Gatherings on Main Street may look a little different this October, but the excitement of a fall festival will still linger through Downtown Waynesville.
While visitors won’t see the normal row of vendors and food booths, for the next two weekends, traffic will be blocked off to allow pedestrians to come shop, dine and stroll along Main Street to enjoy some vendors and even some street performers.
Instead of the original Church Street Arts and Craft Show, the Downtown Waynesville Association will replace its traditional fall festival with a newly coined approach, “Fall for Waynesville,” which will provide a festive atmosphere on Main Street without the normal trappings of big crowds.
“Saturdays are wonderful in October anyway — and I’m getting so many phone calls from out-of-state people wanting to come,” said DWA Executive Director Buffy Phillips.
The event will be held this Saturday, Oct. 10, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Main Street will be blocked to traffic, creating a pedestrian-only environment to make room for shoppers, diners and strollers. There will not be any art and craft booths, no food booths, no stage bands as planned for the traditional Church Street Show.
Phillips said the idea was to create a little something special to give merchants and restaurants an extra boost during the fall season.
“The whole idea is the open street concept where it’s just wide open for people to have plenty of space to walk,” Phillips said. “It’s the same amount of people, just not on the sidewalk.”
Restaurants can also set up outdoor dining areas in the street and shops can bring merchandise out onto the sidewalks.
“I know that Ian and Jojo’s will be coming out on the street with tables chairs, also Firefly, Boojum and Birchwood Hall,” Phillips said.
In addition, Fall for Waynesville will have groups of musicians performing along the street, including the Montreat Scottish Pipes and Drums, who perform at Church Street every year.
Haywood Jam session will be at the event, showcasing professionals playing mountain music on a variety of instruments.
Also, there will be plenty of fun activities for children at the crafts table, led by Teresa Pennington and two areas where children will be able to paint pumpkins.
There will also be street performers including jugglers and a live dulcimer demonstration.
In order to help encourage safety for attendees, signs will be displayed asking guests to wear a mask and merchants will have hand sanitizer stations. Merchants will be handing out masks to anyone who needs one.
Musical performers often attracts large gatherings of people, but Phillips plans to put duct tape in front of the performance area to help encourage 6 feet of distance.
“I think everybody’s pretty accustomed to knowing what they have to do to stay safe,” Phillips said.
The musical lineup for Saturday’s event includes:
- Montreat Scottish Pipes & Drums — 12:30-1:30 p.m.
- Haywood Jammers — 2-4 p.m.
- Silver Bells (dulcimer and mandolin) — 2-5 p.m.
- Steve Whiddon on keyboard —10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Ginny McAfee, guitar and vocals — 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Jugglers — 11 a.m.- 2 p.m.
- Mime & Juggler — 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Terry and Erin (banjo and fiddle) — 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Two Armadillos — 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Joseph Fariello — 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.