Historic Morganton Festival set to return Sept. 8-9 in


Get ready for an unforgettable weekend filled with excitement, as the much-anticipated Historic Morganton Festival presented by UNC Health Blue Ridge returns to downtown Morganton on Sept. 8-9.

This year’s festival will offer nine blocks of downtown streets filled with more than 250 vendors offering a diverse range of crafts, free entertainment across three stages, mouth-watering festival food favorites, thrilling rides and games, and fun for all ages. The event will kick off on Friday, Sept. 8 at noon as the food and beverage vendors open up offering gyros, BBQ, chicken on a stick, egg rolls, roasted corn on the cob, funnel cakes, ice cream and much more.

Craft vendors will be lining the streets offering an assortment of handmade art, jewelry, woodworking, pottery, soap, candles and more.

The popular Kids Zone and Teen Zone will open at 2 p.m. Friday with ticketed rides and games along with the free craft area known as Litter Critters, for children in grades fifth and under. Returning for the first time in more than five years is the free KidZone Stage, located at 111 N. Green St. The stage will offer performances Friday afternoon and evening from magicians and an awe-inspiring dinosaur extraordinaire.

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For teens and fun-loving adults, the Teen Zone, located on North Sterling Street, will feature Jacob’s Ladder, Wild West Mechanical Bull, Volcano Island Rock Climbing Wall and a Pedestal Joust. Also in the Teen Zone will be local entertainers performing on the Pepsi Stage, located at the intersection of Sterling and Avery Street. Burke County Senior Dancers, Debbie Huffman Dance Academy, and The Dance Factory will have performances at the bottom of the hour beginning at 5:30 p.m. Friday.

After a day full of shopping, eating and fun, attendees can head to the Courthouse Square Stage for free music entertainment. Lucas Jagneaux & the Roadshow will hit the Courthouse Square Stage at 7:30 p.m. Recently being awarded as the Texas Music Songwriter winner, Lucas Jagneaux and the Roadshow are sure to have festival-goers enjoying their Texas flare.

The Red Clay Strays will close the Friday evening of the festival with a performance from 9:30-11 p.m. Reminiscent of the vibrant heyday of southern music, the band finds their origins in the styles of classic country, rockabilly, and gospel-fed soul all the while ushering in a new era of rock ‘n’ roll that is as distinctive as the people who form it. The band just finished performances at Lollapalooza and recently came off a tour with Dierks Bentley and Molly Tuttle.

On Saturday, Sept. 9, the festival returns for a full day of shopping and entertainment beginning at 9 a.m. Yard art, baskets, crafted toys, wines, carvings, plants, pottery and lots of jewelry can be discovered along the blocks North and South Sterling, East and West Union, and North and South Green streets.

Throughout the day there are activities for the entire family including additional performances from local troupes on the Pepsi Stage and KidZone Stage. At 9:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, Tumblemania kicks off the morning of performances followed by Sandy Beach Shag Club, Hickory Academy of Martial Arts, Sherri’s School of Dance, Morganton Ukulele Society, Southern Swag Dance Academy and The Dance Factory performing at the bottom of the hour.

The KidZone Stage Kicks off a day full of entertainment at 10 a.m. with Ed’s Dinosaurs followed by Robert the Magician at 11 a.m., and a meet and greet with the festival mascot Gus the Groundhog at noon. In addition to dinosaurs and magic, the KidZone Stage will host the Little Miss Historic Morganton Pageant at 3 p.m.

Live music will continue Saturday evening at 7 p.m. on the Courthouse Square Stage with REV ON “The Foreigner Experience.” REV ON plays all classic hits made famous by rock legends Foreigner. Closing out the Morganton Festival is Bohemian Queen performing from 8:30-10 p.m. Faithfully performing hit after hit, Bohemian Queen delivers an energetic set that offers festival-goers a recognizable brand with globally known classics from the iconic band Queen.

Come play in the streets and be a part of this memory making event on September 8 and 9 in downtown Morganton. The festival is an animal-free event and will go on rain or shine. For a complete listing of all the events including the Courthouse Square Stage, Pepsi Stage, KidZone Stage, Little Miss Historic Morganton Pageant, and more, call 828-438-5252; email at info@morgantonfest.org; or check out the website at www.morgantonfest.org.

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