Preps underway for CarolinaFest in uptown Charlotte - | WBTV Charlotte

Preps underway for CarolinaFest in uptown Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – The Queen City is bustling as organizers prepare for CarolinaFest, Charlotte's Labor Day celebration and Democratic National Convention kickoff.

The festival will be held Monday from noon to 6:15 p.m. and feature artists including James Taylor, Jeff Bridges, and Chairman of the Board.

The festival is free and open to the public. Visitors, residents, and delegates can enjoy live music, food vendors, exhibits, and DNC-themed items of all shapes and sizes.

"I'm lucky enough to be staying right in the middle of all this, so we'll definitely be out enjoying the festival," said Kelvin Walls, a DNC delegate from Missouri who arrived in Charlotte with his family on Saturday.

Sunday, many of the tents were already in place, and crews were starting to set up two stages for the festival's musical acts.

"Our class is actually planning to go to CarolinaFest as a group, so I'm definitely looking forward to it," said Winthrop University broadcasting major Zoe Irizarry. "I know there's going to be lots of people and lots of fun stuff to do. It's going to be really cool."

One spot with a lot of "cool" factor is a Google exhibit that's taken several days to build. At the site, located on S. Tryon St. at 3rd St., visitors can demo the company's latest creations or use free WiFi. It's just one of the attractions that will line Tryon St. Monday.

I'm looking forward to CarolinaFest," said Massachusetts delegate Carol Ann Aloisi. "I've been trying to taste the BBQ and some of the local cuisine."

Organizers say the best way to get a taste of Charlotte on Monday is to take public transportation into uptown. CATS buses and the light rail will drop visitors off at the edge of the festival, and they can walk from there.

Street closures began in uptown on Sunday.

Tryon Street shut down from Stonewall to Trade Street in order to set up CarolinaFest.

On Monday, the majority of uptown Charlotte will be closed to vehicle traffic including a large portion of Tryon St., 3rd and Mint, where the temporary transit center is now located, and anything within two blocks of Time Warner Cable Arena.

All interstates will be open Monday, but the NCDOT warns back-ups could get ugly. 

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