North Carolina meets Ohio at Ohiolina Festival

From the August 2014 edition

They don’t border each other, but North Carolina and Ohio have plenty else in common, say organizers of the Ohiolina festival.

Now in its second year, Ohiolina, held Aug. 30 on a farm in Mount Vernon, is a family-friendly festival inspired by the culture of the Interstate-77 corridor from Ohio to North Carolina—hence the portmanteau name. “There are a lot of sort of weird connections between Ohio and North Carolina,” says founder Chris Koenig, who grew up in Ohio and met his wife, another Ohio native, when he lived in North Carolina for a time before moving back to the Buckeye State. “Every time I explain what the festival is about, people always say they have personal connections.” In honor of this year’s event, which features headliners Hackensaw Boys, The Spikedrivers and Buffalo Wabs & The Price Hill Hustle, we took a look at just how much the two states have in common. 


  • The Buckeye State
  • With the exception of the Lake Erie region, Ohioans don’t have much in the way of beaches.
  • The capital of Ohio, Columbus is also its largest city with 822,553 people.
  • Ohio stuck with the Union during the Civil War, and generals Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman and Philip Sheridan all hailed from Ohio.
  • The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

North Carolina

  • The Tar Heel State
  • North Carolinians have the Atlantic Ocean in their backyard.
  • Although Raleigh is the capital, Charlotte has its population beat with 792,862 people.
  • North Carolina has a history of break-ups: The Province of Carolina separated into north and south provinces in 1712, and North Carolina declared secession from the Union in 1861.
  • The North Carolina Music Hall of Fame
  • Ohio and North Carolina stake a claim to the Appalachians, and each borders one of the Virginias.

… And Where They Intersect

  • “Old-time, bluegrass, Piedmont blues, gospel … A lot of music originated in the North Carolina region, and a lot of Ohio musicians are playing that music now,” Koenig says.
  • Both have towns named Franklin, Clinton, Fairview, Salem and Madison.
  • Both are swing states and currently have Republican governors.
  • City Barbeque has locations in both states and serves dishes like North Carolina Pulled Pork.