2017 Best Downtown Special Event or Event Series
The Foothills Folk Art Festival is a family-friendly event that is produced in partnership between the Downtown Newton Development Association and the Hickory Museum of Art. The festival showcased 91 juried contemporary folk artists from throughout the Southeast showing and selling their work. 3,500 people attended the first event in downtown Newton, which had four food trucks, two stages, two beer gardens, ten music acts, art demonstrations and free kid's art.
The City of Newton's Strategic Growth Plan specifies adding a signature event to downtown Newton that will be a catalyst to grow downtown as a destination while also offering economic benefit to downtown. Survey results demonstrated that the largest percentage of attendees spent between $100 and $200 on art, and $30 per person on food. Four businesses reported the largest sales day in their history.
The $13,000 event had a net gain of $38,000 in revenue that will be spent on furthering the revitalization initiatives in downtown Newton.