You can almost feel the excitement in the air as planning gets underway for one of the biggest events in our area, the Stokes Stomp Festival on the Dan. The Stokes County Arts Council is proud to host one of the premier cultural arts and heritage celebrations in the Southeast, so mark your calendars now to come out to Moratock Park on September 13 and 14 for a weekend full of music, arts and crafts, water activities and fun.
Yes, you read that right, this festival is held in a park. Unlike most festivals set up along main streets of small towns around our state, at the Stokes Stomp you get to listen to music and wander among the many booths of arts and crafts under the shade of great oaks and poplars, with plenty of grassy areas just perfect for a picnic or just a rest break, all along the beautiful Dan River. There couldn’t be a better setting for an outdoor festival.
This year marks the 40th year that the Stokes County Arts Council has hosted the Stokes Stomp, and we are very proud of the festival’s heritage. In the beginning, this festival was conceived as a way to bring together the communities of the rural Stokes County and celebrate the great cultural heritage found here among our people, from beautiful music to great folk art. Over the years the festival has grown to include artists and vendors from all over the Southeast and as far away as Texas and California, but the local flair is still very present. Bluegrass bands and cloggers entertain from the stages, while local artists Bruce Burgess and Frank Duncan will have their work on display.
More than 70 booths will be set up this year, with everything from pottery and jewelry to unique fashions and yard art. There are also non-profit organizations and commercial vendors with great information to share. And of course, there’s food! A festival in the Southeast wouldn’t be complete without barbecue, and you’ll find both chicken and pork barbecue at the Stokes Stomp, as well as hamburgers, hot dogs, shrimp and funnel cakes. The food even takes on a local flair with the group Festival of India selling perogies, and treats such as ice cream from Dewey’s Bakery and a baked good table filled with treats from Danbury’s Artist’s Way bakery.
But this isn’t your typical arts and crafts festival, with some live music and fair food. There’s also a civil war encampment set up all weekend, where the North Carolina 21st Regimen provides demonstrations. And you can take place in a variety of exciting activities, whether it’s paddling down the Dan River or flying through the air on a portable zip line from Carolina Zip Lines.
This year’s Stokes Stomp has an exciting line-up of music and entertainment to go along with the activities and vendors, including headliners The Lonesome River Band and John Cowan, John McFee & Friends. Check out the Stokes Arts Council for more details and a full line-up.