The Ham & Yam Festival began in 1985 as a challenge from Johnston County ham producers to the ham producers of Smithfield, Virginia. When the North Carolina hams kept winning, the Virginia producers stopped coming, but the festival has continued as a celebration of the area's agricultural history.
Festival attendees can find many varieties of hams and yams at the festival - country ham biscuits, baked sweet potatoes, sweet potato funnel cakes, sweet potato souffle ice cream, and more!
The festival hosts the "What's That Yam Thing?" contest, a favorite for school-aged children given the opportunity to turn sweet potatoes into works of art. Visitors wander through the festival area filled with hundreds of booths occupied by face painters, local non-profit organizations, and vendors selling items including garden flags, kitchen tools, handmade jewelry, and many other arts and crafts. The family event keeps crowds entertained with performances on multiple stages, children's games, and inflatables. For more information, visit www.hamandyam.com.