The Fayetteville Dogwood Festival was founded in 1982 by Bill Hurley, John Malzone and other city leaders who had a vision to improve the image of Fayetteville and create a uniting force for various events in our community. Hurley, Fayetteville's mayor, began the Dogwood Festival after proclaiming Fayetteville "The City of Dogwoods." The festival has quickly developed into one of the top events in the southeast and provides an outlet for both local and national musicians, artists, arts and crafts vendors, food vendors and serves as an educational resource for children.
In a survey conducted by the Cumberland County Business Council, the Fayetteville Dogwood Festival was ranked as one of the main attractions for the city. The festival's estimated economic impact is over 2.5 million dollars. 2007's festival was the largest yet and brought nearly 160,000 people to downtown Fayetteville over a three day period.
In 2000, after years of being a ten day event, The Fayetteville Dogwood Festival was transformed into a spectacular three day street festival with local and national entertainers, arts and crafts vendors, and the Partnership's KidStuff, sponsored by the Partnership for Children of Cumberland County. Over the years, the festival has maintained a philosophy of "Something for Everyone." Along with the three day street festival in Fayetteville's Festival Park, the festival has remained an umbrella for local events such as The Recycled Art Show, Not Your Ordinary Dog Show, YMCA Dogwood Festival 10k and Fun Run, and the Crimestopper's BBQ to name a few.