SPARKcon 2013

Report from SPARKcon in Raleigh

SPARKcon 2013

Raleigh, NC – This past weekend, we decided to check out SPARKcon in Raleigh. It was a festival of free spirits and creativity on a perfect fall weather day.

Creative Spirit Reigns at Sparkcon

SPARKcon describes itself as “an interdisciplinary creativity, art & design festival.” It is produced by the non-profit creativity incubator, Visual Art Exchange, in Raleigh NC.

The eighth annual festival brings together visual arts, poetry, street theater, music, dance, acrobatics, film, fashion, food and more. In fact, you never know what to expect at SPARKcon – hoola hooping, fish tacos, upside-down Shakespeare or Frankenstein (the song).

SPARKcon has a decidedly hipper feel than Lazy Daze (hard not contrast the two, coming so close together). It’s more about entertainment than shopping (although there is a bazarrSpark).

More than anything, SPARKcon is about creating a vibe for Raleigh as a creative town – like San Francisco with a Southern accent.

Last weekend, in the perfect fall weather, SPARKcon succeeded magnificently.

Photo Essay: SPARKcon 2013

We visited SPARKcon in the mid-afternoon. Parked for free east of Person St., no problem.

The first thing you noticed on Fayetteville Street was the abundance of chalk art happening on the street. It went on for blocks.

Our friend, Claudia Mouton of Cary, surprised her mom, Vanessa, with her chalky hands…

… much to the amusement of the crowd.

The festival stretched from the State Capitol south to City Plaza, a happy throng enjoying the spectacle and the sunny day.

The bands we saw didn’t fit into the bluegrass-country-shag mold, thank heavens. No disrespect intended. But it was good to hear some young dudes cranking out their music.

The café crowd was digging it.

SPARKcon 2013

In fact, all the merchants were doing well.

SPARKcon 2013

Up on the North Stage, a band was nailing it to the wall with a prog rock sound akin to Rush. When they cracked into Frankenstein by Edgar Winter, the crowd roared its approval.

SPARKcon 2013

SPARKcon 2013

On Saturday, SPARKcon just seemed like a festival of free spirits, everyone expressing themselves in a variety of ways. If that’s what it’s all about, we could all use a little more SPARK.



Essay and pictures by Hal Goodtree.