Sun set to shine on Autumn Jubilee
By Rebecca Rider
SALISBURY — The Autumn Jubilee is bouncing back for its 37th year. The annual fall festival will open at 10 a.m. on Saturday, and Andrea Baucom, special events coordinator for Rowan County Parks and Recreation, said the sun should be shining.
“After last year we need this,” she said.
Dan Nicholas Park was forced to cancel last year’s Jubilee after heavy rainfall and localized flooding were predicted in addition to rainfall from hurricane Joaquin. At the time, Rowan County Facilities Director Don Bringle said the event was cancelled due to safety and weather concerns.
It was the first time Jubilee was cancelled in its 36-year history. Baucom said that it left many people — vendors, park staff and families — feeling like something was missing from the year. Baucom and parks and recreation staff begin planning the event in January, and many vendors and festival goers come back year after year.
“It’s a huge part of our lives,” she said.
This year, weather websites are calling for sun and the Jubilee is returning with nearly 180 craft vendors, in addition to food, music and fun. Parking and admission are free, with hay ride shuttles to ferry visitors to and from the parking area. On a good weather day, the event can attract between 25,000 and 30,000 people each day, Bringle said.
“Looks like it’s going to be a great weekend for us,” he said.
Music headliners are Darrell Harwood, Saturday from 4 to 5:30 p.m., and On the Border, an Eagles tribute band, Sunday from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Other musicians are Common Ground and Nathan Angelo on Saturday, and the Praise Grass Band, the Swashtones and the Matt Tucker Band on Sunday. Mailvis will be filling in during band performances.
There are plenty of activities for children with the return of pumpkin painting, a magician, the Knightly Order of the Fiat Lux, Carolina Puppets, the Soap and Bubble Circus and a three-ring circus obstacle course.
“I think a lot of people just missed it. It’s like a family affair,” Baucom said.
This year the Autumn Jubilee is sponsored by Carolina Home Remodeling, Bath Fitter, Cheerwine, Novant Health, Carolinas HealthCare System and Fort Lauderdale Travel Bureau Vacation Village Resorts and Affiliates.
No pets, bikes, rollerblades, skates or skateboards allowed. For more information, call 704-216-7803. The festival is open this Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264.