LELAND, NC (WECT) - North Carolina Rice Festival fans will have to wait until 2020 to attend the event in Leland.
Saying it wants to allow time for organization and planning, the Leland Tourism Development Authority said in a news release that in order to produce the festival that fit the group's vision, postponing it until 2020 is the best decision.
The Leland TDA purchased the festival from the estate of WC Lanier this summer with a goal of planning a three-day event March 1-3, 2019. Hurricane Florence disrupted those plans and forced the TDA, Town of Leland staff and the community at large to focus on disaster recovery.
Postponing the rice festival until 2020 will allow formation of an independent nonprofit organization to operate the fest as a separate entity and allow more time to plan the event.
“The North Carolina Rice Festival is the type of destination event the Leland TDA has been looking for,” said Michael Callahan, chairman of the Leland TDA board. “It’s an opportunity to draw tourists, build community relations, and explore the history of Leland and the surrounding area, with the potential to grow into a large-scale event in the future. We’re excited to promote the NC Rice Festival and share the heritage and culture unique to this part of Southeastern North Carolina.”
As nonprofit formation develops and plans for entertainment, attractions and programs are confirmed, notifications will updated on the festival social media channels and website.