Hoke Chamber of Commerce and the Raeford Turkey Festival

Raeford is home to House of Raeford, an operation which manufactures fully cooked whole turkeys for distribution by delis and supermarkets. Motorists entering town on Business 401 have learned to slow down when approaching this plant’s workers wearing hairnets.

Cathy Brown has been actively engaged with the North Carolina Turkey Festival (now Fall Festival) for 15 years. Additionally, she serves on Raeford Volunteer Fire Department board of directors and serves on city council.

Membership

The Chamber is committed to supporting both its members’ commercial interests as well as those of the community at large. Membership is open to any businessperson, firm or corporation interested in supporting local business growth and community development.

The Chamber provides its members with programs and services designed to expand their businesses, such as networking opportunities, referral services, and listing in its directory. Furthermore, the Chamber works tirelessly on its members’ behalf in city and county government to ensure their voices are heard on issues that impact both businesses and economies.

At the Chamber’s new Jobs & Businesses Expo next month, local businesses and job seekers can meet. Hosted at the county parking lot on Main Street, members can set up information booths free while nonmembers must pay a $25 participation fee to participate.

Raeford is situated at the center of Hoke County and borders Rockfish Creek and Fort Bragg military reservation to its northwest. Established as Hoke County in 1911 from parts of Cumberland and Robeson counties, its name honoring Confederate General Robert Hoke; Raeford hosts several historic buildings and sites, but perhaps most notably an architectural feature designed by architect Charles L. Clifton in 1908 for which it became most renowned: its three-story brick courthouse designed by Clifton is its most notable landmark. It also boasts excellent public schools!

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Events

Hoke County’s turkey festival remains in Raeford despite Lady Bird’s departure. Through years of collaboration with one of North Carolina’s biggest turkey slaughter plants, community volunteers have now expanded it into something larger and commercially relevant – now called The North Carolina Turkey Festival.

The Expo was temporarily postponed during the pandemic, but will return next month. Chamber members can set up informational booths at no cost; businesses that aren’t chamber members must pay a $25 participation fee to participate. Furthermore, this event serves as a great way to connect job seekers with area employers.

Liz McNeill, Chamber President in Amarillo Texas, reports an upsurge in phone calls from both residents and those new to the area seeking assistance locating everything from dentists and realtors. She attributes their weekly newsletter and social media platforms with keeping residents abreast of everything happening in town.

The bulk chicken sale benefits the Open Door Soup Kitchen, which provides hot meals and clothing pantry assistance for families of four for two days or more. Order forms are available online; orders should be submitted by noon Wednesday with pickup scheduled for Saturday at Rockfish Uhaul at 2950 Lindsay Road.

Economic Outlook Dinner

Economic Outlook is an engaging 30-minute program that examines the risks and opportunities present in today’s markets. It explores how business, education and government are reacting to this rapidly shifting environment; key industries sectors; impact of trade on employment; as well as many other topics of discussion.

At this event, recognized experts on state and national economies come together to offer their insights on what the economy will likely look like in 2024. Speakers tackle vital topics like inflation’s impact on interest rates, whether or not recession remains likely, and what slowdown means for U.S. and South Carolina economies.

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At Logan’s Roadhouse’s annual Chicken and Rib Buffet Dinner hosted at Raeford-Hoke County Agricultural Center. Tickets cost $10 each and can be purchased either at Chamber office or from Chamber directors directly.

Will Wright is the director of Raeford-Hoke Economic Development Authority and owner of W.J. Wright Realty Co in downtown Raeford. Born and raised in Hoke County, he graduated from Raeford High School before working for several years internationally at a major accounting firm before returning home to assist in his family’s real estate business and join local economic development initiatives.

Hometown Christmas on Main Street

Each December, downtown Wauchula transforms into a winter wonderland for Hometown Christmas on Main Street. This event attracts thousands of visitors as local businesses stay open late so shoppers can complete their lists. Hay rides and classic Christmas movies are popular attractions and the Kid’s Corner at the Library provides fun family entertainment – this year both Santa Clause and Grinch will also join in for festivities!

Highlight of the night will be a Lighted Christmas Parade with exquisitely decorated floats, amazing performances and singing elves filling the streets with joyous cheer.

Residents can engage in Business Bingo by visiting local merchants to have their card stamped, then dropping it in a ballot box near the Christmas tree for competition for a prize.

Live music fills December, from acoustic performances at parklets to big band and country on Prete Plaza. Shoppers can enjoy vintage vignettes for Instagram-worthy moments as they stroll the area. It is one of the chamber’s signature events of the year and serves to connect community members with businesses they may be unfamiliar with while connecting new residents with services they might need such as dentists and realtors.

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