Cheerwine Festival will return to Salisbury in May; vendor applications now being accepted

Published 10:13 am Monday, February 7, 2022

SALISBURY — The Cheerwine Festival will return to the streets of Salisbury on Saturday, May 21, from noon to 10 p.m. after a pandemic-induced hiatus.

The festival honors the popular soft drink created in Salisbury in 1917 by bringing together Cheerwine-inspired food, drinks and crafts, family-friendly activities, live entertainment and plenty of the bubbly soda.

“We first hosted the Cheerwine Festival in 2017 for our 100th anniversary, and now it’s become an annual event to celebrate our tremendous fans and the city of Salisbury, and pay homage to the unique tastes, sights and sounds rooted in the Carolinas,” Joy Ritchie Harper, vice-president of marketing for Cheerwine and fifth-generation founding family member, said in a news release. “We’re excited to welcome back our passionate fans who travel from across the South to celebrate with us against the backdrop of beautiful, historic downtown Salisbury.”

The festival went virtual in 2020 due to the pandemic. The plan was to return to an in-person celebration in September, but rising COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations prompted planners to pull the plug just a few weeks before its scheduled date of Sept. 18.

The cancellation was an understood, but disappointing reality for many local businesses who have come to enjoy the benefit of thousands of people visiting downtown Salisbury for the event. Since the inaugural event, the Cheerwine Festival has boosted the city’s economy with an estimated impact of more than $1.5 million.

Vendor applications for food, beverages and crafts for the May festival are now available at: cheerwinefest.com/Vendors. Merchants have between now and Feb. 18 to submit their application to be part of this year’s festivities.

The full musical lineup, along with additional details about the outdoor festival, will be released in the coming weeks. The Spin Doctors were slated to headline last year’s festival. Smash Mouth played the event the last time it was held in person in 2019.

“Just like Cheerwine, Salisbury is a Carolina original,” Salisbury Mayor Karen Alexander said in a news release. “We’re excited to welcome visitors with open arms to our city in the heart of the beautiful Piedmont region. We look forward to sharing our unique art and architecture, culinary experiences and historical attractions along with all the wonderful programming the Cheerwine Festival offers.”

For more information on the festival, visit http://cheerwinefest.com. Fans can also find details as they are announced by searching the hashtag #CheerwineFest on social media.

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About Ben Stansell

Ben Stansell covers business, county government and more for the Salisbury Post. He joined the staff in August 2020 after graduating from the University of Alabama. Email him at ben.stansell@salisburypost.com.

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