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Boiling Spring Lakes is heating up this Saturday with its Fire in the Lakes Festival.
The fourth annual event takes place 11 a.m.-3 p.m. March 23 at the Boiling Spring Lakes Community Center at 1 Leeds Road in Boiling Spring Lakes.
Out-of-towners may not be privy to the celebratory day, but residents of this eastern Brunswick County town understand its premise celebrating controlled burning.
Without prescribed burning, the renowned longleaf pines in Boiling Spring Lakes and the surrounding region would disappear, as would red-cockaded woodpeckers, Venus flytraps and other carnivorous and rare plants requiring fire to thrive and survive.
The centerpiece of the festival is a controlled burn demonstration, offering festival-goers an opportunity to see how burns are conducted and learn more about their importance to the ecosystem.
Other highlights include a fire equipment display and Smokey the Bear as special guest. There will also be games, food, live music, animals, raffles and face-painting.
The festival’s 7K Flytrap Half Hell Haul Trail Run through the Half Hell Swamp and 1-mile fun run start at 9 a.m. Saturday.
The race course will take runners through the Boiling Spring Lakes Preserve, a unique natural community protected by the state of North Carolina and The Nature Conservancy. The preserve is home to one of the 15 remaining populations of Venus flytraps, which are only found in this tiny corner of the world.
Race prizes include a Venus flytrap. Registration is $25 for the 7K and $15 for the fun run.
To get to the festival site in Boiling Spring Lakes, take U.S. 17 and Old Ocean Highway to Bolivia and turn east onto Danford Road for three miles. Turn right (south) onto N.C. 87/George II Highway and go four miles, take a right onto West South Shore Drive, then left to Leeds Road.