The event was held in place of Chapel Hill’s Festifall Arts Festival, which was canceled this year due to inclement weather.
The Festifall Arts Festival, which takes place on West Franklin Street, raises awareness and enthusiasm for artistic efforts in the area through live performances, exhibitions of handmade art and activities for the general public.
Wes Tilghman, the marketing and sponsorship manager of the Department of Parks and Recreation, had a role in planning the event.
“Festifall is an arts festival that has a 42-year history, making it one of the longest running events in North Carolina,” Tilghman said. “It attracts over 15,000 people in downtown Chapel Hill for a full day for arts and events. While we don’t have the actual artists at this event, we have a lot of organizations that would have been represented at Festifall.”
Festival in the Park also included many family fun activities by the Chapel Hill Public Arts Commission, Kidzu Children’s Museum, Go Chapel Hill and many others.
There were booths for face painting, Lego-building, food and music, as well as poetry written by a fox on a typewriter. Food trucks from Food Lion and Taco Bell were parked outside of the event for hungry art enthusiasts.
Kidzu Children’s Museum was one of the local artistic organizations, among several others, set up at the event. Children came to the table to build and design their own pumpkins and fall-themed door hangers.
“We help the kids learn through play,” said Kathryn Gregory, who works for Kidzu Visitor Services. “Right now we’re out here doing an outreach event trying to network with families across our community, and we’re trying to spread the word about Kidzu and what we have to offer. We’re also trying to get some of the families who haven’t heard of Kidzu to come see us and see what we’re about.”
Amanda Fletcher, supervisor of the Festivals and Community Celebrations branch of the Department of Parks and Recreation, was also involved in making the event possible. She said the festival might become an annual tradition if the town supports it.
“This is just a way to give back after Festifall because I know that’s such a beloved event that has been going on for 43 years,” Fletcher said.
“It was the first time in a while that it has been cancelled, so we wanted to make it up to the people who spent tireless hours planning it. If this event is something people want to see in the future, just tell us.”