Cheerwine Festival organizers excited by return to live event for first time since 2019

Published 12:10 am Thursday, May 19, 2022

SALISBURY — After being held virtually in 2020 and canceled last year, the Cheerwine Festival is returning to Salisbury on Saturday. For residents of the popular soft drink’s hometown and people around the Carolinas, the experience itself promises to be well worth the prolonged wait.

The 2022 Cheerwine Festival will be held in downtown Salisbury from noon to 10 p.m. and will include headlining musical acts Spin Doctors and Blues Traveler, games and activities for visitors of all ages, nearly 40 vendors from around the region, and of course, Cheerwine-inspired food and refreshments.

Hot, overcast weather with temperatures reaching the low-90s on Saturday afternoon show little chance of showers but, just in case, the event will still be held rain-or-shine.

Festival fun

Since the inaugural event in 2017, held to coincide with Cheerwine’s 100th anniversary, the festival has drawn large crowds. The festival has had a $1.5 million estimated impact on the area’s economy.

Event organizers expect tens of thousands of visitors to come out to downtown Salisbury throughout the day.

Vivian Koontz, Salisbury’s event coordinator, expressed excitement over the turnout for 2022.

“The Cheerwine Festival always draws a large crowd,” Koontz told the Post. “We don’t expect anything different this year. We are excited to be back in person and to be able to offer this great event for our community.”

Some of the highlights planned for this year’s festival include a “Carolina Brands” experience hosted by Food Lion which showcases local food and flavors, a beer garden with 10 regional breweries and some Cheerwine-inspired drinks, and live music.

The music lineup for the festival:

Bands will perform on the Hotwire Stage located on North Main Street near the Rowan County Justice Center.

Buskers will also play music from noon to 6 p.m. on East Fisher Street.

The F&M Bank Kid’s Zone on East Innes Street will also be hosting their own events including a rock climbing wall, an inflatable moon bounce, a gyroscope, and face painting stands. Families can also keep an eye out for the East Coast Giant Stilt Walkers who will be making their way around the festival all afternoon.

Planning your visit

For those parking at the festival, space is limited and visitors are encouraged to park at West End Plaza at 1935 Jake Alexander Blvd. or at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and use the free shuttle service. The shuttles will start at 11:40 a.m. and run until after the festival is over. A full shuttle schedule is available online at: https://cheerwinefest.com/ShuttleSchedule.

A handicap/ADA parking lot will be reserved at 231 S. Main St. and ATMs are available at multiple locations nearby for vendors that don’t take cash.

Port-A-Potties, along with central hand-washing stations, will be also available along Main and Innes streets.

Anyone hoping to travel through or around the area during the day of the festival should note that Innes, Main, Fisher, and Council streets will be closed at certain blocks around the festival. Church, Lee, Bank, and Liberty streets, however, will all be open for detours.

In order to keep the festival fun and friendly for everyone, pets will prohibited for the event as the hot weather could be dangerous for their safety. Outside alcoholic beverages are also prohibited as these can be purchased at the Beer Garden instead.

For more information on the festival, visit http://cheerwinefest.com.

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