Annual downtown Matthews festival April 27 and 28
by Kara Lopp
Pull out your shagging shoes, BeachFest Matthews is back.
The fourth annual festival with a goal to bring the beach to town will run from Friday, April 27 from 6 to 10 p.m. and Saturday, April 28 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. in and around Stumptown Park, 120 S. Trade St.
The free event will feature sand volleyball and corn hole tournaments, a sand sculpture created by professionals, boardwalk-style food, carnival rides, crafts for the kids and more. Live beach music this year will come from musicians such as The Tams, Ocean Boulevard, Pat Carpenter, Rick Strickland, The Catalinas and Craig Woolard, an original member of beach band The Embers. A DJ will spin beach music from 1:45 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday for shag-dancing demos.
The Sandy Feet 5K and Fun Run returns April 28, this year raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
BeachFest has become the way Matthews kicks off their spring and summer season of events, says Jayson Johnston, special events manager for Matthews. More than 30,000 people came last year to “put their toes in the sand,” he said.
Though the festival is only in its fourth year, Johnston promises the most crowd-pleasing events will return, including a professional sand sculpture built on site at Stumptown Park by Florida-based Sandsational Sand Sculpting.
Spots are still available for the corn hole and three-on-three sand volleyball tournaments. The winning volleyball tournament team will receive a $150 gift card to Dick’s Sporting Goods. Prizes will be awarded to the first and second place teams in the corn hole tournament but hadn’t been determined by press time.
The Matthews Chamber of Commerce will once again host local artists for an arts and crafts show and on Saturday the Community School of the Arts will host a craft area for kids.
All-you-can-ride arm bands for carnival rides will be $10 Friday, April 27. New this year is a climbing wall hosted by Charlotte-based nonprofit Finish the Wall, which travels the world completing unfinished churches and other humanitarian efforts that have been left in some phase of construction without a plan for funding or completion. For $5, attendees can climb the wall (a discount will be offered Friday night), with all proceeds benefiting the nonprofit.
Want to go?
BeachFest Matthews will run from Friday, April 27 from 6 to 10 p.m. and Saturday, April 28 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. in and around Stumptown Park, 120 S. Trade St. Admission is free.
For more information, including a complete schedule of events and registration forms for the 5K and 1K races, volleyball and corn hole tournaments, visit www.beachfestmatthews.com.
Sandy Feet 5K & 1K Fun Run returns
A road race to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society will be part of BeachFest Matthews this year.
The Sandy Feet 5K & 1K Fun Run will both begin at Stumptown Park on Saturday, April 28. The 5K begins at 8 a.m. followed by the 1K Fun Run at 9 a.m. The 5K is a USA Track and Field certified course.
Registration is available online at www.sandyfeet5K.com and is $25 before April 25 and $30 after. Day of race registration is $30. The 1K Fun Run, designed for kids, is free. Free T-shirts will be given to all 5K participants and 1K participants can buy T-shirts for $10.
Advanced check-in will be held on Friday, April 27, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Omega Sports, 8036 Providence Road, in Charlotte. Check-in and registration on race day is 7 to 7:45 a.m.