This year’s Garibaldi Festival offers a chance to make your mark on Belmont

Photo by Melinda Skutnick

This post is brought to you in partnership with Belmont Tourism Authority All opinions are our own.

Spring is festival season in the Charlotte area and this Saturday is just the start of fun-filled celebrations across the region.

The Garibaldi Festival, a free annual event in historic downtown Belmont, kicks off at 11 a.m. on Saturday in Stowe Park and offers fun for the whole family. This year’s festival celebrates the creative community and features live music, craft beer, and about 40 local art and craft vendors.

DownTown Abby & The Echoes, a must-see band that captures the spirit of old soul, performs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and the amazing Caleb Davis takes the stage from 2-4 p.m. Craft beer from Gaston County’s Cavendish Brewing Company will be available and there will be rides and face painting for the kids.

The festival, named to honor of Belmont’s past ­(the city was previously known as Garibaldi Station in the late 19th century) will take place rain or shine, but weather forecasts are looking good as of Wednesday morning. That’s great news because the centerpiece of the festival is a participatory public art mural that promises to beautify Belmont.

The mural, a paint-by-numbers concept designed by artist Georgie Nakima, takes place from 1-3 p.m at the Mill Street parking lot wall and all ages are invited to participate. Nakima’s design incorporates many elements that are native to Belmont, including the city’s connection to the railroad.

“I included natural elements native to Belmont like dogwood, honeysuckle, Carolina silver bell, and the ruby-throated hummingbird,” Nakima said. “I also included water elements in the typography [to pay] homage to the Catawba River and the piece will be layered with textile patterns throughout the design to pay respect to the [city’s] history in textile.”

Just imagine being able to say you helped create a public work of art that’s sure to become a Belmont landmark for years to come.

Photo courtesy of artist Georgie Nakima. You can see more of her amazing work on Instagram (@gardenofjourney) or on her website,

Making local memories in Belmont

This year’s festival marks a shift from previous years. Belmont Parks and Recreation Community Events Coordinator Cassidy Lackey said the city has been evaluating its events, giving each of them an individual identity and providing more opportunities for the community to create lasting memories.

“Since the festival is named for the former city moniker, and since the city is making strides to incorporate more public art, we thought it would be a great opportunity to highlight both concepts by seeking out local artists and craftspeople – as well as give community members an opportunity to actually participate in the beautification efforts,” she said.

“We hope Belmont is reflected in the efforts to focus on local as much as possible.”

Need more details? The City of Belmont has you covered.



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