Charlotte, North Carolina is one of the most beautiful cities in the U.S., as well as one of the most historic. There are tons of sights to see if you're living in Charlotte, and the beautiful weather allows for events to be held year-round. Here are some of the most popular events in Charlotte, NC that every resident simply has to experience.
Festival in the Park
Charlotte's Festival in the Park is an annual celebration that has taken place for over 50 years, and has grown an off-shoot known as the Kings Drive Art Walk. Festival in the Park — which is held in Freedom Park, along East Boulevard — generally takes place during the last weekend in September. The aim of the festival is to bring Charlotte's visitors and residents together over great good, good music, and fun activities. All ages are welcome and there are special areas set up just for kids, making it an excellent family event. Attendees can expect to find a wide variety of entertainment acts and live music, artisan vendors, amazing food, and wholesome fun. Though Festival in the Park usually attracts about 100,000 people per year, it still manages to maintain a friendly, laid-back vibe. There is no charge for admission, and some of the proceeds go towards educational nonprofits in the Charlotte area.
South End Gallery Crawl
Those who love art, mingling, and making new discoveries would do well not to miss the South End Gallery Crawl. The event aims to showcase the eclectic array of galleries within Charlotte's historic South End, as well as the area's artists and cuisine. Attendees are encouraged to take a leisurely journey through the independent boutiques, exhibits, and galleries that fill the area. A highlight of The Crawl is the food truck area, which features some of the most popular restaurants and vendors in the city. The Gallery Crawl occurs on the first Friday of each month, so there are plenty of opportunities throughout the year to participate.
Charlotte's Beerfest is a huge showcase of hundreds of craft beers, complete with awesome food and live music. The event takes care to include Carolina beers, and usually has at least 50 brews on-hand for tasters. It's a 21+ only festival that's held at BB&T Ball Park towards the end of September. In addition to entertainment taking place on stage and the unlimited beer tastings being held around the stadium, Beerfest goers can upgrade their experience by purchasing VIP admission. The VIP includes access to a select reserve of beers, premium concert seating, a buffet, and a gift bag. The end goal Beerfest isn't just to get people to try new beers, but also to raise money for a charitable cause. The cost of tickets range from $20 for general admission to over $50 for VIP.
Thunder Road Marathon
Thunder Road is more than a running marathon, it's a unique NASCAR-themed gathering in the city of Charlotte. It has the distinction of being a qualifier for the Boston Marathon, so anyone who is looking to participate in that event should definitely look into Thunder Road. In addition to the marathon run, the event includes a half-marathon, 5k walk/run, kid's program and 1-mile fun run, and a competition for disabled athletes. Thunder Road offers live music and entertainment, great food vendors, plenty of space for spectators, and a fun celebration to honor those who participate in the races. The event typically takes place in mid-November, and the course begins and ends in Uptown Charlotte. Admission for spectators is free.
These festivals are just a sampling of the many things to do in Charlotte. Head out to explore the area and discover the many other events that the Queen City has to offer.