Archived Arts & Entertainment

Canton Labor Day schedule announced

art labordayThe 110th Canton Labor Day Festival schedule released on July 11 shows that organizers have been working just as hard as the Western North Carolina workers the festival seeks to honor. The South’s longest-running Labor Day festival takes place Sept. 4-5 in downtown Canton.

“Since 1906 the Canton community has led the nation in honoring the workers who power our economy with their bare hands,” said Canton Town Manager Seth Hendler-Voss. “As a piece of living history, Canton symbolizes the perseverance and grit that built our great nation, one innovative business at a time.”

Canton’s unique heritage as a unionized mill town in Southern Appalachia has contributed much to the character of the festival over the last century, and this year’s lineup reflects that. 

Visitors to Sorrells Street Park will be treated to a handmade craft expo, vintage car show, farmer’s market, gated “kids village” with inflatable attractions, and a downtown parade. The nearby Canton Historical Museum will be open, and event T-shirts will be for sale as well. 

Food is certainly central to any Labor Day celebration, and Canton has taken great pains to include a variety of options designed to satisfy the most discriminating consumers. 

Beginning at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, Acropolis Pizza, Blue Ridge BBQ, Fat Bellies, Izzy's Coffee, Latino Heat and Super Snack Shop will open for business. Ice cream by The Hop will also be available. On Monday, several Canton churches will open booths offering homemade cakes, pies, and other food items. 

Although Canton’s heavy on food and fun this year, the weekend’s musical lineup is the highlight of the weekend for many. On Sunday from noon to 11 p.m., live music acts including Grey Wolfe, Cold Mountain Bluegrass, Renegades, Running Wolfe, Lyric, and Joe Lasher Jr. will perform at Sorrells Street Park, followed by Colorado-based festival headliner Yonder Mountain String Band at 9 p.m.

Also on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m., the Historic Colonial Theater will present a “Mountain Gospel Experience,” featuring Ila Knight, The Reggie Sadler Family, and Purpose. 

On Monday, Sorrells Street Park performers Mountain Faith and Haywood County’s own Balsam Range will take the stage between noon and 10 p.m.

The festival’s musical performances are free of charge.

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