Hollerin' Contest

Hollerin Road street sign in Spivey's Corner, N.C.
Badagnani / Wikipedia

The organizers of the National Hollerin' Contest are canceling their annual hollerin' contest, which began 47 years ago as a fundraiser for the Spivey's Corner Volunteer Fire Department.

Contest organizers say hollerin' was a long-distance form of vocal communication developed long before telephones and sirens.

Image from  National Hollerin' Contest archive.
Tony Peacock

Hollerin’ is an ancient form of human communication originally used in rural areas—people would yell from farm-to-farm to share messages over long distances. In 1969, a group of people in Spivey’s Corner, N.C. began the National Hollerin’ Contest to preserve and celebrate this form of communication. 


National Hollerin' Contest
Asma Khalid

If you ever wondered what a holler was, head on out to Spiveys Corner in the southeast part of the state on Saturday. 

The 45th annual National Hollerin' Contest begins at 11 a.m. with farm demonstrations and a fifteen team barbecue cook-off.  Organizers say the hollerin' starts around 4 p.m.  Aaron Jackson is chair of the event.  He says the generations-old practice was not about yelling or screaming, but about communicating.

"People really weren't transient.  You're born in the area and you kind of tended to stay there," Jackson explains.

44th National Hollerin' Contest

Jun 18, 2012
National Hollerin' Contest
Asma Khalid

Over the weekend, folks in Eastern North Carolina belted out their favorite tunes at the 44th National Hollerin' Contest. Asma Khalid reports from Spivey's Corner on this unusual tradition.

Asma Khalid: Drive about an hour Southeast of Raleigh, and you'll find Spivey's Corner. It's a tiny town, no post-office, one stop-light. But it's claim to fame is hollerin'. Hollerin' is not yodeling, and it's not calling in the hogs. Folks in Spivey's Corner say hollerin' was a form of communication used in Sampson county long before phones.