FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – The 40th annual Fayetteville Dogwood Festival is beginning again on Thursday. 

The famous festival was canceled both in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and safety concerns following protests in the city. It has attracted crowds as large as 250,000 in previous years and generates millions of dollars in revenue for the City of Fayetteville.

The Executive Director for The Fayetteville Dogwood Festival, Sarah Grace Snipes, said this is her first time leading the festival.

“The nervousness is definitely setting in at this point,” Snipes said.

She said she expects a crowd of around 100,000 over the four-day event.

“I may be a little biased, (but I think it will be) bigger and better than it (has been) in years past,” she said.

The Fayetteville Dogwood Festival starts on Thursday with the annual Cork & Fork, a premier food and wine event.

Friday night will kickoff events at Festival Park, including carnival rides, food vendors and Festival Park stage performances. Saturday will have a downtown street fair featuring arts and crafts, a BMX bike show, a kids zone and a free concert. Finally, the festival will conclude on Sunday with a car show and other attractions.

For a complete schedule of events and other information click here.