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Flooding to cause at least minor changes for Kinston BBQ fest

Organizers prepare the grounds for this weekend's BBQ Fest on the Neuse in Kinston. (Nicole Ford/NewsChannel 12)

KINSTON, Lenoir County - With a good chunk of the Neuseway Park nature center underwater and more rain in the forecast for Friday, organizers of this weekend's BBQ Fest on the Neuse are hoping a move of the launch site for the event's fireworks display is the most significant change they'll have to make.

The Neuse River is expected to crest in Kinston on Thursday at 21.8 feet. That isn't stopping organizers with going ahead with the annual two-day event, however.

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Setup is already underway for the hundreds of vendors and cooks expected to fill Heritage Street this weekend. The event will feature the cook-off competition, carnival rides, live entertainment and more.

Kinston-Lenoir Chamber of Commerce officials say the impact of the floodwaters will be minimal.

Organizers are asking attendees to park at the Vernon Mall and utilize the shuttle to avoid thousands of cars searching for parking near the river area. Despite the flooding nuisance, organizers hope to top last year's attendance numbers which exceeded 50,000 over the course of two days.

The event technically kicks off Wednesday night, as carnival rides are available in the evening today and Thursday before the event goes into full swing on Friday. Saturday's festivities are capped by a fan favorite: the annual rubber duck race.

All the details are available at BBQFestivalontheNeuse.com.

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