A History of Spring Daze in Cary


Illustration from a photograph by moonlightbulb on Flickr. Used via Creative Commons license.

Cary, NC – It’s spring in Cary and that means Spring Daze is just around the corner.  This Saturday, April 24th,  marks the 17th annual Cary Spring Daze.  The festival focuses on the arts but it also celebrates Cary’s great outdoor living – taking place on the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day.

History of CSD

I spoke with Festivals Director, Joy Ennis about the history of the event.

Joy explained that the Cary Festivals Committee formed 34 years ago. Lazy Daze was inaugurated at that time and the Committee began hearing feedback from local artists who were having trouble getting shown in the juried fall festival.  At this year’s Spring Daze, 80% of the artists are from Wake County (all reside in North Carolina).  By contrast, Lazy Daze attracts showcases from around the country.  All artists must submit applications to be allowed to set up shop, but only the gallery section is juried.

When Did Spring Daze Move?

Spring Daze used to be held in downtown Cary, just like Lazy Daze.

Joy said that “Back around 2002 with the construction of the new Town Hall, the committee was faced with a dilemma about where to set up.  The situation gave the Festivals Committee the opportunity to rebrand the event by locating it in the largest park in the Cary Metro area.  In this way the festival was able to create a separate identity.”

Earth Day

About 4-5 years ago, the Town of Cary made the decision to coincide Spring Daze with Earth Day festivities as a larger event.  Exhibits will provide information how you can help in preserving our natural resources.  Representatives from Cary’s litter reduction and beautification program, named “Spruce”, will have engaging activities for the whole family.

What’s New?

As a result of the Town of Cary being designated a “Fit Community” the committee has decided to add a fitness trail this year that will engage people of all ages in activities to earn stamps on their “Fitness Passports”.  The first 600 visitors to the Fitness Stop near the Festival Information tent will receive a free pedometer as part of the Fit Cary Pedometer Challenge.

Some Highlights

There will be 5 stages with shows changing on the hour.  The Sertoma Ampitheater Stage will showcase many of the larger local groups.  Some of them include:

  • The Magic of Michael Creech
  • Triangle Wind Ensemble
  • Brazilian Soul Band
  • Cary Ballet
  • Applause! Cary Youth Theatre
  • Concert Singers of Cary

In addition to live performances, artists from the Cary Clay Cooperative, Colored Pencil Society of America (North Carolina State Chapter), Capital Quilters Guild will demonstrate their crafts.  There’s also a Juggling Workshop on the Boathouse deck and the traveling Art-O-Mat (it travels this year until the new Arts Center is built).  Performances Schedule link.

How To Get There

Parking can be tight at Bond Park, so the town encourages visitors to use the FREE Festival Shuttle Bus.  Park at the Town Hall Parking Deck located  near the Cary Town Hall beside 101 Wilkinson Ave. Shuttles run every 15 – 20 minutes between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.  C-TRAN’s Fixed Route System will also offer rides to and from the festival for another free option.  And if you are fortunate to live nearby (like me), walk or take your bike along the Oxxford Hunt, Black Creek, or White Oak Creek Trails.

Here’s a link to the Spring Daze Map.

For this and other fun events happening in Cary visit the CaryCitizen Calendar.  If you would like us to add an event to the Calendar, please email Lindsey Chester.


The Calendar is sponsored this week by The Grove School and Cary Spring Daze


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