Celebrate all things about Ava Gardner and her "Cinderella Story" rise to stardom. The Ava Gardner Museum in Downtown Smithfield, one of North Carolina’s most remarkable attractions, honors the life, loves, and legacy of one of Hollywood’s most glamorous leading ladies. This annual festival in October includes special themed exhibits, heritage tours of her birthplace, her childhood home, film screenings of her movies and an opening night event.
‘Tis the season to shop. Bring your groups to Smithfield, a one-stop shop to complete Christmas shopping. The Ava Gardner Museum and Hinnant Family Vineyards are a fun attraction each with unique gifts in their gift shop. The shopping list will be checked off after visiting Carolina Premium Outlets. We didn’t forget the country ham and gourmet goodies for Santa!
Once a year, the first week of May Smithfield celebrates its agricultural heritage. Johnston County is the #1 producer of sweet potatoes in the United States and is also home to Johnston County Hams / Smithfield Ham Shop. Attendees can find many varieties of hams and yams at the festival – barbecue from the cook-off, country ham biscuits, hot dogs, sweet potato fries and desserts. 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, handbags, kitchen tools, handmade jewelry and many other arts and crafts. The family event keeps crowds entertained with performances on three stages, children’s games, carnival rides, pig races, and a petting zoo.
Come and relax and enjoy the country-side view! Your groups will love tasting our native Muscadine wines, juices and jellies with many more fun stops along the way. You’ll get that southern home cooked meal at group friendly restaurants – served family style. With full bellies, a bit of Hollywood glamour and shopping galore, your groups will surely want to stay.