Near & Far Festival Celebrates Diversity with Music, Dance, and Activities for All Ages

Post Date:04/02/2019 2:40 PM

People from all around the world call Chapel Hill home – some for four years, some for a lifetime.  With its newest festival, the Town of Chapel Hill, together with a variety of campus and community partners, celebrates the global diversity that makes our local community so vibrant.  The second annual Near & Far Festival will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 28, at 140 West Plaza in downtown Chapel Hill and includes music, dance, and cultural traditions from around the globe.

Planned as a “local celebration of global cultures,” Near & Far features stage performances, street performers, interactive cultural booths, and international foods.  The stage performances include traditional Latin American dances from Huepa Culture, Congolese percussion from The Sound of Drums, and traditional regional music from the Carolina Bluegrass Band.  In between stage performances, there will be a variety of street performers to keep things festive and free-spirited – from Capoeira exhibitions to Chinese dancers and more.  In addition to these performances, there will be interactive cultural exhibits where festival-goers can learn something new about their community and the world.  These booths will feature crafts, games, and other traditions, including Ukranian charm dolls, Native American deerskin painting, and more.

Susan Brown, Executive Director for Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture, says that this event ties directly to the mission of the new division within the Town, which is to “Inspire creativity and celebrate community for a better Chapel Hill.”  She also notes, “Our values are inclusion, experience, and understanding, all of which are at the heart of the Near & Far Festival.”  Now in its second year, the free and family-friendly event also aims to bring people to downtown Chapel Hill. Matt Gladdek, Executive Director of the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, says that events like Near & Far are responsive to what the community wants to see in its downtown, noting “Activating downtown spaces with international music, dance, and activities for all ages shows off what downtown has to offer and that it is place for all.”

Parking is free in Sundays in all public lots and decks in downtown Chapel Hill.  For more information about parking, visit For event details, including performers, exhibitors and food vendors visit

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