Your ultimate spring festival guide, from local bites to arts and entertainment

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Courtesy of South End Hops Festival

The Charlotte community will come together almost every weekend to celebrate food, culture, innovation, and the arts in festivals suited to the warm weather.

The BOOM Festival will kick off the season later this month, with Circle K Speed Street closing the spring in anticipation of summer.

If you didn’t already have plans, you will now:

April

4th Annual International Sandwich Festival

When: April 27. 12 p.m.-6 p.m.
Where: Aldersgate Life Plan Communities. 3800 Shamrock Dr.
What to expect: This festival will celebrate the diversity of east Charlotte by serving sandwiches with an international influence. Food from local restaurants and food trucks will be on-site, so come hungry for German, Indian, Mexican, Korean, Venezuelan, Vietnamese and American cuisine. Musical entertainment will also have an international influence.
Cost: free

Art & Soul of South End

When: April 27. 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Where: Historic South End. Camden Road.
What to expect: Embark on a self-guided tour of art, shopping breweries and the Rail Trail while chatting with local business owners and browsing pop-up shops. Live music and creative experiences will bring the community together.
Cost: free

BOOM Festival

BOOM Festival
Photo via BOOM Charlotte

When: April 26-28
Where: Plaza Midwood
What to expect: Over 12,000 people are expected to visit Plaza Midwood for its 4th annual festival celebrating art, music, dance and theater in over 100 shows, exhibits, and pop-ups.
Cost: Free to attend. $10 ticketed performances

[Related: 3-day festival aims to be the most diverse and inclusive arts explosion around]

Hindu Center Spring Festival

When: April 27. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Where: 7400 City View Dr
What to expect: Visit Vihar Hall, the Hindu Center of Charlotte for a festival that emcompasses Holi, Ugadi, Gudi Padva, Baisakhi.
Cost: free

Garibaldi Festival

When: April 27. 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Stowe Park. 24 South Main Street, Belmont
What to expect: Local arts, crafts and music come to life in Belmont’s Stowe Park, complete with performances by Downtown Abby & the Echoes and Caleb Davis.
Cost: free

Tuck Fest

Tuck Fest
Photo via U.S. National Whitewater Center

When: April 25 – 28. 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Where: U.S. National Whitewater Center. 5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy.
What to expect: A Deep Water Solo competition, 19 hours of live music, clinics and adventure competitions will draw thousands of athletes and spectators to the Whitewater Center.
Cost: Free to attend. $50 for Terrace Access

[Related: 7 ways to experience Tuck Fest, for every Whitewater Center personality]

Queen’s Cup Steeplechase

When: April 27. 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Where: 6103 Waxhaw Hwy, Mineral Springs
What to expect: Put on your finest pastels — don’t forget the hat — and get ready to watch horses race at up to 30 mph while you drink mint juleps and enjoy your catered picnic (or BYO).
Cost: Starting at $55

[Related: Springtime in Charlotte brings festivals with a delicious focus]

Family Spring Festival

When: April 28. 1 – 4 p.m.
Where: 4400 Sharon Road
What to expect: Carnival games, arts and crafts, facepainting, characters and a DJ will meet at Symphony Park at the SouthPark Mall to benefit the Simon Malls Youth Foundation.
Cost: free

Open Streets 704

Photo via CharlotteFive archives

When: April 28. 1 -5 p.m.
Where: 1906 Commonwealth Ave.
What to expect: Almost four miles between NoDa and Plaza Midwood will be “open” for the seventh annual celebration of Open Streets in Charlotte. Stop by Legion Brewing to sample the Open Streets Collaboration Brew, a beer created by a group of local breweries. Each brewery will put their own unique spin on it!
Cost: free

[Related: When it comes to walkability, sidewalks are just the beginning]

Reel Out Charlotte

When: April 28 – May 5. Times vary, check the website for additional details.
Where: 1824 Statesville Avenue
What to expect: The 11th annual celebration of the Queen City’s LGBTQ Film Festival will feature several local and regional premieres as well as special events.
Cost: $5 for individual film screenings. $40 for all-access pass.

Charlotte SHOUT!

SHOUT
Photo via Charlotte City Center Partners

When: April 29 – May 11
Where: Uptown Charlotte
What to expect: Join fellow Charlotteans in a celebration of art, food, music and ideas for the grand finale of CLT250, a commemoration of Charlotte’s 250th anniversary. Over 75 concerts, performances and installations will make this festival one for the books.
Cost: free

[Related: 2-week festival will be ‘nothing like this city has ever seen’]

Charlotte Jazz Festival

When: April 29 – May 4. Times vary, check the website for additional details.
Where: Uptown Charlotte. Locations vary.
What to expect: Jazz concerts will transform Uptown Charlotte during the Charlotte SHOUT Festival, complete with musical performances in Romare Bearden Park, lunch hour jazz and late night jams.
Cost: free

May

Untappd Beer Festival

When: May 4. 4 – 8 p.m.
Where: 800 South Mint Street
What to expect: Enjoy four hours of beer sampling, live entertainment and a souvenir sampling glass in the Bank of America Stadium.
Cost: $50 general admission. $10 designated driver.

[Related: Is the Panthers stadium’s upcoming beer festival the first of many events?]

Kings Drive Art Walk

When: May 4. 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Where: 600 South Kings Drive
What to expect: Stroll along the Little Sugar Creek Greenway to admire and purchase art from fine and emerging artists.
Cost: free

Hello Huntersville

When: May 5. 2 – 6 p.m.
Where: Huntersville Parks and Recreation. 105 Gilead Road
What to expect: Huntersville’s annual music and arts festival will invite locals and visitors alike to enjoy multi-cultural musical performances including drum circles and arts experiences like mosaics, murals and weaving, among more.
Cost: free

North Carolina Brewers and Music Festival

When: May 10-11. 3-11 p.m.
Where: 4431 Neck Road
What to expect: Live music from Donna the Buffalo, Danger Muffin, and Fireside Collective will draw a crowd to Huntersville for a weekend of craft beer and camping at historic Rural Hill
Cost: $15+

END-to-END Festival

Camp North End
Photo via Camp North End

When: May 10 -11. 5 – 10 p.m. (Fri.). 2 p.m. – midnight (Sat.).
Where: 1824 Statesville Avenue
What to expect: This two-day festival will celebrate the spirit of innovation with exhibitions, a tech symposium and immersive visual arts experiences.
Cost: free

Hippie Festival

When: May 11-12. 12 -7 p.m.
Where: Rowan County Fairgrounds. 1560 Julian Rd
What to expect: Join free-spirited individuals across NC for a grassroots festival featuring live music, bohemian shopping, DIY tye-dye, a giant bubble garden, cirque performers and a vintage car show.
Cost: $10 single day pass. $15 two-day pass. Must be reserved in advance due to size and parking limitations.

Ballantyne Village Wine Festival

CharlotteFive archives

When: May 18. 12 – 7 p.m.
Where: Blackfinn Ameripub – Ballantyne. 14825 Ballantyne Village Way #100
What to expect: Sip local, regional and national wine while learning about grape varietals from the experts. Local artists will provide live music to complement the ambiance of this spring wine festival.
Cost: $30 general admission. $40 VIP.

Charlotte Dragon Boat Race and Asian Festival

When: May 18. 7 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Where: Ramsey Creek Park. 18441 Nantz Road
What to expect: Honor and celebrate culture and traditions unique to Asian-Pacific communities with the 20th annual Dragon Boat Race, live music, and cultural happenings.
Cost: free

Charlotte’s Cuban Festival

When: May 18. 5 -9 p.m.
Where: 11126 South Tryon Street
What to expect: The parking lot at A Piece of Havana Restaurant will transform into a celebration of Cuba’s rich culture and tradition, complete with live music, kids’ activities, arts and crafts and Cuban cuisine.
Cost: free

Cheerwine Festival

When: May 18. 12-10 p.m.
Where: Main Street, Salisbury
What to expect: Celebrate the iconic family-owned soft drink in its hometown, complete with a live performance by Smash Mouth, street performers, Southern food staples, and a beer garden. Attendees can also learn the history of Cheerwine at the Rowan Museum and explore the City of Salisbury during a scavenger hunt.
Cost: free

Cornelius Jazz Festival

When: May 18. 3 -6 p.m.
Where: Smithville Park. 19710 South Ferry Street
What to expect: Enjoy an evening of jazz music, food trucks, craft beer, wine and vendors to benefit the Smithville Community Coalition’s “Send-A-Kid-to-Camp.”
Cost: free

Lake Normal Festival of the Arts

When: May 18. 2 -6 p.m.
Where: Birkdale Village. 16085 Birkdale Commons Parkway
What to expect: A weekend of visual inspiration awaits at Birkdale Village, where local artists will display sculptures, photography, paintings, jewelry and more among the popular eateries and nearby retailers.
Cost: free

South End Hops Festival

When: May 18 – 19. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Where:
What to expect: Craft beer tastings, live music and food trucks will enliven South End for its annual hops festival. And it’s pup-friendly!
Cost: $35

14th Annual Festa Italiana

When: May 19. 1 – 7 p.m.
Where: 800 West Trade Street
What to expect: Enjoy all-you-can-eat Italian fare from local restaurants with bottomless wines, proseccos, and Peroni beer at Gateway Village. Live music, a silent auction and a Kid Zone will offer fun for the family. Proceeds benefit the St. Anthony Foundation of Charlotte.
Cost: General admission $100

Circle K Speed Street

CharlotteFive archives
Speed Street

When: May 23 – 25. 12 – 10 p.m.
Where: Uptown Charlotte. W 10th Street
What to expect: Known as one of the largest consumer events in the Southeast, speed street welcomes NASCAR fans to enjoy live entertainment, dynamic exhibits, apperances by NASCAR drivers, show cars and simulators.
Cost: free

NC Soul-FULL Vegan Fest

When: May 26. 12 p.m.
Where: Heist Brewery and Barrel Arts. 1030 Woodward Ave.
What to expect: A drum circle, collard greens cooking competition, kids’ activities and financial literacy training will celebrate black vegan culture at Heist Brewery and Barrel Arts.
Cost: free

[Related: 3 reasons to go vegan, and where to find support if you do]

ConCarolinas

When: May 31 – June 2. Times vary.
Where: Hilton Charlotte University Place. 8629 J M Keynes Drive
What to expect: This local sci-fi/fantasy convention will include music, literary happenings, and a short film festival.
Cost: $40 for full weekend. $18/each for pre-con Friday-only and Sunday-only. $30 for pre-con Saturday-only. Group rates available as well. Get tickets here.

3 COMMENTS

  1. How did y’all leave out the Cheerwine Festival in Salisbury on Saturday, May 18? Smash Mouth is the headlining band of this FREE festival that brings at least 20,000 people to our community.

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