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Cheerwine Festival will stick to Main Street, stay away from new park in September

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Though construction of Bell Tower Green Park could conclude this summer, the city will move forward with using Main Street during this year’s annual Cheerwine Festival in September.

This year, the annual festival has been moved from May to September in an effort to host a safer in-person event as more locals receive vaccinations and COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Additional details about the 2021 philanthropic beneficiary, musical lineup and activities have yet to be announced. Through July 1, fans can enter Cheerwine-themed T-shirt design submissions at cheerwine.com/festival-contest. A panel of judges, chosen by the Cheerwine Festival committee, will select the best five eligible entries to be voted on by the public.

The new park will include a large stage, open green area, water wall, gardens, playground, garden trellises and walkways through the property.

Events Coordinator Vivian Koontz told the Post that this year’s festival includes approximately 100 vendors, with nearly all being those who would have participated last year. Though applications usually open in February with final selections made in March, Koontz said there was no call for applications this year.

Primarily, the city would like to see the park space be used as a resting area where locals and families can break if needed. Additionally, it’s an event through the NC Main Street program, and the park is difficult to see from Main Street, Koontz said.

Since the park is expected to be complete and open to the public this summer, Koontz said she hopes the festival and new park can work hand-in-hand in some way. Koontz said the city has raised the idea of incorporating the park into the festival in a passive way, such as live streaming or hosting entertainment and a handful of other scheduled activities. But the city does not have any intention to put vendors or any major components of the festival within the park.

“The sheer size of the festival is better suited for Main Street,” Koontz added.

Communications Director Linda McElroy said the city will highly encourage locals to use the park space, however, while visiting downtown and attending the festival.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

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