Cheerwine Festival returning to Salisbury’s downtown May 18

Published 1:25 pm Thursday, February 7, 2019

Staff report

SALISBURY —  The family-owned soft drink company Cheerwine and its hometown of Salisbury are teaming up to bring back the Cheerwine Festival for its third consecutive year.

The free festival will be held from noon to 10 p.m. May 18 in downtown Salisbury. It will offer cold Cheerwine, live music, Southern food, shopping for new Cheerwine merchandise, family-friendly activities, a beer garden and local craft vendors.

A free exhibit showcasing Cheerwine’s history will be on display at the Rowan Museum, 202 N. Main St., as it was for the original Cheerwine Festival celebrating the brand’s centennial in 2017.

Cheerwine and its radio-station partners will announce details of a Cheerwine scavenger hunt in mid-April.

Cheerwine and the city are accepting food, beer, and arts and craft vendor applications at Cheerwine fans can find details about the festival on the website and by searching the hashtag #CheerwineFest on social media.

“The festival is our opportunity to celebrate Cheerwine’s 102nd year in our hometown and our uniquely Southern roots, while creating something special for our fans,” said Joy Ritchie Harper, vice president of marketing for Cheerwine and a fifth-generation founding family member.

“We’re grateful to the tens of thousands of people who show up each year, and we can’t wait for our fans to see what we’ve been working on with the city of Salisbury to make this year’s festival better than ever.”

The Cheerwine Festival has been a popular addition to Salisbury’s summer calendar. In 2017 and 2018, the festival gave a cumulative $1.5 million boost to the city’s economy, with more than 60,000 people taking to the streets to celebrate.

“Salisbury is proud to be the birthplace of Cheerwine,” Mayor Al Heggins said in a news release from Cheerwine. “The soft drink company has called our city home for more than a hundred years. We’re delighted to present this third annual celebration of all things Salisbury and Cheerwine, and we’re looking forward to welcoming Salisburians and visitors alike.”

Details of the Cheerwine Festival will be available in coming weeks. For more information, visit