Unwind at Charlotte's 55th Annual Festival in the Park

Good times. Good, good times. Set your internal clock to its relax-and-unwind setting and saunter over to Charlotte’s 55th annual Festival in the Park, taking place this weekend (Sept. 20-22) at Freedom Park. The free, family-oriented festival runs 4-9 pm Friday, 10 am-9 pm Saturday and 10 am-5 pm Sunday.

The serene 98-acre park setting and lake provides plenty of room to wander, explore events, sample mouth-watering festival foods, listen to all types of music, and admire art work. The lighted park area near the lake keeps the party going after dark Friday and Saturday. 

This year’s festival boasts approximately 180 artists and a juried art exhibition with cash awards. Crafts exhibitors, more than two dozen food vendors and hundreds of entertainers add to the festivities. Stages around the lake feature everything from jazz and blues to rock to bluegrass, ethnic music and more. Saturday performances at the band shell include Beatlesque, a Beatles tribute band. Sunday’s headliner is singer-songwriter Teresa Abernathy and her band, The Blackouts. Be sure to catch the Youth Orchestras of Charlotte, performing Sunday afternoon.

A Family Fun Zone offers mildly thrilling rides (Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, etc.) and plenty of other activities for children, and a Children’s Art Area encourages kids to tap into their creative side.

Festival in the Park has been named one of Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Events and one of Sunshine Artists Magazine’s 200 Best festivals.

Bring your sense of adventure and fun, but leave your pooch—and hooch—at home. Pets, alcohol, roller blades and skateboards are prohibited at the festival.

Lynn Waalkes
About the author