Keeping the excitement level high for an annual festival can be tricky. Organizers have to constantly walk the fine line of keeping things new and exciting without missing out on tried and true favorites people look forward to every year.
The committee in charge of Celebrate Charlotte feels they have found the right mix this year and are planning for one of the best weekends the annual festival has seen to date.
One way the committee has been able to blend a bit of the old with something new is by featuring local artwork. The art walk was a fan favorite for its short existence as a Celebrate Charlotte attraction. People loved seeing local artwork displayed in storefronts throughout the community. This year, people can peruse artwork created by Charlotte High School students who have put together pieces that they feel represent what it means to “Celebrate Charlotte.”
“I think it’s great to get our youth involved in any way we can,” said Amanda Lipsey, Charlotte Chamber of Commerce interim director. “This is a great way to get them involved in our community while showcasing their talent.”
Talent in many forms is always on display at Celebrate Charlotte. One aspect the festival committee has really focused on the last few years is musical talent. This year, they are taking it to another level. The committee has partnered with the Charlotte Bluegrass Festival, which also takes place June 16, 17 and 18 in Charlotte, to share promotional efforts and musical talent. Performers from the Bluegrass Festival will play their brand of music throughout downtown during Celebrate Charlotte.
Blues and Brews also returns this year to Beach Market. This year, however, the event will take place Friday, June 17 and Saturday, June 18. The Charlotte Brewing Company is providing a number of their locally crafted brews.
Adding to the attraction of the Blues and Brews event will be the new Beach Market Food Stand, which will be set up on Lovett Street on Friday and Saturday evenings. First Congregational Church, the Charlotte Lions Club and other local food vendors will be on hand to provide meals while you listen to great live music.
All of the action kicks off Wednesday, June 15 at your Charlotte Performing Arts Center. There the new Roaring Twenties Band will perform a high-energy set beginning at 6:30 p.m. The Eaton Area Senior Center is providing a pre-show meal in the Charlotte High School cafeteria.
The always popular Bite of Charlotte returns Thursday, June 16 from 6 to 8 p.m., coinciding with the wildly popular touch-a-truck event downtown. On Friday, classic cars will line Cochran Avenue from Lawrence Avenue to Henry Street from 6 to 10 p.m. for the annual Cruise In.
Saturday activities begin early at Courthouse Square as a number of family-friendly vendors set up their booths. The bounce houses are being provided free of charge this year for families on the Courthouse Square Lawn. The weekend wraps up with the annual Fathers Day Fly In at Fitch H. Beach Municipal Airport on Sunday, June 19 and ends at the Eaton County Fairgrounds with an evening of gospel music and fireworks.