Spring is here and that means that festival season is gearing up. Check out some of these hand-picked free events going on in Charlotte in April. Some are totally free. Some have ticketed components and free components.
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The spring festival season is starting up in Charlotte, and the good news is that many of them are free to attend. Here are a few to put on your spring schedule.
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Various locations on CPCC campuses
Sensoria is CPCC’s annual celebration of the arts. A few events are ticketed, but most are free. Check out films, concerts, poetry readings, an Edible Book Fest, literary discussions, photography exhibits, gardening workshops and much more.
Saturday, April 14th
Reid home, 134 West John Street, Matthews
Go back in time and experience a Victorian lawn party. Enjoy games, crafts, a cakewalk, tours of the home, vintage cars and more.
2nd Annual Pop-Up Picnic at Freedom Park
Saturday, April 14th
5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Freedom Park, 1900 East Boulevard
Catawba Lands Conservancy and Carolina Thread Trail are presenting the 2nd annual Pop-Up Picnic in Freedom Park. There will be live music from The Greenliners and family activities from Great Outdoor Provisions Co. The event is free to attend, and you’re welcome to bring your own food. If you would like to order dinner from one of the restaurants, the price of the picnic basket varies.
U.S. National Whitewater Center, 5000 Whitewater Center Parkway
This popular festival celebrates the outdoor lifestyle with competitions, exhibitions, demos and live music. It’s free to attend, listen to the music, watch demos, do yoga, participate in workshops and watch the competitions. There’s a parking charge and a cost to participate in the competitions. The festival features thirteen live bands, including The Wood Brothers, Shakey Graves and Deer Tick.
1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Piedmont Social House, 2135 Ayrsley Town Blvd
Taste of Ayrsley is a free festival that features food, drinks, kids activities, vendors and live music. The food and drink samples, provided by Steele Creek restaurants, are FREE. Kids’ activities will require a wristband, which is $10.
Levine Center for the Arts and Romare Bearden Park
The Charlotte Jazz Festival is a ticketed event. However, it includes many free events. There’s no cost to enjoy Lunch Hour Jazz, Jazz at the Pavilion or the Loonis McGlohon Young Jazz Artist Competition.
North Carolina Science Festival, a statewide collection of events that take place over the month of April, is intended to ignite an interest in science in both kids and adults. Events take place at a number of venues in the Charlotte area, including Discovery Place, UNC Charlotte, CPCC and libraries. Activities include demonstrations, movies, hands-on science activities, star parties, informational sessions, the UNC Charlotte Science & Technology Expo and more.
Saturday, April 28th, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Aldersgate, 3800 Shamrock Drive
Come hungry and enjoy sandwiches from around the world for purchase from a variety of food trucks and vendors. There will be international entertainment all day too, as well as kids’ activities like face-painting, balloon twisting and a make-your-own-sandwich station.
Venues in Plaza Midwood
BOOM is an artist-led showcase of experimental and contemporary visual and performance art and is described as a weekend of art, performance and the unexpected. There are some family activities. The performances in venues like Petra’s and Snug Harbor are ticketed, but there are free performances all weekend at the Intersection Stage, across the street from Petra’s, as well as other places in the neighborhood.
Plaza Midwood, Belmont, Villa Heights, NoDa, Optimist Park and Commonwealth neighborhoods
Open Streets festival is a special event during which streets are closed to automobile traffic and filled with everything from recreation and health activities to entertainment and environmental activities. The activities along the route are free and include arts, entertainment, kids’ activities, science, environmental education, fitness activities and more.