Compiled by Bernie Petit
Saturdays in the park.
We think it’s cultural festival time.
A dated reference? Sure, unless you’re a Chicago fan. But the start of the cultural festival season means we have several Saturdays – and Fridays and Sundays – to look forward to.
ASC supports festivals throughout the year primarily through Cultural Festival Grants and Town Initiative Grants, with one upcoming festival receiving an ASC Cultural Project Grant to support a huge crowd-painted mural.
Cultural festivals increase access to arts, science, history and heritage offerings and strengthen the quality of cultural programming in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.
They’re also why, over the next couple of months or so, you’ll find people dancing, people laughing, artists selling their work.
Okay, maybe that’s taking it too far. But we’ve been waiting such a long time for Saturdays.
Here are six upcoming festivals you won’t want to miss.
Charlotte Pride Festival
When: Noon-10 p.m. Aug. 15 and noon-6 p.m. Aug. 16.
Where: 100-400 blocks of South Tryon Street.
What’s Happening: The two-day cultural festival includes national, regional and local entertainers, musicians and bands, and over 150 exhibitors. On both days of the festival, Pride-goers can “Paint Your Piece of Pride!” with artist Edwin Gil at the corner of South Tryon Street and Levine Avenue of the Arts. All will be able to pick up a brush and begin filling in a blank canvas in creating a painting that represents Pride in the Queen City. “Paint Your Piece of Pride!” is supported by an ASC Cultural Project Grant. Admission: Free.
Sunday Afternoon in the Park
When: 1-6 p.m. Aug. 23.
Where: Wilgrove Park (aka Mint Hill Park on Wilgrove), 5233 Wilgrove-Mint Hill Road, Mint Hill.
What’s Happening: The event will offer art of all types, music and food. Plan to bring a blanket or chairs and spend the afternoon in the shade of majestic oak trees. Presented by the Town of Mint Hill, in conjunction with ASC.
21st Annual Festival of India
When: Noon-7 p.m. Sept. 12-13.
Where: Belk Theater, 130 N. Tryon St., Charlotte.
What’s Happening: The annual cultural festival showcases the diversity of Indian dance, food, art, music and Bollywood entertainment. There will be yoga demonstrations, henna tattoos available, traditional dances in front of Belk Theater on North Tryon Street and more. Presented by the India Association of Charlotte.
Admission: $7 at the door, $6 online at www.carolinatix.org, free for kids younger than 10 years old.
‘Tawba Walk Arts & Music Festival
When: 2-8 p.m. Sept. 19.
Where: Downtown Cornelius.
What’s Happening: The multidimensional, eclectic art crawl snakes through the heart of Cornelius and features dozens of local vendors, live street performances, shopping, food and more.
Festival in the Park
When: 4-9:30 p.m. Sept. 25, 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Sept. 26 and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 27.
Where: Freedom Park, 2435 Cumberland Ave., Charlotte.
What’s Happening: For more than 50 years, this Charlotte tradition has been seen as the last push of summer and a celebration of the fall to come. Local artisans, bands and crafts of all sorts are presented in a fun outdoors fair-like atmosphere. Festival in the Park features 180 artists and craft exhibitors and nearly 1000 entertainers.
25th Annual Latin American Festival
When: 4-10 p.m. Oct. 10 and noon-8 p.m. Oct. 11.
Where: Symphony Park, 4400 Sharon Road, Charlotte.
What’s Happening: Headlining the 25th annual event will be Mexican ska band Panteon Rococo, legendary salsero Ismael Miranda and returning the multi-Grammy award winning Colombian rock group Aterciopelados. The festival will also feature traditional dance performances, a diverse selection of Latin American food, a marketplace of authentic handmade crafts, and some of North Carolina’s best Latino visual artists. Presented by the Latin American Coalition.
Admission: One-day pass $10, two-day pass $15, free for children 10 years old and younger.