Centerfest brings art and music to downtown Durham

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The event provides family-friendly fun with music, visual art, and performance art (ABC11 Reporter/Anthony Wilson)

The 42nd annual CenterFest kicked off in the Bull City on Saturday.

The two-day festival promises family-friendly fun that includes music, visual art, and performance art at several stages scattered throughout the area. Many non-profit organizations, civic groups, and government services are also featured.

Durham's CenterFest takes place within the downtown loop on Main and Chapel Hill streets, also known as the Five Points and CCB Plaza areas. Local arts and music lovers filled downtown Durham, including George Smith, who traveled to Durham from Charlotte for his third festival visit.

Smith applauded Downtown Durham saying, "Durham has more culture than Charlotte. I'm sorry, Charlotte, but it does!"

He described Durham's reputation as an arts friendly destination. "You've got a lot of culture. You've got a lot of niche bars, clubs," Smith remarked.

That reputation means business opportunities for Jason Smith, a metal sculptor from Hillsborough. His display at CenterFest is much smaller than his usual creations. He said he makes large scale public sculpture, but this display is "more for the shows, smaller scale. So it's a great representation of my work."

Jessica Calise lives in Durham, and she's happy to see a pet-friendly public event in downtown Durham. All leashed pets are permitted on the CenterFest grounds, as long as owners pick up after them. Calise brought her dog with her today, and said, "It's always great to come someplace where Miles can enjoy the activity as well!"

CenterFest continues Sunday with performances by the Durham Ballet Theater, the Carrborators, the Durham School of the Arts Dance Company, the Durham Jazz Orchestra, and many more. A complete schedule can be found on their website.

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