What is Festival in the Park?

The Festival in the Park is a three day outdoor arts and crafts festival with 180 artists and craft exhibitors and nearly 1000 entertainers.

This outdoor event showcases local and regional artists in a wholesome family environment around Freedom Park Lake.

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.

Where is it located?

Festival in the Park is held around a lighted lake area and other areas at Freedom Park, Charlotte, North Carolina. Located near the historic Dilworth and Myers Park neighborhoods directly off East Blvd.

60th Annual “Festival in the Park”
Friday, September 20, 2024 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Saturday, September 21, 2024 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
Sunday, September 22, 2024 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

What are the rules pertaining to alcohol?

No outside alcohol may be taken into the festival and no alcohol purchased at the Festival may be taken out of the Festival (per NC ABC laws).

Anyone wanting to consume alcohol must be 21 years of age or older and have valid identification.

We reserve the right to refuse service of alcohol to anyone deemed intoxicated.



  • Dogs
  • Skateboards
  • Roller-blading
  • Scooters & Bikes must be walked

For the safety of the patrons of Festival in the Park and your pets, please leave your pets at home.

Dogs are not allowed in the park area during this event (per Charlotte City Ordinance).

Police and Animal Control officers will be issuing citations for violators.

Is it near Bank of America Stadium, home of Carolina Panthers?

Yes and many football fans attend the Festival on Saturday or before a home game on Sunday. It is also close to the Charlotte Uptown Area.

Who helps host the Festival?

Festival in the Park Board of Directors and Mecklenburg County Park & Recreation Department.

Who is responsible?

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.

How do you raise the money to coordinate the Festival?

We raise money through select corporate sponsors and rely on donations and Friends of the Festival for contributions. All donations are tax-deductible. We also charge artists and concessionaires for booth space during this four day event.

Who are some of the participating groups?

Each year brings a large variety of groups to our stages, such as Charlotte Folk Society, Carolina Raptor Center, Youth Orchestras of Charlotte and more.

What type of concessions do you offer?

foodTraditional concessions, including popcorn, elephant ears, ice cream, cotton candy, hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken pitas, etc.

We also offer unique items such as tropical non-alcoholic drinks and  an ever-changing menu. Food items may include gyros, crab cakes, chicken teriyaki on a stick, jambalaya, hot dogs, seafood platters, German bratwurst, philly cheese steak, ribbon fries, cotton candy, candied apples, funnel cakes, fruit smoothies and much, much more!

Is the art juried?


Are there cash prizes awarded?

A minimum of $4000 in art awards.

Is there an admission charge?

No! The Festival prides itself on the fact that it is a FREE wholesome family oriented event.

Where do you park?

Parking is available in different lots around the park.  Please Click here for detailed directions. If you park on the side streets around the park, please be considerate of the neighbors and park your car legally.

Are there restrictions on the art?

All work to be exhibited must be original and attributable to the demonstrating craftsperson or displaying artist.

Are there restrictions within the park?

Yes. During the four days of the Festival NO PETS are allowed at Freedom Park. SKATING, SKATEBOARDING, SCOOTERS AND BICYCLES are also not permitted. Under Park policy alcohol is never permitted in the Park.

What type of activities does the Festival offer for children?

Be sure to bring the kids to the Festival in the Park. There will be many activities for children of all ages. Hands-on art activities will spark young imaginations and introduce children to new art forms. The easel art area, a favorite, accepts as many Picasso wannabes as space permits.

Visit the Family Fun Zone!

Other fun activities in past festivals include:

  • Kid’s Art Area
  • Balloon Artist
  • Face Painting
  • Moon Walk
  • Climbing Rocks
  • Choo-Choo Train
  • Carolina Raptor Center
  • Children’s Art Exhibits
  • Merry Go Round
  • And much, much more….

What kind of entertainment do you offer?

The Festival has wonderful entertainment. There are numerous stages around Freedom Park Lake with a variety of entertainment featuring local and regional talent.

What are the fees to participate as  concessionaire or  art exhibitor?

Arts/Crafts Exhibitor Tent Fees: 10′ x 10′ space for exhibitor’s white tent (see application for fees)

Concessionaire’s Space Fee: Range from $1000 to $4000 per location.

For more information please write or call:

Festival in the Park
1409 East Boulevard
Charlotte, NC 28203
(704) 338-1060 (phone)