Chapel Hill’s annual arts festival returns this October, spanning multiple days, and featuring dozens of local artisans, diverse performances, and interactive arts experiences. Planned by Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture, Festifall Arts Markets & More will activate 140 West Plaza on Franklin Street on three consecutive Saturdays, October 8, 15, and 22, from 1-6 pm.
Each event will feature diverse and distinct content encouraging the community to enjoy them all. The arts markets will include around 30 different vendors from across the state selling arts and handcrafted items, from jewelry to pottery to textiles. Along with the arts markets, Festifall will feature performances, music, and participatory experiences. Highlights include UNC’s Moonlight Dance Crew on October 8, custom poems by Poetry Fox on October 15, and live painting, drumming, and dancing from the Living Arts Collective on October 22. Attendees of all ages can take part in community mural making, led by a different local artist each week. The plaza will also be activated with live music from local musicians, courtesy of the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership.
In addition to downtown restaurants, attendees can enjoy food from a variety of food and dessert trucks, all within the event footprint. Carolina Brewery, Dingo Dog Brewing Company, Craftboro Brewing, and Bull City Ciderworks will be pouring drinks for those 21 and up. For a full list of vendors and food and drink offerings, click here.
Christopher Williams of Plastic Flame Press was selected to design this year’s commemorative poster. Thanks to UNC’s Arts Everywhere, printmaker Robby Poore will be giving attendees an opportunity to screen-print their own version of the poster on October 8 and 22.
Festifall has been transformed in recent years, both by refocusing on the arts aspects of the event and by testing a multi-weekend format. “We keep hearing that the community wants more events – and more arts-based events – so we have designed, and redesigned, our programming accordingly” says Susan Brown, Executive Director of Community Arts & Culture. Brown also noted that the event benefits from collaboration with key partners, “We are so lucky to have great partnerships with UNC Arts Everywhere and the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, who are providing some great content this year.”
All three Festifall events will take place from 1–6 pm at 140 West Plaza on Franklin Street in downtown Chapel Hill. Church Street will be closed to make way for foot traffic, vendor booths, performers, and more. Attendees are encouraged to visit downtown business before, during, and after each event. Chapel Hill has a free bus system and several routes drop off at Church Street. Plenty of paid parking is available on the street and public lots downtown. To see locations, visit parkonthehill.com.