Approximately 75 people showed up this morning at the Colonial Theatre for an exclusive first look at the 2016 Canton Labor Day musical line-up. We were joined by many of our sponsors including Champion Credit Union, Harrah's Cherokee Casino, Haywood Regional Medical Center, Asheville Radio Group, Evergreen Packaging, and Smoky Mountain Local 507. Even our Sunday night opener, Joe Lasher Jr. stopped by to say hello. We are excited to unveil our line-up, which brings a slew of national caliber acts to Canton--all for free.
Last year was a big year for the Canton Labor Day Festival. We took the first step towards putting the “labor” back in Labor Day and transitioning into a regional event. We professionalized our music production, developed new branding, overhauled our marketing, and brought the festival back to downtown where it originated. Due to the support and confidence from our sponsors—many of which are back here with us today—our message resonated, bringing an estimated 11,000 people from across seven states to our little town over the three day event.
This year we are aiming to build on the success of 2015 and plant the seed for becoming Western North Carolina’s premier free outdoor music festival. As a celebration of all things made in Western North Carolina, we will still showcase the products, music, wears, crafts, and food that sustain our region and nourish our bodies and souls. We will continue honoring the past while looking to the future because what better way to honor those who labored before us than to further their hard work.
This year’s festival will take place between Sunday, September 4th and Monday, September 5th. The entire festival will be held Downtown at Sorrell’s Park—Canton’s flagship public space, set in the foreground of the Blue Ridge Paper mill, which stands as a memorial to generations of families who made their livelihood in these mountains. The festival will feature thirteen bands on two stages for zero bucks. That’s right—all music at the 2016 Canton Labor Day festival ends in “free.” You can’t find a better festival value anywhere else.
An excerpt from Town Manager, Seth Hendler-Voss' opening remarks about what the 110th Canton Labor Day Festival means for Western North Carolina here.