2022 Cheerwine Festival

by | May 2, 2022 | Attractions

If you know then you know May 21, 2022, means Cheerwine Festival and thankfully it is going to happen this year.  Can you believe it has been three years since the last time we all gathered in Downtown Salisbury to enjoy the festivities that this day brings to Rowan County?

I have written about the Cheerwine Festival before, but this time I am super pumped that we will all be in Downtown Salisbury from 12:00-10:00 p.m. with something for everyone from everywhere.  I have had an opportunity to speak with visitors before at the previous festivals and they have come from as far as Wisconsin, Georgia, and of course just across the county line.  It brings a great economic boost to our county with visitors staying in hotels, bed and breakfasts, and Airbnbs.

This year as in the past I was able to grab a few precious moments with Vivian Koontz, Events Coordinator for the City of Salisbury.  This lady stays busier than ever now because she also takes care of the Bell Tower Green Park and even mentioned that the park has added 20 event dates to her calendar alone.  She told me “I am so glad to be back” preparing for Cheerwine.  They are getting down to the wire now.  Finalizing all the details.

Cheerwine Festival Vendor

Purchasing Souvenirs at the Cheerwine Festival Booth

Cheerwine Festival 2019

Cheerwine Festival 2019 Patrons

New This Year

The Kids Zone is being moved! This year this popular area will be on East Innes Street instead of being more in the middle of Main Street.  The thoughts behind this were to cause less congestion for people walking down Main Street.   I think it’s a great idea and will give kids their own space as well!  Be sure to check it out as you are walking around. 

Trolley Rides, Beer Gardens, Food Galore, and Crafts

This year F & M Bank is sponsoring the Cheerwine-Historic Salisbury Trolley ride.  This ride will be free to the public.  You can expect to get tours of our beautiful Historic Salisbury areas and see some of the historic Cheerwine locations in town.  These rides will take place from 12:00-6:00 p.m.

Something else new is there will now be two beer gardens this year.  The main beer garden will be located on North Main Street and will be open from 12:00-10:00 p.m.  The second beer garden will be located on South Main Street and Fisher Street.  A fun addition to the second beer garden will be a “Relaxation Zone” brought to you by Troutman Chairs from Troutman, North Carolina.  This area will have rocking chairs where visitors can sit and relax for a few minutes.  The second beer garden will be open 12:00-6:00 p.m.  Be sure that you have your IDs ready at the ID Tent in order to receive your wristband.  Wristbands must be acquired prior to any alcohol purchase.  Be sure to look for the signs before getting in the beer line.

In addition to the two beer gardens, you will have an opportunity to enjoy ten different beer vendors this year.  Leading the pack with FOUR Cheerwine-based beers will be none other than our own New Sarum Brewing Company.  Their beers will be a Cheerwine Lager, an IPA, a Sour, and a Stout.   The other breweries will be Bombshell Beer Company, Bull City Ciders, Incendiary Brewing Company, Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, Morgan Ridge Railwalk, Cabarrus Brewery, Gizmo Brew Works, Buzzed Viking Brewing, and Southern Strain Beer Company.  If you are a beer drinker, you will be set with these great vendors.

Now let’s talk about the food vendors.  Vivian, do we have any??  “Tons of it!” There will be 36 food vendors.  Wake me because I must be dreaming!!  Just to name a few El Patron Mexican Grill and Cantina, Vita Da Pizza, Duck Donuts, Lobster Dogs Food Truck, Yummi Banh Mi Truck, Mambo on Ruedas, Mr. Cone Ice Cream, Yadkin River Pork Skins, Island Noodles, NC, The Gnosh Pit, and a whole lot more!!  Be sure to save room and sample as many as you can!!  I know I will and remember each vendor will have a Cheerwine-inspired food!!

As in years past you will find this year over 50 vendors with arts and crafts.  A lot of these merchants will have Cheerwine crafts to sell as well.  So, if you are looking to start a collection of Cheerwine memorabilia or add to an already established collection that you have you should be in luck.  All vendors whether merchandise or food all have to be approved by the Cheerwine Company!  Can I apply to be a food tester, please??

Of course, Cheerwine will be selling their new contest-winning t-shirt!  Be sure to grab a shirt or any other merchandise that they will have for sale including the “Drink of the Carolinas”!  I have mine and I love it!

Smash Mouth at Cheerwine Festival

Smash Mouth at The Cheerwine Festival 2019

Live Music

As always, we are having LIVE music and this year the Hotwire Communication stage will be sitting on the end of North Main Street in front of the courthouse area.  This location will allow for more people to have lawn seating.  Music begins at 2:00 pm and the line-up is as follows: Lauren Light Trio, Tsunami Wave Riders, and 9daytrip.  Taking the stage from 6:30-8:30 p.m. will be the Spin Doctors, and Blues Traveler will be taking the stage from 8:30-10:00 p.m. to finish off our great day of festivities.

A fun fact is that Vivian has tried since 2018 to get the Blues Travelers at our festival, but there was always a conflict until this year.  Also, the Spin Doctors have been booked now for three years.  I’m super excited to see all of the performers this year.

Welcome to Downtown Salisbury

All of our Downtown merchants will be happy to see you in their businesses.  So please take time to visit them and see all the wonderful things they have for sale every day here in Rowan County.  While you are stopping and shopping in businesses be sure to stop by the Rowan Museum to see their Cheerwine exhibit where you’ll see the history of the Drink of the Carolinas along with some unique memorabilia.

Thank you!

Naturally, this event would not happen without the help of the employees of Cheerwine, the City of Salisbury, and the numerous groups that volunteer to work at the festival.  By the way, groups that volunteer also are given a booth space for their group as a thank you.  So maybe put that on your group’s agenda for next year’s Cheerwine festival and get in touch with Vivian.  This festival could not go off without so many helpful hands and long hours!

As mentioned earlier I have spoken to Vivian numerous times concerning the festival and I remember well that at the end of the night at each festival she will look back and smile because of all the happy memories that have been made that year.  I know she will do the same this year on May 21.  She also will start planning right away for 2023’s Cheerwine Festival.  I asked her if there was anything else and she replied, “Yes! I’d like it to be 75 degrees, slightly cloudy that day, and no raindrops in sight”!  Me too Vivian… me too!

**This award-winning festival is hosted here in Salisbury/Rowan County each year.  It’s a great event for family and friends so go ahead and make plans for next year’s Cheerwine Festival.  For more information about the Cheerwine Festival including where to park and shuttle service you can visit:  www.Cheerwinefestival.com.  Also, you can contact Vivian Koontz at vkoon@salisburync.gov

About The Author

Janet Ruffin

I’m an adventurous soul that loves to interact with people everywhere I go. You might say I’ve never met a stranger! I look forward to discovering and sharing all the things Rowan County has to offer because it’s Your Rowan!