About Us

grant2Since 1964, Festival in the Park has been bringing good music, good art and good times to Charlotteans and visitors from around the world. The sounds of “big band music” drift across Freedom Park’s lake whose still surface reflects the lights strung from Camelot exhibit tents.

The scents of a variety of food fill the air, as small children with painted faces happily produce their first art work. Others find the many talented artists who can create an original work of art to grace their home or to give as the perfect gift.

First time visitors are taken by the simple, relaxed atmosphere. Old timers marvel at the freshness of each year’s offerings, as memories from long ago festivals are revisited. Unlike most festivals our lighting system allows us to continue into the night.

This fun filled event is designed to promote and stimulate interest in the arts. It provides the opportunity for all to see, hear, and learn from over 150 artists and crafts people who actively demonstrate and display their art. Nearly a thousand entertainers provide free ongoing performances at the main band shell and many stages surrounding it.

Festival in the Park was selected as one of Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Events. In past years, Festival in the Park has also been chosen as one of Sunshine Artists Magazine’s 200 BEST festivals.

In years past, visitors to Festival in the Park typically exceeded 85,000 each year. However in 2023, it was estimated that 140,000 attended the Festival.

The Festival and Kings Drive Art Walk are made possible by many groups and individuals. A sampling of the organizations who have actively participated in bringing art and entertainment to these festivals are: Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, Carolina Raptor Center, the Carolina Clowns, the Magicians’ Stage, the Charlotte Folk Society, and the Jazz Arts Initiative. We welcome them and the many others who help make these festivals possible.

We encourage all groups and individuals to participate and get involved with Festival in the Park and Kings Drive Art Walk!!

Freedom Park Tribute


  • Festival in the Park has been ranked as one of the Top 200 Festivals in the entire U.S. by Sunshine Artists Magazine.
  • Festival in the Park is a non-profit organization, which relies on public and private donations for funding of its operations.
  • The Festival offers interactive, educational and hands-on opportunities for all children.
  • Except for one full-time office employee and several seasonal employees, the Festival is produced by volunteers and the co-operation of Mecklenburg County Park & Recreation.
  • Volunteering at Festival is a great way to fulfill Community Service Hours required by many schools and businesses.
  • Historically, Festival in the Park visitors typically exceed 85,000 visitors each year. However in 2017, it was estimated that 140,000 attended the Festival.
  • Seventy-two percent of the Festival-goers live within Charlotte’s city limits.
  • Seventy-seven percent have come back from a previous year; fourteen percent interviewed have attended for twenty years.
  • Exhibiting artists compete for cash prizes and ribbons.
  • A majority of the artists who participate are from the Charlotte area and have won many awards on the national level at other festivals.
  • Some artists come from as far away as Washington State and this year over 21 states are represented.
  • Festival in the Park needs you to bring your special talent and participate as an artist, performer or as one of the many volunteers!