FAYETTEVILLE, NC (WTVD) -- Fayetteville's unofficial spring kickoff festival is underway. ABC 11 is a proud sponsor of the Dogwood Festival.
For 36 years, the festival has been a part of the Fayetteville community. The opening event is the Cork & Fork, which is essentially food and wine sampling.
"Fayetteville is absolutely beautiful in bloom and we have now blossomed into what we are today, which is now a traditional big weekend event," Dogwood Festival executive director Carrie King said. "We estimate our attendance is somewhere between 200,000 to 250,000."
Organizers said the festival is growing by leaps and bounds. Most recently, it has been recognized as event of the year in the southeast.
"Out of eight states in the southeast, they chose the Fayetteville Dogwood Festival as the best and we are so proud of that title," said King.
There will be plenty of food, shopping, live music and fun.
"We have a second stage on Green Street that's programmed with local artists," King said. "There will be a carnival with games and rides. We'll have bounce houses, too."
The highly-anticipated attraction will face parking challenges this year because the city is planning to enforce parking rates. Organizers said that shouldn't stop attendees from coming out.
"This event is the rite of passage for this community. We love the fact that we make memories for families all over Cumberland County and the surrounding area," King said.
2018 spring Dogwood Festival underway in Fayetteville