In the beginning ... there was Cheerwine! Cheerwine was celebrating "100 Years of Cheer" and wanted to share the cheer with their hometown of Salisbury, NC. So they decided to have a festival, with true Southern hospitality.
Working with the City of Salisbury and local organizations, they organized a celebration of all things good and cheerful, southern and delightful.
The event was a wild success, with tens of thousands of locals and visitors from across the Carolinas converging on this small, historic city to eat good food, shop cheerwine merchandise and have fun in the downtown area.
Locals and fans of Cheerwine alike loved the Cheerwine Festival in 2017 so much they demanded a return! In response, the City of Salisbury decided to continue to host the festival as an annual tradition, working with Cheerwine to ensure the cheer would continue.
In 2018, the festival area was doubled in size to include almost all of downtown Salisbury so that more food trucks and vendors could participate, the kid's activities evolved into a kid's play area including rock climbing and a bounce house, and a beer garden was added for the adults.
The musical lineup was upgraded as well, with headlining band Sister Hazel performing at the end of the day to a cheering crowd!
In 2019, the Cheerwine Festival featured the revered, MULTI-PLATINUM California pop-rockers Smash Mouth! Downtown Salisbury was flooded with over 50,000 lovers of Cheerwine from the surrounding Charlotte area, North Carolina, and nearby states.
Food vendors sold over 1,800 Cheerwine tacos, 500 Cheerwine floats, 500 bags of popcorn and over 5,000 hot dogs! Afterwards, Cheerwine donated $7,500 from their drink sales to local charity, Meals on Wheels Rowan.
The year 2020 brought unprecedented challenges, which our team met with good cheer and quick thinking. The May festival was the first in North Carolina to "go virtual," earning four awards for innovation as a virtual event.
Families at home enjoyed exclusive performances by Sugar Hill Gang, Tone Loc, Nathan Angelo, Ace Party Band and Live House. People across the country followed along on social media and shared their home-viewing experiences, and the spirit of cheer endured.
After careful consideration and guidance from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the Rowan County Health department as well as other local, state and federal authorities, the City of Salisbury and Cheerwine made the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 Cheerwine Festival schedule for Saturday, September 18, 2021.