes in the form of pig races, children’s activities, and more.

The Ham & Yam Festival is organized by the nonprofit Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation.  To learn more about the Ham & Yam Festival, please visit, or call Sarah Edwards at 919-934-0887.