Rediscover the joy of childhood play at ClydeFEST 2024

Pittsboro, NC – Remember how great it felt to play outside when you were a kid? Running for running’s sake? Hula-hooping, playing games, blowing bubbles, creating new worlds? Share that feeling with your kids or grandkids at Chatham Arts Council’s (CAC) ClydeFEST! On Sunday, April 14, from 12 pm to 5 pm, the kids’ festival of folk art fun returns to the east lawn of the Chatham Agricultural and Conference Center–and admission is free! This year, we have a new twist: Recipients of CAC’s 2023 JumpstART Commissions will be sharing their brand new works in a ClydeFEST-exclusive show–The Locals

Karen Tiede has been hula-hopping for years.

ClydeFEST, in its 22nd year, offers a day full of screen-free family fun. Kids can get messy in Critterville or at community booths run by local nonprofits and businesses, each featuring a fun folk art project. Handmade old-school games like Penguin Hoops ring toss, Fishing Hole, and Critter Putt mini-golf will dot the field, while kids of all ages twirl hoops and blow giant bubbles. Painting a ClydeFEST critter cut-out and carrying home armloads of kid-made masterpieces has become an annual tradition for hundreds of Chatham families. “We have a collection of these in our playroom,” a mother of four told us on her way out last year, carefully balancing brightly painted critters with a handful of other newly-created artwork. In 2023, more than 2,500 kids and adults enjoyed the festival, creating hundreds of new art pieces, to say nothing of all the young new artists created that day. 

In addition to all the art-making and games, ClydeFEST wouldn’t be ClydeFEST without live performances and food, food, food! Musicians, dancers, and more will perform throughout the day, while a multitude of food trucks will be on hand with offerings from BLTs and tacos to ice cream, boba tea and cake, and everything in between.

This season, CAC has packed even more art into the festival with JumpstART. The program commissions Chatham County artists to make art–from tiny to medium-sized projects–and then to share that art in the public sphere. For this season’s commissions, CAC challenged local artists to reflect back to us who we were, who we are, and who we want to be here in Chatham. The Locals, on public display for the first time ever, will include commissioned works across various media, all inspired by real Chatham County residents, either past or present. This exhibit will be on display exclusively at ClydeFEST. 

Clyde Jones handing out tattoos at Clydefest 2015 in Bynum. (photo by Gene Galin)

Admission to ClydeFEST 2024 is free, thanks in part to our premier sponsor Connie Fenner State Farm. 2023 JumpstART is made possible with support from Vose Stone.


When: Sunday Apr 14, 2024, 12 pm – 5 pm (rain or shine) 

Where: Chatham County Agriculture and Conference Center, 1192 US 64 Bus, Pittsboro, NC Parking: Lots of easy and close parking 

Admission: FREE