Festifall Returns To Franklin Street With New Locations, More Events

October 7, 2021

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Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture is bringing Festifall back to downtown Chapel Hill, with a diverse collection of artists and performers, new locations, and more dates. Festifall Arts Markets & More will activate three different areas of Franklin Street on three different dates, making the event more accessible to participants and more beneficial to downtown businesses.

On Friday, October 15, from 4-8 pm, Festifall will take place on Henderson Street and feature more than twenty artisans displaying and selling their wares. Additional entertainment for this event includes a team of aerialists performing at Peace & Justice Plaza, the beloved Poetry Fox creating custom poems, local favorite Clark Blomquist playing country and bluegrass, and a local artist creating balanced rock sculptures throughout the evening. Food and drink will be available from the restaurants on and near Henderson Street, including TRU Deli, Imbibe, Linda’s Bar & Grill, Time Out, and Bonchon.

On Saturday, October 23, from 4-8 pm, Festifall moves to 140 West Plaza with a different assembly of artisans selling wares and unique entertainment. For this event, Community Arts and Culture is partnering with the Durham-based Living Arts Collective to bring an array of interactive, participatory experiences to the event. Several performers will circulate around the plaza, including a stiltwalker, juggler, and a live painter. There will also be literal dancing in the streets when the Collective stages one of their signature “Dance Waves” on Church Street. Nearby restaurants like Que Chula and Spicy 9 will be open for food and drink.

On Saturday, October 30, from 4-8 pm, Festifall comes back to West Franklin at the parking lot at 427 Franklin Street, next to Lantern restaurant. Along with a fresh collection of artists and craftspeople, a cast of characters from Paperhand Puppets will circulate through the event. Live music will by provided by the innovative chamber ensemble of Catchfire Collective and others. Beer and wine will be available for purchase from Carolina Brewery and nearby restaurants will be offering additional food and drink options.

Susan Brown, Executive Director for Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture, says this new model for Festifall was designed to meet a number of interests. “We heard from artists that they need more opportunities to show their work and perform. We heard from downtown stakeholders that more activity is needed to make the area vibrant. We heard from the community that they want more arts and cultural activities happening more often.” Brown also points out that each event bridges the afternoon and evening, which allows for daylight shopping as well as the feeling of a classic night market.

Each Festifall event will be different, bringing a unique twist to a typical street fair and diversifying the experience for artists, craftspeople, and attendees. The community is encouraged to come downtown, patronize local business, support local artists, and tap into new arts experiences. To learn more about Festifall, visit chapelhillfestifall.com. Attendees can use parkonthehill.com to find nearby parking and event organizers recommend considering alternate modes of getting downtown. For the Chapel Hill Transit bus schedule, visit chtransit.org. More information on biking around Town safely is available at this link.