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The Lazy Daze Arts & Crafts Festival has a long and colorful history. Walk through the years with ease as we remember the highlights of our previous festivals.

1977: Our First Festival!LD3a

Date: August 27, 1977

  • First Lazy Daze Festival
  • Sponsored by Cary Board of Directors of Southern National Bank. SNB approached the Town wanting to participate in a project for the community.
  • One (1) block large - on Chatham St. between Academy and Walker St.
  • For the artists, a 10 foot booth space cost $10.00
  • 100 artisans
  • Organizers forgot to bring the piano from Jordan Hall for the stage. They had to go on the morning of the festival to bring it over.
  • Flatbed truck was the first stage
  • A $500 profit from first year bought a large tent for the recreation department

Highlights from the '70's

LD3b1978 | Grassroots arts grant from the State's Art Council was for $500. Part of this money paid for a permanent backdrop for the stage.
1979 | Grew to host 250 artists
1979 | First time for a covered stage
1979 | Featured the first flower arranging contest

Highlights from the '80's

LD21981 | First time festival held on Cary Town Hall grounds due to downtown renovation
1983 | $2500 of the profits were donated for the Cary Town Clock in Downtown Cary
1984 | Town Clock is presented to The Town by two Rotary Clubs (Cary Rotary & Cary Central Rotary) at the festival
1985 | Lazy Daze Playground is dedicated this year. Funded by an $8,000 grant from the Lazy Daze festival and a matching grant from Wake County. This playground is located in Bond Park.
1986| Becomes the fourth largest craft show in North Carolina
1987 | First year for parking shuttle which is sponsored by WPTF-TV (from Cary Village Mall to Cary Elementary)
1988 | Newly formed Cary Town Band performs at Lazy Daze for the first time
1989 | Lazy Daze is a juried festival for the first time.

Highlights from the '90's

LD71991 | Festival grows to around 500 artists
1994 | Train ride to Durham on Amtrak and back to Lazy Daze
1994 | First year for fancy restroom trailers with air conditioning and piped in music
1997 | Lazy Daze playground re-dedication after face-lift
1999 | Lazy Lazy Daze for long-time festival organizer Sam Bishop

Highlights from the 2000's and Onward

2002ld2000 | Kids World is introduced
2001 | First invitational awards issued
2001 | Special exhibit reflecting on the 25-year history of the festival
2003 | Visitors from Cary's Sister Cities Le Touquet, France, County Meath, Ireland, and Hsinchi City, Taiwan, Republic of China were special guests at the festival
2004 | Festival is named Regional Event of the Year for North & South Carolina by the North Carolina Association of Festival and Events
2005 | Grants of $25,000 awarded to 21 groups
2006 | A commemorative Lazy Daze Diet Pepsi can was distributed throughout North Carolina (an estimated 2 million cans)
2007 | Festival introduced its first beer garden sponsored by the Sister Cities Association
2010 | Grants of over $500,000 awarded to groups
2011 | For the first time in 35 years, Lazy Daze had to be cancelled due to the arrival of Hurricane Irene. Irene made landfall in North Carolina at 7:30 a.m. on the day of the festival, disrupting a 35-year run!
2015 | Festival moves back to Town Hall Campus due to an Academy St. construction project
2016 | Received the Cary Magazine Maggy Award for Best Local Event or Festival in Western Wake County
2017 | The traditional one-day festival expands to a two-day event
2017| 2nd consecutive year receiving the Cary Magazine Maggy Award for Best Local Event or Festival in Western Wake County
2018 | 3rd consecutive year receiving the Cary Magazine Maggy Award for Best Local Event or Festival in Western Wake County
2018 | First time being ranked as a 2-day festival, 47 out of 100, in the Sunshine Artists 200 Best in Classic & Contemporary Art Shows
2018 | First-time winner of the WRAL Voter's Choice Award for "Best Festival"
2018 | Awarded over $750,000 in grants to cultural arts non-profit organizations
2019 | 4th consecutive year receiving the Cary Magazine Maggy Award for Best Local Event or Festival in Western Wake County
2019 | Improved ranking in Sunshine Artists by moving to 20 out of 100 in the 200 Best in Class & Contemporary Art Shows