Dogs in costume, a beauty pageant, live music and a liver mush eating contest….what else could you possibly ask for in a festival? The annual liver mush festival has grown significantly over the past 29 years. The event was started by Mack’s Liver Mush in 1985, now run by Ron McKee’s father. It has taken many different approaches and even changed locations several times before landing in Uptown Shelby on the 3rd weekend in October. Now the official North Carolina Fall Liver Mush Festival, this event has grown in popularity and attendance. Why, because every year there is more! More music, more mush and more to do.
Saturday morning at 8 am everything opens up! The Kids Zone, sponsored and directed by Uptown Shelby Association, will have the expected pumpkin painting, children’s games and activities will be at the festival. They can also bounce in 5 different inflatables, and slide down the giant inflatable slide. These attractions are sponsored by area businesses and free to festival attendees. This year’s festival will also feature corn hole and kids activities presented by the Cleveland County YMCA.
The Earl Scruggs Center will be open for tours 10 am – 4 pm. Active duty military and their families and veterans are admitted free to the Earl Scruggs Center. The Center will sponsor and provide a Banjo Petting Zoo on the lawn next to the gift shop/ticket station. This is a unique opportunity to get your hands on an instrument. In addition to normal exhibits, the Earl Scruggs Center will feature a special exhibition celebrating North Carolina musicians titled Carolina Calling: The Photography of Daniel Coston.
The Pet Festival, sponsored and directed by RollOver Pets, is an animal all its own for this festival. The always popular pet costume contest and parade grows every year in participation. Musical sit and other pet games are fun to watch even if you don’t enter your furry family member in the events. The Shelby Police Department offers their support of the Pet Festival and will be doing a K9 demonstration at 2:00.
The Cleveland County Arts Council has a free exhibit 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. This multi-media exhibit will feature canes, flowers, busts, wall plaques, a documentary about Barrow, a recreation of his wood carving studio and wood carving demonstrations by Frank Barrows Grandson Emmanuel Wallace.
If you truly love Liver Mush show us! Registration opens at 10 am and the Liver Mush eating contest begins at 1030 am with 4 heats throughout the day. Awards will be given to the top 3 eaters in this event. Contact the Chamber of Commerce if you are interested in entering the recipe contest. Be the pride of Cleveland County with a blue ribbon in Liver Mush Cooking. Be sure to purchase ingredients from the Foothills Farmers Market before the event; but you can restock with locally grown meats, produce and other products during the festival. The Foothills Farmers Market is a certified locally grown/produced market and partners with the Liver Mush Festival bringing quality vendors to the court square. Over 80 vendors will be at the festival this year in total including these.
Uptown Shelby restaurants will feature a liver mush special dish for the day! Don’t forget all the housekeeping issues like garbage disposal and street closures provide by our wonderful utilities department of the City of Shelby. These city employees work overtime to make sure attendees have a clean, safe event.
And we can’t forget about the 9th Annual Little Miss Liver Mush Pageant! Contestants ages 0-18 vie for 11 titles and compete in beauty, sportswear, and interview.
Whatever you love about liver mush you are sure to have an enjoyable day at the official Fall Liver Mush Festival of North Carolina, Mush, Music and Mutts on October 19 in Uptown Shelby from 8 am to 4 pm.
This festival would not be possible without partnerships with the City of Shelby, Uptown Shelby Association, Roll Over Pets, Cleveland County Arts Council, City of Shelby Utilities Department, Foothills Farmers Market, Mack’s Liver Mush, Got You Covered Rentals, and Tour Cleveland County.
Last Year's Activities Included:
Liver Mush Recipe Contest
Kids Zone Including: Inflatables, Pumpkin Painting, Crafts & More
Banjo Petting Zoo
Liver Mush Eating Contests
Beer & Wine Garden
Little Miss Liver Mush Pageant
Pet Events Including: Costume Contest, Musical Sit, Pet Parade, Trick Contest, Blessing of the Animals