Arts and Culture in Dunn, NC
Harnett County has a vibrant arts scene and an array of annual festivals that celebrate the colorful heritage of the region.
The Harnett County Arts Council promotes area artists with exhibits, receptions, dinners and even a featured artist of the month. The organization works with visual, performing and literary artists, as well as organizations that preserve the county’s history. Heritage is also preserved in the frequent festivals that dot the cultural calendar in Harnett County.
Festivals, Events in Harnett County
The North Carolina Cotton Festival, held each November in Dunn, celebrates one of the region’s most important crops with exhibitions of cotton being ginned and baled.
In recent years, Dunn also has been the site of a series of free nighttime street concerts dubbed Boogie Down on Broad Street. Held in the heart of downtown, the periodic events takes place in the spring and fall in order to take advantage of the ideal evening weather.
For throwback fun there is the Angier Crepe Myrtle Festival. The September event offers a number of classic activities worthy of the old state fairs, such as square dancing and a hot-dog eating contest. The Crepe Myrtle Festival used to include a motorcycle show, but that part of the festival became so popular that it spun off into a separate entity held in June called the Angier Bike Fest.
One of the area’s oldest celebrations is the Farmer’s Day and Wagon Train Festival in Coats, which began more than 90 years ago as a way for farmers to celebrate after their crops had been harvested and sold. Other festivals include Erwin Denim Days, which honors the era when Harnett County was home to one of the largest Levi Strauss plants in the country, as well as a Fourth of July celebration and a Fall Festival held in Lillington.
Theaters and Live Performances
Children in Harnett County quickly become accustomed to the cultural scene by taking part in Harnett Off Broadway, a festival that showcases the musical, dancing and artistic abilities of Harnett County School students. Months of preparation and practice culminate with performances and art showings over a two-weekend span in March.
The school district also holds an annual Very Special Arts Celebration that exposes students with disabilities to a variety of performing and visual arts. Aspiring actors in Harnett County can take to the stage at the Harnett Regional Theater, where productions range from locally written plays to such Broadway smash hits as Beauty and the Beast.
And for those who prefer to look instead of participate, there are nearly a dozen museums in Harnett, including the Gourd Museum in the Angier Library, with hundreds of gourds from throughout the world on display.
Check out more on the arts in Dunn, NC.