• Burgaw Now

Mayor Pete: For the Benefit of Burgaw

Pete Cowan, Town Mayor, sits at his desk as he prepares for the annual Blueberry Festival.

When asked questions about his personal involvement in the town of Burgaw, Mayor Pete Cowan sits up a little bit straighter at his desk, adjusts his tie, and smiles: “I do have the title of a leadership role,” he says, “but I’m just apart of something bigger, working on the betterment of the community.”

Mayor Cowan is born and bred in Burgaw, North Carolina. In fact, he grew up just one mile from the office he sits in now, and spent his youth working and playing on his family’s tobacco farm. The farm -- passed down through his paternal line from the late 1800’s -- eventually came to rest in the hands of his father, and young Pete’s early experiences built the foundation for his deep love of Burgaw. Mayor Cowan continued the farming tradition until he returned to work for his father, this time managing and handling large shipments through the Carolina Transport Company. His love of Burgaw carried him through it all, and he successfully campaigned for and won the title of Mayor.

A license plate paying homage to the Blueberry Festival, and also promoting the town

Mayor Cowan appears to be the epicenter of local news and activity, but throughout the conversation he directs the dialogue towards the town. When asked about some of his successes as mayor, Mayor Cowan pulls open his desk drawer to show the many invitations to graduations, baby showers, and weddings. He stresses the importance of having a close, tight-knit community, and states, "I owe all of my successes to the citizens of Burgaw”.

As one of the founding members of the famed Burgaw Blueberry Festival, Mayor Cowan is committed to the economic growth of his beloved town. He is always looking for creative ways to grow the (once labeled) “bedroom town” into a vibrant downtown district, and describes it as an important event that promotes economic stimulus, showcases local artisans, and nurtures the community.  

Established in 2003, The Blueberry Festival draws over 40,000 visitors for the two-

day event, and provides an opportunity for fun for the whole family. And whether you live in Burgaw or are traveling from afar, you can expect a weekend of live entertainment, locally sourced goods, delicious blue-berry themed treats (and beer!) and good, down-home, country vibes.

The courthouse square of the town Mayor Cowan loves

When asked ‘why blueberries?’, Mayor Pete chuckles, lets out a friendly grin and says, “well everyone likes blueberries".

And there really is no arguing with that.

So if you’re looking to meet a Burgaw legend, you’ll likely find Mayor Pete near the BBQ pit -- feasting on some of North Carolina’s champion, slow roasted pork.

So come on down and say hello, we’d love to see you.

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