As the weather finally begins to cool down, Chapel Hill-Carrboro’s community events are just starting to warm up.
Every year, Chapel Hill-Carrboro residents gather on Franklin Street to enjoy an afternoon filled with local art and food. Called the Festifall Arts Festival, or just Festifall for short, the day includes booths displaying art from around the Triangle, live music from local bands and a mix of different food trucks. Some of the highlights of this year’s Festifall, held on October 7, were a facepaint station, a customizable mural and the characteristic fall-themed chair, a favorite spot for photos every year.
Artists from Chapel Hill to Raleigh came to display their artwork, including woodworking, paintings and ceramic products. One artist, Emily Schmidt, sold handmade journals that she makes in her company, The Plum Umbrella Studio. When asked about her favorite part of Festifall so far, Schmidt emphasized the energy of the crowd.
“They clearly know what they’re looking for and they like a good product when they see it, which is very fun,” said Schmidt.
Some artists enjoy Festifall so much that they return year after year. One returning artist, Faith Beery, displayed framed butterflies to help people appreciate the patterns different butterflies have, while also raising awareness of rainforest conservation. Beery also enjoys the energy of Festifall.
“It’s well organized, the heat is probably not my favorite, but you know, it’s fun. It’s just a fun day,” said Beery, co-owner of That’s Nature’s Way.
Beyond the many booths displaying artwork, musicians and dancers showcase their art at Festifall too. Carrboro High’s own Arwen Helms performed at the festival with her clogging team, the Cane Creek Cloggers.
“It’s a very traditional dance and Festifall seemed like a good place to do that,” said Helms, a tenth grader, about clogging.
Although Helms’ team has performed at Festifall in past years, this was her first year at the event. She liked the relaxed feeling of the community gathering.
“I liked the atmosphere. It just is very homey,” said Helms. “We’re having fun, we’re enjoying music and food.”
This is the kind of atmosphere that Festifall’s organizers hope to create. Susan Brown, the Town of Chapel Hill’s Executive Director for Community Arts and Culture, oversees events like Festifall. Her goals with the annual event are to bring people together to appreciate the arts.
“Festifall’s a great event. It’s a community festival, it’s a street festival, and we also focus on the arts,” said Brown. “So we hope that folks come out and enjoy some local artists, hear a band, and just sort of be downtown.”
Overall, the 2018 Festifall was a success, with festival-goers enjoying the art, music and beautiful weather. If you missed it this year, make sure to mark your schedules for next October’s Festifall. In the meantime, keep an eye out for other community events in the Chapel-Hill Carrboro area, as they are a fun way to take a break and get outside.