The 38th annual Dogwood Festival is scheduled April 23-26 in downtown Fayetteville.
Diversity was on the minds of Dogwood Festival organizers when they scheduled this year’s entertainment lineup.
The festival, scheduled April 23-26 at Festival Park, will feature hip-hop, alternative rock, country and a Prince tribute, said festival Executive Director Malia Allen.
The 38th annual festival is being extended to four days this year, with a different genre of music featured each day.
“We wanted to keep a diverse lineup to represent the makeup of our community,” Allen said. “Extending the festival to a four-day event to support our lineup made sense to our board of directors.”
Opening night April 23 will feature music by hip-hop and R&B acts Murphy Lee, Nice & Smooth, Brand Nubian and DJ Doo Wop. Music is scheduled from 5 to 10 p.m.
From 5 to 10 p.m. April 24, the spotlight will be on 1990s and early 2000s music with performances by Marcy Playground and Lit.
On April 25, country takes the stage as Dylan Scott performs. Music is scheduled from noon to 11 p.m.
And on the final day of the festival, Purple Madness, an Atlanta-based Prince tribute band, will perform. Music is scheduled from noon to 11 p.m.
The entertainment will be part of a festival that also will include carnival rides, a car show, arts and craft vendors, food, kids’ activities including a children’s business fair and a first-ever doughnut eating contest.
The doughnut contest will be from 2 to 4 p.m. April 25 at the new Performance Stage in front of City Hall on Hay Street.
The contest will feature kid, teen and adult categories. Kids will compete by eating doughnut holes.
“When I came on to the festival, I wanted to add something fun and different to the street fair to give families an activity to participate in,” Allen said. “An eating contest seems like the perfect marriage for a community (that) loves tradition, family, fun and food.”
The second annual Children’s Business Fair will be held from noon to 4 p.m. April 26 on Hay Street. It is being organized by Cheryl Vandegrift, owner of Play Date drop-in child care center.
The fair will feature children ages 5-18 who have created a product or service, calculated the costs of their business and come up with a business plan. The young entrepreneurs will have decorated booths and will talk to festival patrons about their business plans.
The festival entertainment spans a wide spectrum.
Marcy Playground is best known for its 1997 hit “Sex and Candy.” Brand Nubian had a hit album in 1993 with “In God We Trust.”
Dylan Scott had hit singles with 2016’s “My Girl” and 2017’s “Hooked.” Rapper Murphy Lee, the stage name of Torhi Harper, was a member of the hip-hop group St. Lunatics.
Nice & Smooth is an East Coast hip-hop duo of Greg Mays and Daryl Barnes along with DJ Tedd Whiting.
Lit is best known for the 1999 single “My Own Worst Enemy.”
Purple Madness bills itself as “America’s No. 1 Prince Experience Band.” The band is led by Bobby Miller.
Festival organizers said about 100 vendor booths and stalls will be on site. The Children’s Zone will feature face-painting, bounce houses and rides. A city-sponsored stage on Hay Street will feature performances including belly dancing and tae kwon do demonstrations.
As part of the festival, the Miss Dogwood Festival Pageant will be held in the Crown Theatre on March 21. The Miss and Teen Miss winners will be eligible to move on to the 2020 Miss North Carolina Pageant, Allen said.
Staff writer Rodger Mullen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 910-486-3561.