Festival in the Park runs from Friday, Sept. 16, through Sunday, Sept. 18, in Freedom Park.
Why it matters: It’s one of Charlotte’s longest-standing traditions, featuring art, music, food and family activities. The festival is still run by the same family who came up with the idea in 1964.
Flashback: The idea originated when John Belk, the former president of the Chamber of Commerce, approached his friend Grant Whitney, an insurance executive with Belk Stores Services. “One day he said ‘let’s do an art festival in Charlotte,'” Lily Hitch, Whitney’s granddaughter, tells Axios. “My mom runs the show now,” she said.
- They agreed to hold the festival in September, when the weather is cooler and there’s less chance of rain.
Details: The free event is expected to attract 85,000 people throughout the weekend. In years past as many as 140,000 people have attended the festival.
- It’ll feature 200 artists and craft exhibitors and nearly 1,000 entertainers.
- Plus, there’ll be food vendors, a kid zone, a merry go round and more.
- Of note: The festival was canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic, as WFAE reported. It was held in a smaller, scaled-back form in 2021.
Dates: Friday, Sept. 16, from 4-9pm.
- Saturday, Sept. 17, from 10am-9pm.
- Sunday, Sept. 18, from 10am-5pm.
- There are also spots available for $10 at Atrium Health Myers Park and Discovery Place Nature.
- Unlike previous years, shuttle services won’t be provided.
- More information about travel and parking can be found here.
Editor’s note: We’ve updated this story with the correct name of Grant Whitney. Also, Hitch is Whitney’s granddaughter, not Belk’s.