10 Things to Do at South End’s Spring Festival

April 26, 2018 5:39 am

Art & Soul of South End has been bringing the neighborhood together for 16 years. Over the years, the neighborhood has changed, and the city has too, but the core concept of the festival is the same: celebrate the artists and businesses who make this place home. The inaugural Art & Soul of South End started in 2002 as a grassroots festival produced by the galleries and businesses on the 1500 block of Camden Road. This year, Art & Soul will take over Camden Road on Saturday, May 12th, 11am – 6pm, for a free festival that celebrates craft, creativity and community throughout South End.

Here’s what to expect at this year’s Art & Soul of South End:

1. Make something beautiful

Julio Gonzalez, a local artist currently in residence at the McColl Center for Art + Innovation, will be creating a temporary pavement mural in the street. Even better, you can help! Stop by early to take part in a collaborative art experience.

Studio Cellar will be back on Camden with live painting and micro-canvases you can paint and take home with you. South End ARTS will have a large interactive paint activity, Central Coffee will host a make-your-own felt coffee sleeve art project, and several other businesses will have kid-friendly art activities like chalk, painting, and coloring.

2. Listen to live, local tunes

Charlotte Blues Society will takeover one stage with live music from 12 pm – 6 pm, featuring Crossroad Prophets, Woody Williams (The Funky Geezer), Jake Haldenvang, and open jam sessions. The Blues Society is celebrating 25 years, and will also host a discussion of Blues History in Charlotte at 3pm.

3. Shop Charlotte’s best artisan and handmade works

Sixty local makers and artists will be selling works and discussing their crafts. “You’ll be able to find jewelry, handmade bath and body products and some really unique art and fashion pieces,” says Jordan Dollard, the organizer of the market. The Makers’ Market will feature Bloody Mary mixes from Gilded Beverage, watercolors from Tati Soares, jewelry from Originate Handcrafted Jewelry and more handcrafted items from 11 am – 6 pm.

4. Sample that other kind of craft

Craft beer, that is. Pop the Top Craft Beer Shop, just around the corner at Camden and West Boulevard, will be celebrating its one year anniversary during Art & Soul. They’ll be giving away pint glasses to the first 50 customers and will have free appetizers and special beer releases all day.

5. Meet someone new

More than 20 of South End’s small businesses will be taking part in the festival to share something that they love with the community. Common Market South End will host a Name That Sandwich competition—winner earns a spot on the new menu. Ultra Running Co will be set up with a local business who will screen-print you a t-shirt made out of recycled plastic bottles, while you watch! And Fidelli Kitchen will be doing demonstrations of how to make their newest menu item, called the Bread Rocket. 

6. Learn something new

At the Art & Soul Makers’ Stage you’ll find demonstrations on everything from cooking with Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen to creating hand-made leather pieces with Michael Lopez Designs. On Camden, Flymore Academy can teach out how to fly a drone and you can learn about the art on the Rail Trail during a guided walk.

7. Eat your fill

The street may be closed, but all of South End’s the restaurants will be open! Leroy Fox, Clean Juice, Bulgogi Box, Blaze Pizza, Fidelli Kitchen, Price’s Chicken, The Liberty, Pike’s, Tupelo Honey – you’ll have plenty to choose from.

8. Satisfy your sweet tooth

Fried or frozen? South End sweet shops new and old will be there: Golden Cow Creamery (Salted Oreo ice cream, y’all), King of Pops, and Jeni’s Ice Cream is bringing the scoop truck to celebrate the new shop in South End (Charlotte’s first!) opening later this summer. If ice cream isn’t your jam, Pepperbox Doughnuts will also be at the festival with tasty bits of dough and a chance to learn about what makes a perfect doughnut.

9. Break a sweat

You can have your sweets and workout too! Free workouts will be available throughout the day, including a morning bootcamp from Camp Gladiator, a fun run with the RunBots, and evening yoga on the Rail Trail from a South End yoga instructor. Skufca Law will lead a RunBots Social Run at 11am starting from the Skufca Law tent on Camden. Pick from a one mile and three mile guided run to preview the route for the South End Shuffle race in the fall.

11:00 am Camp Gladiator Bootcamp (free)

11:00 am RunBots Social Run (free, 1 mile and 3 mile routes)

12:30 pm Jamie Scott Fitness Bootcamp (free)

5:00 pm Rail Trail yoga with Jennifer Busco ($5 donation suggested)

10. Hop the hot spots

The festival ends at 6pm, just when you’re ready for a change of scene and a chance to kick back with a local beverage at one of South End’s many craft beer shops and breweries or dining destinations. It’s the perfect way to end a great day in the neighborhood.

Check out the full schedule of everything going on at this year’s Art & Soul of South End.

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