The town of Benson celebrates Benson Mule Days® the 4th Saturday of September each year. Mule Days is considered one of the largest festivals in North Carolina and will kickoff with a Barrel Exhibition and Open Barrel Race on Thursday night.
This festival, which draws approximately 50,000 people to this community of 3,600 people, is full of family fun and activities for everyone young and old. The weekend is packed with rodeos, a mule pulling contest, arts and crafts, vendors, street dances, carnival rides, camping, parades, bluegrass shows and more.
The parade alone attracts about 20,000 people and takes place Saturday morning at 10am. The parade will feature bands, floats, antique tractors and hundreds of horses, mules, and buggies. Visitors come from as far away as Alaska, Germany and California.
The oldest festival in Johnston County and one of the oldest in the state began in 1921 as a treat for the town. Area church choirs met in an old tobacco warehouse to have a “sing.” About 200 people heard two choirs that day, but over the years thousands would come every year for the event.
Today, large audiences still gather the fourth weekend in June at the Benson Singing Grove on Main Street where gospel groups come to compete for trophies. Plan your trip to Benson to enjoy three full days of gospel music.
Friday night gospel singing concert with Saturday & Sunday competition days for amateur duets, trios, quartets, choirs, and family groups. Event times: Friday, 7pm, Saturday, 10am-10pm, and Sunday 10am-6pm (Sundays open with church services).
The Benson area now has two wineries for groups to explore and to compliment a day at these agri-tourism venues, groups can stop in for some Eastern North Carolina BBQ and tour a local farm.
10:00am Enoch Winery or Gregory Winery Tour
Start off at one of these new wineries in the Benson area for a tour, wine tasting and a relaxing visit among the grapevines.
Enoch Winery & Vineyard
Fruit wine tasting including muscadine, bramble, apple and peach. Small fruits available for sale including seasonal muscadine grapes, blackberries, and blueberries. Bistro open for fine dining with a detached banquet room available for groups up to 250 people.
3735 NC Hwy 50 S., Benson
Gregory VineyardsCome and relax at Gregory Vineyards. Escape to a quiet country setting and enjoy a picturesque view of rolling hills, vineyards and spring fed lakes. Take a tour of hte vineyards or enjoy a wine tasting. Special group events held on a regular basis. Enjoy comedy, magic and more!
275 Bowling Springs Dr., Angier
Add a stop to your tour during Strawberry season or fall pumpkin pickin' season for added fun!
11:00am Smith's Nursery
For more fresh air and outdoor farm experience, visit Smith's Nursery for a host of activities....strawberry picking in the spring, fresh produce, fishing, and the annual fall festival.
12:00N Southern Traditional BBQ Lunch
Groups of 15-20 guests have several options for a southern lunch of barbecue and larger groups seeking a private room for lunch should head to Meadow Restaurant, just 7 miles south of Benson.
11964 NC Hwy 50 N
McGee's Crossroads Area
Willow Springs, NC 27592
7400 NC Hwy 50 S.
Benson, NC 27504
Open: T,W, Sun 11am-2:30, Thu-Sat 11am-9, closed Monday