This weekend Festival in the Park in Charlotte celebrates a half century of its simply stated but grandly executed mission to “bring the community together through the arts.”

Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the 50th production of this annual event – part art exhibit, part music showcase, part shopping event, part carnival, part county fair complete with clowns, food vendors and kiddie rides – once again colorfully welcomes the arrival of fall. As the region’s reigning favorite event as well as longest running family fun festival, FITP’s special dedication to presenting a diverse assortment of live music performers also warrants kudos.

Numbering 100,000 plus of all ages, the crowd will be entertained by an interesting live musical array. Kicking off Day 1 of the festival, Friday’s music bill offers singer/songwriter Madison Lucas & Modern Moxie at 5 p.m.; guitar-driven rock with a psychedelic, punk edge from Analog Daze at 6:30 p.m.; and the howling sonic storm Grown Up Avenger Stuff at 8 p.m.

shutterstock_200725700On Saturday meet female rock band The Reason You Stayed at 12:30 p.m.; Parrot Party delivering Jimmy Buffet hits and deep cuts at 5 p.m.; Rob Thorne & Hummingbird join up for a rock/blues reunion at 7 p.m.; plus new wave rocker/producer/music luminary Don Dixon and musician/songwriter/producer Mitch Easter along with Rob Ladd combine skills for classic pop melodies with hip, jangly inspiration at 8 p.m.Sunday’s sounds include Carson Hill, an up-and-coming teen singer/songwriter with all the buzz who brings her folk-meets-country-cool at noon; The Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestra at 2 p.m.; Randy Franklin & The Sardines, an all-star band with impressive credentials and a variety of sounds at 4 p.m. The closing act is an encounter with Gigi Dover & The Big Love, pairing chanteuse Dover and multi-instrumentalist Eric Lovell, who take their exotic sonic journey into new world music territory at 5 p.m.

Lots to see, hear and savor at the 50th Anniversary Festival in the Park Friday-Sunday at Freedom Park, 1409 East Blvd., Charlotte. For directions, details, and information, call 704-338-1060 or visit

Source:; Debby Jet Jennings; September 18, 2014.