2018 Best Downtown Special Event or Event Series
Lenoir’s Carolina Tattoo and Arts Gathering is special event that is designed to attract the creative class in an authentic and overwhelmingly creative way. The furniture industry initially brought the creative class to Lenoir, and now it is done through data centers such as Google. Lenoir’s new brand, “TOGETHER WE CREATE,” and the Tattoo and Arts Gathering illustrate Lenoir’s “WE CREATE” spirit.
The Gathering attracts internationally renowned tattoo artists to downtown Lenoir and showcases their work to over 3,500 people that attend the event. The artists set up booths in three historic downtown buildings. They book tattoo sessions up to a year in advance and have earnings of thousands of dollars an hour. The Main Street volunteers bake and handout more than 100 dozen cookies and cakes annually at the event.
The impact is tremendous. Social media impressions totaled nearly three million for the last event, which brought in participants from fifty-four zip codes, twenty-five states, and seven countries. Affiliates of the Gathering have purchased downtown buildings with plans to redevelop them, and activities are underway to expand the event to feature art that is created with unique and alternative media.