The 20th annual ClydeFEST, a local celebration of folk artist Clyde Jones and the endless inspiration provided by his famous critters, is back in Bynum for 2022!

Presented by the Chatham Arts Council, this family-friendly and local favorite event is set to feature an old-school kids’ carnival “in full form,” according to festival announcements, plenty of art — both for viewing and creating — local food, activities, workshops and so much more. In addition, for the first time in ClydeFEST history, admission is free!

Festivities will be happening April 30, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Bynum Ball Field at Earl Thompson Park, and all attendees should come prepared to get creative, and maybe a little messy!

“We’ve been dreaming of free access to ClydeFEST for so many years, and to be able to bring this to our community as we celebrate ClydeFEST’s 20th anniversary is a real joy,” said Cheryl Chamblee, artistic director of the Chatham Arts Council, in a release. “It feels just right at a time when all our kids have been staring at screens more than ever. ClydeFEST is a glorious break from that glazed-over screen-staring feeling–a chance to witness the delight of nearly 2,000 children and their grown-ups, roaming from games to life-sized bubbles to making art and art and more art.”

Guests can stop by Critterville to paint one of Clyde’s iconic critter cut-outs, several local food trucks will be serving up culinary art, Paperhand Puppet Intervention will lead a mini-parade with giant puppets, and performers on the Chatham Homes Realty stage will include Takiri Folclor Latino, Pittsboro Youth Theater, Bouncing Bulldogs, Carolina Lightnin’, Chatham Dance Connection, Sisters Voices, and more.

A silent auction for a Clyde Jones original work of art will be held at the festival! Many long-term Pittsboro residents will remember the iconic Jones umbrellas displayed in the old Pittsboro General Store, and the ClydeFEST auction is the only chance to take one home. Additionally, there will be an interactive art demonstration by long-time Jones friend and local artist, Peter Loose. This 20th Anniversary commemorative piece will also be available for auction. does not charge subscription fees, and you can directly support our efforts in local journalism here. Want more of what you see on Chapelboro? Let us bring free local news and community information to you by signing up for our biweekly newsletter.