Join us for Gaston County’s most popular spring festival! Each year in May the annual Down Home Festival offers visitors a chance to enjoy two days of Festival Fun. The 25th annual festival was held on May 10 and 11, 2013 and a good time was had by all.
Friday night (6pm - 10pm) is Family Fun Night and usually features a band at the Street Dance on Virginia Avenue, as well as rides and amusements. A variety of food vendors sell concessions, including pizza, BBQ, hotdogs, and more. The evening ends with a dazzling fireworks display.
Saturday (12 noon - 10pm) Saturday offers an opportunity to visit many vendors, with items for sale including jewelry, food, crafts, and more. Entertainment on multiple stages includes a variety of musical groups as well as local dance teams and other acts. Delicious burgers, hot dogs, BBQ, cotton candy, funnel cakes, roasted corn, turkey legs, snow cones and ice cream are just some of the festival fare offered by our food vendors. A wide range of crafts can be found, as well as painting, bake sales, and more. Amusements rides abound. The Loop-O-Plane, Round Up, Up & Down Helicopter Ride, Zorro Mechanical Bull, Rio Grande Train Ride, Toddler Town and Giant Slide, are just a few of the fun rides found at the festival.
Other Down Home Festival events usually include a 5K race/walk, Cornhole tournament, tours of the Bessemer City History & Arts Museum, a Student Art Show and the popular Miss Down Home Festival Pageant. All pageant contestants receive a tiara and winners become members of the Miss Gastonia Queen's Court. The Miss Gastonia Scholarship Association sponsors the pageant with proceeds benefiting the Miss Gastonia scholarship fund. Family entertainer Rick Hubbard "Kazoobie" will perform at the festival on Saturday and at Bessemer City Primary School on Friday.
Please contact Jo-D Franklin with the Recreation Department at 704-629-5111 or Bessemer City Hall at 704-629-5542 for more information on the festival.
This year's event included local school groups and churches performing seasonal Christmas music, a "Hey!" ride, a live nativity scene, the Little Blue Choo Choo, and of course, Santa Claus. Santa led the children in a "Jingle Bell" Parade, ringing bells and singing carols. New this year was a movie in the park. All events were free. Local non-profits provided food for purchase during the event.