Wednesday, September 11, 2013

CenterFest 2013 Features Largest Artist and Entertainment Line Up in its 39 Year History

One of Durham's longest-running and largest festivals is right around the corner - and it's not to be missed!

The Durham Arts Council will present the 39th Annual CenterFest Arts Festival on Sept. 21st and 22nd, featuring 140 juried fine artists and craftsmen from 17 states, continuous music and entertainment on six stages from 72 performing groups, lively Kids Zone art activities, locally sourced foods and fun festival foods, a showcase of over 40 non-profits, government services departments, community and creative organizations, and sponsors, the CenterFest Food and Beer Garden, additional Saturday evening performances, and more. 

The line up of artists, performers and community is the largest CenterFest has ever presented, and promises to entertain, delight and inspire a projected 25,000 visitors. CenterFest is North Carolina's longest running juried outdoor arts festival. Hours are Saturday 10 am - 6 pm, plus a Saturday evening after-party from 6 pm to 9 pm at the Herald-Sun Stage and Food/Beer Garden, and Sunday 11 am - 5 pm. CenterFest remains in its historic location in central downtown Durham on an expanded site including Main, Chapel Hill, Morris, Market, Corcoran, and Parrish Streets in the Five Points and CCB Plaza areas. Admission is a $5 suggested donation at the gate and is welcomed to support the festival and the arts programs and services of Durham Arts Council. Children 12 and under free. More information is available at

"We are excited to continue the festival in the heart of downtown Durham," said Sherry DeVries, Durham Arts Council Executive Director. "CenterFest 2013 has involved over a year of planning, resulting in the largest and most exciting CenterFest we have ever produced!" CenterFest will draw visitors from a broad North Carolina region for a weekend of art enjoyment, shopping, entertainment, delicious food, and exploration of all the great things the newly revitalized downtown Durham has to offer.
DAC Board President, Dan Ellison, stated “Centerfest is just plain fun! It is a chance to see and purchase a wide variety of high quality art and craft from North Carolina and around the country and to hear and see great performers. It is a wonderful way to spend a late summer’s day and start the fall season. Art, music, dance, food, and people-watching. Nothing could be better!”

Visual Artists
A record number of excellent artist applications have resulted in the juried selection of 140 visual artists representing 17 states, and including 85 North Carolina artists and 20 Durham artists. This year's Merit Award Judges will view the work of artists in Basket-Weaving, Clay, Drawing, Fiber, Glass, Leatherworking, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Wood, Jewelry, Mixed Media, and Sculpture.
This year's Merit Judges are Kim Curry-Evans, Public Art Coordinator at the City of Raleigh Arts Commission, Kelly Flanders McChesney, owner of Flanders Gallery in Raleigh, and Kristine Styles, Professor of Art History in Duke University’s Department of Art, Art History, and Visual Studies . The merit judges will select the winning artists and award cash prizes totaling $2,500 to Best In Show, First Place, Second and Third Place winning artists.

CenterFest 2013 Citizens Choice Award
Festival-goers are invited to pick their favorite CenterFest Visual Artist for a chance to win prizes in the CenterFest 2013 Citizens Choice Award contest, sponsored by Durham Coca-Cola. Voting/Entry Forms will be available at all CenterFest Information Booths and at CenterFest Visual Artist booths. The Citizens Choice Award will be presented to the winning artist at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday at the festival.

Performing Artists
CenterFest 2013 Entertainment Committee has selected a great line-up of 72 performing groups, providing continuous music, dance and entertainment on 6 stages. 665 individual performers will be sharing their talents with CenterFest. This is the largest number of performing artists ever presented at CenterFest. Performing groups include the Bouncing Bulldogs, Pinkerton Raid, Freylach Time Klezmer Band, Toon & The Real Laww, Jasmé Kelly, Adia Ledbetter Quartet, North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble, Durham Jazz Orchestra, the Bulltown Strutters, Eric and the DiMarzios, Ricardo Diquez, Aurora Jazz with Chris Keller, Jo Gore and the Alternative, Thelonious, and more. The 72 groups will be performing continuously on the following 6 stages:

  • Fox50, Mix 101.5, WRAL-FM Main Music Stage - CCB Plaza
  •  Downtown Durham Inc. Dance Stage - CCB Plaza
  •  NC Songwriters’ Co-Op Stage - in the Self Help/Ninth St. Bakery area
  •  Five Points Stage
  •  The Herald-Sun Stage near Bull McCabe’s and South Bank in the CenterFest Food and Beer Garden 
  • The Children’s Stage in the South Bank Parking Lot across from the Durham Arts Council

New This Year 
CenterFest will be offering extended performance hours at the Herald-Sun Stage on Saturday night. The CenterFest Herald-Sun Stage and Food & Beer Garden will remain open until 9:00pm on Saturday night for the enjoyment of downtown Durham visitors. Wigsnatchers, Black Dog Syndrome, Individually Twisted and the Willie Painter Band will be on hand to keep the CenterFest party swinging!

Additional Features
CenterFest is also featuring the return of the bike valet parking system, courtesy of the Durham Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission and Bike Durham. The bike valet can be found at booths E36 and E37 at the corner of Corcoran and Main Street near the green lawn.
The Bull City Connector is a fare-free, environmentally friendly service that features hybrid-electric buses. The connector only runs on Saturday. For up-to-date route and schedule information, visit

CenterFest visitors can make their experience mobile and interactive by participating in the Bull City BUCK$ CenterFest "Scan"venger hunt! Look for the Bull City BUCK$ QR code at popular CenterFest sites such as stages, food zones, and last year’s Best in Show and Citizen’s Choice artist booths to gain BUCK$ to use at downtown Durham restaurants and businesses.

Food and Beverage and CenterFest Food & Beer Garden
CenterFest will feature a variety of traditional festival food favorites and new locally-sourced food from the Durham food truck community sure to satisfy anyone’s appetite - from locally-sourced barbeque to traditional roasted corn, gyros, ice cream and turkey legs. CenterFest will also be bringing back the outdoor Food and Beer Garden in partnership with Bull McCabe's. Please note that beer will only be sold at CenterFest on Saturday, September 21st.

CenterFest will also have numerous Coca-Cola product booths, sponsored by Durham Coca-Cola, to quench the thirst of festival goers of all ages. Wristbands for beer purchase will be required and will be available near the Beer Tent entrance.

Food Vendors
  • Coco Crissi Tropical Icees: Refreshing icees from a cart
  • Cross Roads Kettle Corn Concessions: Sweet and salty kettle corn
  • D&J Concessions: Turkey legs, Roasted Corn, Deep-fried treats, ice cream, lemonade
  • Eddie D’s Oasis: Refreshing Iced Treats
  • Foxy Concessions: Sun fun varieties and sweets
  • Humble Pig: Local barbeque with Southern Sides and Desserts
  • Orlando’s Concession: Fried seafood including fish and shrimp
  • Party in a Pita: Lebanese and Greek vegetarian food
  • Sarges Chef on Wheels: Chop soul home cooking with Asian/Caribbean flair
  • Sherri’s Crab Cakes: Award-winning Maryland style crab cakes made fresh
  •  Wendy’s Hospitality – classic Mexican, Southern Style, Cajun, Mediterranean

Creative Kids Zones
Two Creative Kids Zones will be featured at CenterFest -- including fun, hands-on art activities, face painting by Paint Savvy, and the popular Bounce House, Slide and Trackless Train from
F & M Entertainment. Hands-on, make and take art projects are free. Face painting and kids rides have nominal fees. The Kids Zone Stage will feature family-friendly entertainment including musicians, magicians, storytellers, and more.

This is one of Durham's busiest festivals, and it always makes for a great experience. Learn more about it, and other Durham festivals on the Durham Event Calendar

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