‘The Grand Daddy of all Festivals’ returns to Charlotte with the 57th annual Festival in the Park

Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 5:55 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 24, 2021 at 6:23 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Charlotte’s Festival In the Park is back after a cancelation last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In its 57th year, the festival will host 140 artists, amusement rides and all the fried food you would expect.

“The one thing we can’t control is the weather, so when we get great weather we’re just so excited and that’s what we have,” Frank Whitney, with Festival in the Park, said.

Whitney says organizers and vendors are thrilled to bring the event back.

“I’m so excited, I’m so excited to be back!” Diane Tillman told WBTV.

Tillman and her husband Bernard have been selling her famous funnel cake at this festival for 10 years.

“Doing Festival in the Park, it’s the granddaddy of all festivals, it just seems like things are getting back to normal,” Bernard said.

Safety is also a priority with event organizers giving out 2,000 masks provided by Atrium Health.

They also expanded the walkways to allow for more social distancing.

Masks are not required outdoors, but they are recommended inside artists’ tents.

“I’ve been painting for a while, and done some smaller shows and this just seemed like the next step,” Meredith Harris, who is selling coastal paintings, told WBTV.

Small business owners are getting a boost and families are enjoying the little things.

“I just like how the leaves change colors and stuff I think it’s kind of cool,” Owen Larson said.

Everyone agrees, it’s nice to get back to timeless traditions.

“We’re so blessed, what a great weekend,” Linda Hatley said. “It’s good to see everybody back. Festival In the Park is the granddaddy of all festivals. When this one was on, we knew we were okay.”

Festival In the Park is set up at Freedom Park with the following schedule:

Friday, September 24th, 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Saturday, September 25th 10:00 am – 9:00 pm

Sunday, September 26th 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

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