Charlotte's Festival in the Park

Artist tents for Festival in the Park line the lake at Freedom Park
Festival in the Park/Freedom Park

2017 will be the 53rd year of one of Charlotte's favorite festivals, Festival in the Park. This annual event shines a light on Charlotte's incredibly diverse local arts scene with an entire weekend dedicated fully to regional visual arts and crafts, performance arts, and live music.

For most years, the festival was four days long. But 2014 saw it drop down to three days in hopes of attracting more high caliber artists. It seemed to work, so the festival continued with this trend.

This festival has been named one of the "Top 20 Events in the Southeast" for the month of September by the Southeast Tourism Society, and it won a 2015 BOB award for Voter’s Choice in Media, Arts, Events. The festival brings all these accolades with good reason.

Festival in the Park

Over 1,000 artists and entertainers are set to perform in some fashion, and close to 200 arts and crafts exhibits are scheduled, with seven stages devoted to live music, performances, clowns and more. Visitors will have the chance to see, hear, and learn from over 150 artists and craft designers who will demonstrate and display their art.

Visitors will have plenty of opportunities to take home a part of the festival, as the Anne Reynolds Belk Artists' Walk will showcase close to 70 fine art and craft exhibitors. Further along Freedom Park's Lake Walk, dozens of more traditional arts and crafts booth will offer a variety of products. If you're looking for something truly special, the majority of artists can create an original work designed to your specifications. More artwork will be featured on the King's Drive Art Walk, located on Sugar Creek Greenway (a natural waterway between East Morehead Street and Pearle Street Bridget along Kings Drive)

The “Family Fun Zone” surrounds the Freedom Park locomotive, and hosts rides for younger festival-goers. Children can experience their first merry go round or Ferris Wheel, climb an inflatable obstacle course, explore the locomotive, ride on a train, or venture down a dual slide. Tickets must be purchased for the Fun Zone rides.

The main stage at Freedom Park will play host to a variety of live music, and there will be six smaller stages around the area, including a folk stage, a theater stage and a “clowning” stage. Check out the complete 2017 Festival in the Park stage schedule.

Essential Information

Dates and Hours: 

September 22 - September 24, 2017

Friday, September 22, 2017, 4:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Saturday, September 23, 2017, 10:00 am – 9:30 pm
Sunday, September 24, 2017, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm

Location: Freedom Park
Address: 1900 East Blvd, Charlotte, North Carolina
Admission: Free!

Parking: Usually, more than 100,000 people attend the festival, and it grows almost every year. Parking spaces actually in Freedom Park will fill up quickly. Parking is available Friday after 5 pm and all day Saturday and Sunday at:

  • CMC Myers Park (East Blvd at Kings Drive)
  • Holy Trinity Catholic Middle School (Park Road and Princeton Avenue)
  • Myers Park Traditional School (Radcliffe Avenue near Queens Road)
  • Cost is ~$10 per car, proceeds benefit the respective schools.
  • Free shuttle transportation with paid parking to Festival from Holy Trinity Catholic Middle School and Myers Park Traditional School.
  • Handicapped individuals may park at Myers Park Traditional School and Holy Trinity Catholic Middle School.
  • The parking attendant will notify the shuttle which will pick you up at your vehicle to take you to the festival.

    The light rail shuttle to Festival in the Park:

    • Running from the East/West light rail stop on Camden at West Blvd.
    • The shuttle will be running during Festival hours.
    • Cost is ~$2.00 per rider.