About us

About Us

The North Carolina Whirligig Festival is an annual arts and crafts festival held the first full weekend of November in Wilson, NC. The festival began as the Golden Leaf Festival celebrating the history of tobacco in Wilson. Read more about our history. Over time the festival shifted focus and transformed into a energetic down-town street festival focusing on arts and whirligigs! Each year the festival has grown and expanded to an estimated attendance of 30,000 people.

What are Whirligigs?

We get this question a lot! Whirligigs are whimsical, wind-driven works of art that dot the landscape around downtown Wilson. They are created by local folk-artist Vollis Simpson. Picture in your mind a moving mobile of spinning parts and pieces, about the size of a four-door car! The festival is a member of the North Carolina Festival & Events Association. And has been recognized with multiple awards by the association.

The Wilson Whirligig Festival is a 501c3 organization.

North Carolina Whirligig Festival Planning Committee:

The Whirligig Festival Planning Committee meets February - November and accepts new members each year. Positions are open for volunteer community members with great ideas, enthusiasm and a desire to help North Carolina see Wilson as the "Simply Wonderful" community we know it to be. Join the festival planning committee and change your community!

Current Members

  • Festival Coordinator - Theresa Mathis

  • Festival Sponsorship - Michael McHarg, BigBizBox

  • Chair - Judi Thurston

  • Secretary - Kendra Howell

  • Treasure - Judi Thurston

  • Webmaster - Jonathan Brooks

  • Marketing & Merchandise - Stefanie Jones

  • Entertainment - Danny & Barbara Harrell

  • Arts & Crafts Vendors - Theresa Mathis

  • Food Vendors - Sheryletta Lacewell

  • Non-Profit Vendors - Diane Chambers

  • Downtown Merchants - Dave Allgood

  • Whirli-Kidz Zone - Jeremy Munn

  • Arts Council Activities - Barry Page

  • Whirli-Kidz Stage - Christopher Ballance

  • Cake Dive - Dindy Perry

  • Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park Project - vacant