Charlotte and surrounding communities are busy year-round with festivals, sporting events and activities that entertain young and old. Here’s a brief look at some perennial favorites; keep an eye on local newspapers, radio and TV for others.
Street festivals are among the most popular events. Festival in the Park (704-338-1060, www.festivalinthepark.org
), an arts and crafts festival around Freedom Park’s lake, appears every September. Also in September, Charlotte Shout is a month-long celebration incorporating more than 200 visual, performing, musical and culinary arts events in over 40 venues throughout the region (www.charlotteshout.com
Hungry? There are plenty of apples and other goodies on hand at the Lincoln County Apple Festival in downtown Lincolnton each September (704-736-8452). Both the international festival, Ifest (704-687-2410, www.uncc.edu/ifest
), and the Yiasou Greek Festival (704-334-4771, www.greekorthodoxclt.org
), are held in September. The Loch Norman Highland Games (704-875-3113, www.ruralhillfarm.org
), near Davidson, are in April; and various other events throughout the year are sponsored by ethnic and cultural clubs.
Novello (704-336-2725, www.novellofestival.net
), a library-sponsored festival in Charlotte, draws thousands in October to hear authors like novelist Tom Clancy and reporter Bob Woodward of Watergate fame. Rock Hill invites visitors to its Come-See-Me Festival in April (800-681-7635, www.comeseeme.rockhill.net
); and in November Yap Ye Iswa (the day of the Catawbas) is celebrated on the Catawba Indian reservation rear Rock Hill (803-328-2427, www.ccppcrafts.com
Looking for entertainment? The Carolina Renaissance Festival (877-896-5544 www.royalfaires.com/carolina
) is an annually event in Huntersville on Saturdays & Sundays during the months of October & November. It’s a 16th century European style art and entertainment festival. Be prepared to go back in time with actors dressed in period costumes, clashing of armor and the thundering of hooves daily with full combat jousts at the King’s Tournament Arena.On the west side of Lake Norman, the annual Denver Days(www.denvernc.com/denverdays.htm
) is family oriented festival with rides, food & music for four days in September.
Holidays are prime times for fun. Fireworks and a concert sparks the city’s Fourth of July festivities. On Thanksgiving, the Carolinas’ Carrousel Parade (704-332-4407, www.carrouselparade.org
) salutes princesses chosen from area high schools and opens the Christmas season with Santa’s arrival.
Folks who love collecting ideas for their homes will enjoy Charlotte’s many home tours. The Mint Museum sponsors two of the best—the Home and Garden Tour in April and the Antiques Show in October (704-337-2000, www.mintmuseum.org
). The Charlotte Symphony Guild sponsors the ASID Designer House each fall (704-525-0522, www.symphonyguildcharlotte.org
). The Home Builders Association of Charlotte sponsors HomeArama (704-376-8524, www.hbacharlotte.com
) each spring. Many area neighborhood groups and private companies also sponsor home tours throughout the year to display rehabilitated older homes or spectacular new ones.
Many organizations sponsor exhibits and trade shows at the Charlotte Merchandise Mart, the Charlotte Convention Center and other sites around town. Southern Shows Inc. (704-376-6594, www.southernshows.com) sponsors several Charlotte favorites, including the Southern Spring Show in March, the Southern Ideal Home Show in September and the Southern Christmas Show in November.
Allen Tate Company