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Whirligig History

Mission: People and Art in Motion

Like the whimsical outsider art, the Wilson Whirligig Festival is a community celebration of people and art in motion held the first fulll weekend in November.  With the many goals of entertaining, attracting visitors, celebrating differences, providing a positive economic impact, promoting the sharing of our rich history, and fostering civic pride, the Whirligig Festival is a true community-wide celebration.

The festival has it's roots tied to the Golden Leaf festival held in Wilson in the early 80's.  The Golden Leaf festival celebrated the heritage of tobacco in Wilson, NC.  As the popularity of tobacco product declined, the festival struggled. It took on many forms and different names. Finally transforming into today's Wilson Whirligig Festival. Many of those that served on the variety of festival along the way, serve on today's planning committee.

One of the driving forces behinde each festival has been to provide a fun, family atmosphere for all children. Hence, the marjoity of the children's activities are free. While many festival around Wilson charge for childrens ride, activities and even an admisison prices, our festivals have continued to keep the doors open to all children.