September 21 to September 23, 2012
Friday, September 21: 4 to 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 22: 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Sunday, September 23: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Location: Freedom Park
Address: 1900 East Blvd
2012 marks the 48th year of Festival in the Park, an annual event that spotlights Charlotte's diverse regional arts scene with a weekend full of visual arts and crafts, performance arts and live music.
Festival in the Park has been named one of the “Top 20 Events in the Southeast” for September by the Southeast Tourism Society, and with good reason.
While the festival has traditionally been four days long, the 2012 version has been reduced to three, in hopes of drawing more high-caliber artists.
Over 1,000 artists and entertainers are set to perform in some fashion, and close to 200 arts and crafts exhibits are scheduled, with seven stages devoted to live music, performances, clowns and more. Visitors will have the chance to see, hear, and learn from over 150 artists and craft designers who will demonstrate and display their art.
Visitors will have plenty of opportunities to take home a part of the festival, as the Anne Reynolds Belk Artists' Walk will showcase close to 70 fine art and craft exhibitors. Further along Freedom Park's Lake Walk, dozens of more traditional arts and crafts booth will offer a variety of products. If you're looking for something truly special, the majority of artists can create an original work designed to your specifications. More artwork will be featured on the King's Drive Art Walk, located on Sugar Creek Greenway (a natural waterway between East Morehead Street and Pearle Street Bridget along Kings Drive)
The main stage at Freedom Park will play host to a variety of live music, and there will be six smaller stages around the area, including a folk stage, a theater stage and a “clowning” stage. Check out the complete 2012 Festival in the Park stage schedule.
The “Family Fun Zone” surrounds the Freedom Park locomotive, and hosts rides for younger festival-goers. Children can experience their first merry go round or Ferris Wheel, climb an inflatable obstacle course, explore the locomotive, ride on a train, or venture down a dual slife. Tickets must be purchased for the Fun Zone rides.
Parking:Usually, more than 100,000 people attend the festival, and it grows almost every year. Parking spaces actually in Freedom Park will fill up quickly and parking will be an important issue. The "Light Rail" shuttle to Festival in the Park will run from the East/West light rail stop on Camden at West Blvd. The shuttle will be running during festival hours, every half hour at a cost of $2 round trip per rider. Parking is available after 5 p.m. Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday at Holy Trinity Catholic Middle School (Park Road and Princeton Avenue), Myers Park Traditional School (Radcliffe Avenue near Queens Road), Episcopal Church of the Holy Comforter (Park Road and Salem Road), Sedgefield Middle School (McDonald Avenue and Park Road, rear parking lot of school). The cost to park at those sites is $10 per car, with proceeds benefit the respective schools or church. Free shuttle transportation is available from these lots. Many people do park in the neighborhoods surrounding Freedom Park, but be aware that drivers will be towed for parking illegally.
From music to sports to arts to culture, there are always plenty of festivals happening around town. Click here for a month by month calendar of festivals in Charlotte. Know of a festival we don't have listed? Let me know at email@example.com.