WAXHAW – The aroma of barbecue, the sounds of live music and the spirit of festivity will soon fill the air in downtown Waxhaw as the town hosts its 25th annual Autumn Treasures festival.
Autumn Treasures will take place Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 12 and 13, with Saturday’s events scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday’s festivities slated for noon to 5 p.m. The event will feature food, more than 100 local art vendors, live music and a free kids’ zone.
“There really is something for everybody,” Natalie Jackson, the town’s assistant events coordinator, said.
Waxhaw town clerk Bonnie McManus founded Autumn Treasures in 1989 as a small-town festival. The event has since grown into a community-wide festival, attracting an estimated 10,000 people over the course of two days, Jackson said.
“It’s been kind of neat that it’s gone from a small event to such a large event,” she said.
Autumn Treasures features a car show each year, but Jackson said this year’s show will showcase a new, unique angle. American Legion is hosting the car show with a “Hometown Heroes” theme. Visitors can view the cars in a “military encampment” reminiscent of the popular 1970s television series “M*A*S*H,” Jackson said. They also will be served food in a “care package” format, she added.
“American Legion just wanted to not only show off a bunch of great cars, but also salute our veterans,” Jackson said. “… One of the things Waxhaw’s proud of is we’re a really patriotic town. We go out of our way to show veterans we value them, so we think a lot of veterans are going to come out and enjoy the show.”
Another yearly attraction is the Grill’n & Chill’n BBQ Cook-off. The event, which takes place on Saturday, attracts professional barbecue teams that compete through the Kansas City Barbecue Society. Certified, professional judges are brought in Saturday morning to choose the winners, and a public tasting will take place that afternoon from 1:30 to 4 p.m.
The Grill’n & Chill’n event will move this year to South Main Street from its previous location on North Main Street, which Jackson said will give repeat visitors a chance to see more of Waxhaw.
“We want to encourage the public to see more of Main Street,” she said.
The free kids’ zone will feature inflatables, pony rides, a petting zoo, balloons and magic tricks. Families also can shop at the more than 100 local art vendors who will line North Main Street.
Autumn Treasures also will feature live music both days. Saturday’s lineup includes Craving Jane, Horsefly, Back Alley and Lipstick on a Pig. The Village Green and The Pam Taylor Band will take the stage on Sunday.
“The town is just very excited to welcome everybody back this year,” Jackson said. “It’s a wonderful example of small-town America.”
Parking and admission to Autumn Treasures are free, and the event is open to the public. Pets aren’t allowed. Find more information at www.waxhaw.com, or call 704-843-2195.