MumFest is back in downtown New Bern this weekend; businesses excited for return of crowds to event

New Bern

NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — The award-winning fall festival MumFest is returning to historic Downtown New Bern this weekend.

Restaurant dining, artisans, food trucks, vendors, live music, amusement rides, shopping, galleries, and more!

This month is MumMonth, so you can celebrate all month long! Organizers of the event say this year the festival will return with its normal layout and experience but will have additional social distancing between vendors. Event programs will be digital this year, as opposed to physical programs. Event-goers can access those programs through QR codes on signs throughout the festival.

The festival finishes on October 29th at Lawson Creek Park with a concert featuring 3-time Grammy Award-winning artist Nelly.

“We’ve had a couple of hurricanes that have affected the event and then, of course, we’ve had a worldwide pandemic that’s affected it,” said Lynne Harakal, executive director of Swiss Bear, Inc. “So just being able to provide a festival that’s a much-loved festival in Eastern North Carolina to be able to provide normalcy to people and be able to get out there and just have fun with their kids.”

Sandy Boutillier, manager of Nautical Wheelers, said Mumfest will be a big boom for the downtown New Bern area.

“It means a lot for business downtown when events like this happen because it brings a whole lot of new people who otherwise might not be shopping downtown,” Boutillier said. “Anything is good for the local businesses right now that brings people in from other areas. The stores, the restaurants, we all benefit for having more people here.”

Organizers are expecting this year’s event to be close to normal, with a few changes.

“We’ll have more spacing between our vendors on the streets this year,” Harakal said. “So we’ll be having about 100 fewer vendors in order to accommodate that.”

There are 220 vendors expected to be around the downtown area for people to enjoy.

“We’ll have our beer garden with live music. We’ll also have some live music in bear plaza over the course of the weekend as well. And then of course we’ll have our amusement rides,” Harakal said.

Schedule of Events/Timeline for Saturday:

  • 10 am: Union Point MumArch, Shopping & Food Vendors, Amusement Rides Opens
  • 11am: Miller Lite Beer Garden with Live Music Opens Must be 21 years old to drink – Please drink responsibly
  • 6:30 pm: Shopping & Food vendors close
  • 7pm: Miller Lite Beer Garden Closes
  • 8 pm: Amusement Rides Close

Schedule of Events/Timeline for Sunday:

  • 10 am: Union Point MumArch, Shopping & Food Vendors, Amusement Rides Opens
  • 11am: Miller Lite Beer Garden Opens Must be 21 years old to drink – Please drink responsibly
  • 5pm: Festival Closes for 2021

MumFeast! is back this year too! Happening October 15th and 16th, celebrate Downtown New Bern’s restaurants in a weekend-long dining-in-the-streets event! Plus, a food truck rodeo, several dozen street vendors, and live music! Downtown streets will close Friday, October 15 at 5 pm and reopen Saturday, October 16 at 10 pm. MumFeast! is held on Middle, Pollock, and Craven streets.

Free remote parking and shuttle service will be provided by the City from Lawson Creek Park to the MumFest Riverside Auto Group main entrance on Broad and Hancock. The shuttle will run Saturday, October 9th from 9 am to 8:30 pm and Sunday, October 10th from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm.

Downtown streets will close at 5 pm on Friday, October 8th through 8 pm on Sunday, October 10th. All cars must be off the streets before 5 pm Friday.

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