The Matthews Alive Festival is celebrating its 27th year with several special elements for attendees to enjoy. Matthews Alive is an annual four-day family festival over Labor Day weekend in downtown Matthews. This year the festival kicks off Friday, August 30, concluding Monday, September 2. Novant Health – Matthews Medical Center returns as festival Presenting Sponsor again this year.
New Festival Hours
The event and most its activities are now open: Friday 6-10pm, Saturday 10am-10pm, Sunday 1-10pm, and Monday 9am-5pm.
Parade Still Taking Entries
There is still space in the Matthews Alive Parade, held Saturday August 31st. There is a NEW START TIME of 9:30am! Go to matthewsalive.org/parade
for an application. Deadline for entry is August 16.
Parade Theme & Anthem Singer
This year’s Matthews Alive Parade theme is “Attitude of Gratitude—What are you grateful for?” Entries are encouraged to decorate with the theme in mind, and self-made float entries that utilize the theme will be given entry fee refunds. Parade Sponsor Academy Sports will be recognizing Matthews first responders on their float, and the community’s gratitude for their service.
Kennedy Draper will be singing the national anthem to kick off the parade. Kennedy, a rising 8th grader at Crestdale Middle School, won the inaugural “O Say Can You Sing?” online contest.
• Gary Lowder & Smokin’ Hot and The Tams will bring high energy beach music fun on Friday night, August 30.
• TUSK, a Fleetwood Mac tribute band from NJ, will headline on Saturday night August 31st.
• Classic and rockin’ country music fans will love the main stage on Sunday September 1, with Lonestar headlining at 8:30pm.
• The main stage hosts an Indie/folk lineup on Monday, September 2. Brother Oliver, Courtney Lynn & Quinn, and Mike Ramsey play from 11:30am until 5pm.
• The indoor stage will host the Jazz Jam again this year! Two jazz groups will perform each day on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Enjoy all of these special shows in the air-conditioned Fullwood Theater.
• There will be inflatable games for small children in the Griffin Square parking lot, carnival rides and games throughout Stumptown Park, and more attractions in the Free Clinic parking areas.
All concerts are free. Some Kids Connection attractions require purchase. Carnival rides and kids’ inflatable games require tickets.
Important Note for Matthews Alive Street Closures
An early closure of South Trade Street will be in effect during festival set-up. Beginning at 9 a.m. on Friday August 30, South Trade Street will be closed from the intersection of John Street to McDowell Street. This change will allow vendors to set up safely without the concern for vehicular traffic.
Matthews Elementary afternoon pick-ups and bus travel will still be possible from McDowell, from the access road from Sadie Drive to church parking lots, and from lower South Trade. The Matthews Police Department will be on hand during afternoon pick-ups to assist drivers and buses through the closure.
South Trade Street and all connecting streets will reopen by 11:30pm Monday evening.
The Matthews Alive Festival, presented by Novant Health, hosts over 160 regional artisans, a Family Fun Zone with rides, games and amusements, the Kids Connection with crafts, a petting zoo and train rides, a wide array of food vendors, the Southeast’s Largest Labor Day Parade, and much more! The festival attracts more than 125,000 attendees each year, and returns its proceeds to 25+ area non-profit groups that work at the festival.
The full entertainment lineup and the Matthews Alive Festival schedule can be found at www.matthewsalive.org