Arts & Culture

Best Fall Festivals In Charlotte

September 9, 2013 8:00 AM

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(credit: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

(credit: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

The brunt of summer’s sizzling heat will soon be behind us. The coming of fall brings some of Charlotte’s most popular festivals to be enjoyed while nature shows off in colorful glory. Here’s a list including established and relatively new events to add to your autumn enjoyment.

49th Festival in the Park
Freedom Park
1409 East Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28203
(704) 338-1060
www.festivalinthepark.orgDate: Sept. 20-22, 2013Recently recognized by Elevate Lifestyle Magazine as the best neighborhood festival in 2013, Festival in the Park has had 49 years to get it right. This is an overwhelmingly volunteer event, from production to performing artists, so if you need community service hours, here’s a great way to help a Charlotte institution. It is a free festival but money will be needed for shopping. Vendors dot the landscape offering wearable and decorative art. You only have to follow your nose to the food vendors.

3rd Annual Harvest Festival & Grape Stomping
Treehouse Vineyards
301 Bay St.
Monroe, NC 28112
(704) 283-4208
www.treehousevineyards.netDate: Sept. 21-22, 2013This is a relatively new fall festival which encourages visitors to take off their shoes and get messy stomping grapes. Reenact that famous “I Love Lucy” scene when she is soaking up local color at an Italian vineyard with a Lucy look-alike contest. There’ll be music from the Rachel Garcia Band, food and craft vendors and more for two days of fun. The Treehouse Vineyards feature beautiful, rolling hills with lush looking grape vines, friendly family pets and a couple of functional treehouses with air conditioning, hot showers and flat-screen televisions that can be rented for an adventure in the trees.

Festival of India
Belk Theater
130 N. Tryon St.
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 372-1000
www.indiafestival.iacofcarolinas.orgDate: Sept. 14-15 2013If a trip to India is on your bucket list, this festival should entice you to attend. Offering Indian culture in an array of aspects, this affordable family event has something for all tastes. Cuisine, visual and performance arts and more are presented. Any fans of Bollywood will enjoy Festival of India entertainment in the beautiful Knight Theatre.

Related: Best Fall Festivals in Charlotte

Bug Ball
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
6500 S. New Hope Road
Belmont, NC 28012
(704) 829-1290
www.dsbg.orgDate: Sept. 27, 2013To benefit the thousands of students who visit the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens, the 6th Annual Bug Ball is a fun fundraiser. People come in full costume dressed as insects, or at least they wear “diddly bops,” those headbands with the bouncing antennae. The bug-themed evening includes appropriate games, food and beverages, a butterfly dance and a silent auction. Seventy-five dollars in support of the Bug Ball gets you a Venus Fly Trap plant. Fifty bucks buys live lady bugs, beneficial creatures in the fight against garden pests, to either release at the outdoor party or take home and release in your yard. Reservations are required for this event.

Carolina BalloonFest 40!
Statesville Regional Airport
260 Hangar Drive
Statesville, NC 28625
Date: Oct. 18 through Oct. 20, 2013The Carolina BalloonFest 40! offers awesome displays of hot air balloons to raise funds for charity. The American Cancer Society – Relay for Life of Statesville is this year’s beneficiary. Bring blankets or lawn chairs to get a spot on the Statesville Airport field to view the balloons with a beautiful autumnal backdrop. Arts and crafts vendors will offer their wares. The Saturday evening Balloon Glow is an after-dark tradition. Balloon rides, either tethered so you don’t leave the ground or floating up in the air, are another feature for an additional fee. Neither pets or coolers are allowed.

Related: Best Outdoor Theaters in Charlotte

Jacquelin Celeste Peters has produced award winning radio programs at WPFW Pacifica-Washington. She is a Culture and Events Examiner in Charlotte, North Carolina, which she calls home. Her work can be found at

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