RALEIGH, N.C. (February 20, 2019) – Culinary rock stars and local favorites Ashley Christensen and Vivian Howard will once again headline Thrive NC presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC). Howard (May 9) and Christensen (May 10) will each host a night of the festival at City Market in downtown Raleigh.

“The state of North Carolina is rich with culinary talent and I feel very fortunate to take part in Thrive NC again this year,” said Ashley Christensen, chef and proprietor of AC Restaurants. “Thrive NC aligns with the goal of many chef activists in our area and together we are making a commitment to support our community.”

Thrive NC is proud to announce that all ticket proceeds will go to area non-profits working to improve food insecurity. The headlining chefs will help identify those groups making a difference in our community.

“Growing up in North Carolina, I can appreciate the need for a festival like this,” said Vivian Howard, chef and TV personality. “Food has the power to bring us together and the goal of Thrive NC is to do just that.”

New for 2019, Christensen and Howard will invite a mix of local and national chefs to take the stage during the festival. Attendees can expect interactive and lively cooking demos sure to entertain and educate. Participating chefs will be announced in mid-March.

“Not only are Ashley and Vivian incredible chefs with local ties, they are also doing noteworthy things in the community and have made service a pillar of their lives,” said Reagan Greene Pruitt, vice president, marketing & community engagement of Blue Cross NC. “We are excited to have these chefs return to Thrive NC and support the event and our mission to improve the health and well-being of our customers and communities.”

For more information, including future restaurant, chef, and entertainment announcements, visit GoThriveNC.com. Tickets to Thrive NC presented by Blue Cross NC go on sale Thursday, February 28.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina:

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) improves the health and well-being of our customers and communities by providing innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.89 million members, including approximately 1 million served on behalf of other Blue Plans. Since 1933, we have worked to make North Carolina a better place to live through our support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health.  Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit Blue Cross NC online at bluecrossnc.com. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.



Jeff Kleiber, Executive Director

jeff.kleiber@octagon.com or 919.582.6250


Gabe Hubbard, Senior Marketing & Communications Coordinator

Gabriel.hubbard@octagon.com or 919.582.6255


Laura Eberhard, Communications Specialist

laura.eberhard@bcbsnc.com or 919.765.4951


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