South Charlotte

Town expecting a big draw for festival

When the 19th Annual Matthews Alive! opens in Stumptown Park and the surrounding area next weekend, organizers say Matthews' population grows to the size of about the sixth largest city in the state.

More than 150,000 visitors are expected to pack the town over the four-day weekend to enjoy games, rides, arts and crafts, food, entertainment, and much more.

The family friendly Matthews Alive! also is a major fundraiser for many area nonprofits that work the event. Once expenses are paid, profits from Matthews Alive! go back to the groups that volunteered during the weekend. Over the past 19 years, the Matthews Alive! board has returned about $750,000 to those organizations.

This year's Matthews Alive! kicks off 6 p.m. Friday and runs through 6 p.m. Monday.

For more information and a complete schedule, visit www.matthewsalive.com.

Highlights include:

Food: Old favorites such as kettle korn and funnel cakes are back as well as the newest culinary treats including blooming onions and deep fried Snickers bars.

Art:More than 160 Arts and Crafts booths with artisans from all over the east coast

Events

Saturday-Monday: Quilt Show, Basket Show and Matthews Artist Guild Art Show in the Matthews Community Center

Friday: 6-10 p.m., "All-you-can-ride arm band night." Cost: $15; 8:30-10 p.m., Band of Oz (Carolina Beach Music).

Saturday: 10 a.m.-noon, Labor Day Parade (along Trade Street); 7:30-9 p.m., The WannaBeatles.

Monday: 8 a.m., Labor Day 5K starting in Stumptown Park; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The 2011 Matthews Auto & Motorcycle Classic in front of Matthews Town Hall.

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