KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – Children, start your imaginations! On June 25 from 5 to 7 p.m., N.C. Cooperative Extension staff and N.C. State University will host the first-ever Zucchini 500 at the N.C. Research Campus Farmers Market. Bobby Waltrip, of the legendary Waltrip race family, will be on hand to call the races. The N.C. Research Campus Farmers Market is located at 201 West Avenue in Kannapolis.
Children can create a race car with a zucchini – think pinewood derby – and compete for prizes in five categories. Kids can put the produce to the metal by racing their cars down the 16-foot-long track, or they can vie for prizes based on craftsmanship. Participants will be divided into two age groups: Nine and under and 10 and up.
Zucchini 500 Has Fresh Produce Going Fast at the NCRC Farmers Market
“It’s OK to ‘play with your food’ at the Zucchini 500,” says Leah Chester-Davis, coordinator of communications and community outreach, N.C. State University Program for Value-Added & Alternative Agriculture. “We want to get more children involved in agriculture and educate them on the importance of this industry to North Carolina and to our health. We hope families will come out to enjoy the event and meet the farmers.”
Scientists at the David H. Murdock Research Institute on the N.C. Research Campus are getting in on the fun as well, creating “advanced” zucchini cars for show, according to Phyllis Beaver, marketing director for Castle & Cooke, the company that oversees the N.C. Research Campus Farmers Market in conjunction with the Piedmont Farmers Market and N.C. State University.
“There’s no age limit to living healthy and having fun,” adds Beaver. “The Zucchini 500 is a great opportunity for the community to meet the scientists on campus, see some hi-tech zucchini cars and enjoy local foods.”
Each child that participates will receive a free sundae from Bruster’s Ice Cream. Winners can receive prizes including a 3-month family membership from the Cannon Memorial YMCA and tickets to the Summer Shootout Series from Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Other event partners include 4-H of Cabarrus County and Girl Scouts Hornets’ Nest Council in Charlotte.
Event Details at a Glance
- Registration – 5 p.m.
- Judging – 5:30 p.m.
- Races Begin – 6 p.m.
- Fastest – First to the bottom wins!
- Overall Creative – Will your zucchini car stand out in a crowd?
- Most Nutritious – How many fresh produce parts will your car have?
- School Spirit Theme – A fan of your favorite school’s team? Prove it!
- Theme – Design your zucchini race car after your favorite driver’s car!
Zucchini Race Car Requirements
- Car must be no wider than 10 inches and no longer than 12 inches (including wheels).
- NO explosives or fireworks may be included on a car.
- Children are encouraged to register and build cars in advance; zucchinis will be available at the market.
- The N.C. Research Campus Farmers Market is located at 201 West Avenue in Kannapolis (Google Maps).
- Parking is available on West Avenue in front of Wachovia or at the N.C. Research Campus.
- The N.C. Research Campus Farmers Market is open from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays.
- Please NO PETS at the farmers market.
To register for the Zucchini 500, please have the participant’s Name, Parents name(s), Age, Hometown and Email ready to provide by email or phone at 704-250-5400. Early registration is strongly encouraged.
N.C. Cooperative Extension is an educational outreach of N.C. State University and N.C. A&T; State University. It has programs in all 100 counties and the Cherokee Reservation. Learn more at www.ces.ncsu.edu.
The N.C. Research Campus Farmers Market is a joint effort of Castle & Cooke; Piedmont Farmers Market, an organization of local farmers who sponsor several Cabarrus County farmers markets; and the staff of N.C. State University at the Research Campus. The N.C. Research Campus Farmers Market takes place Thursdays from 4 to 7 p.m. Events are scheduled throughout the season, which runs until October 29. The full 2009 calendar of events can be found at www.ncvalueadded.org.
2009 N.C. Research Campus Calendar of Events