NC History Center Features MUMFEST Exhibit

NC History Center's MUMFEST Exhibit

Susan Moffat-Thomas at the NC History Center’s MUMFEST Exhibit

This year on October 10-11, MUMFEST, celebrating its 35th year, will take over the historic downtown of New Bern, NC filling the streets with over 300 vendors, street performers, great food, art in the park, a huge boat show and a concert on Friday night. (

In recognition of the City of New Bern’s annual fall festival, MUMFEST, Swiss Bear Downtown Development Corporation, producer of MUMFEST, is pleased to announce that the North Carolina History Center is featuring a special exhibit with an assortment of memorabilia that showcases the growth of the festival over the past 35 years. The exhibit is located in the hallway adjacent to the Duffy Gallery and will be on display through October 19.

At the request of the festival committee, Susan Moffat Thomas who recently retired as the Swiss Bear Executive Director, worked with the Tryon Place staff to develop the display as another MUMFEST amenity. In addition to the items on display, a continuous video that includes photos of the various festivals and its evolution from a small grass roots event that began in 1980.

The festival was created by Swiss Bear as one of many revitalization strategies to bring people back to the deteriorated downtown when the elected officials and community leaders joined forces to reverse the downward trend. The festival grew as the city grew and both became tourist destinations in their own right.

MUMFEST, recognized statewide as a major eastern North Carolina award-winning family festival, received numerous awards over the years to include Best NC Main Street Downtown Event.  Moffat Thomas also received numerous awards for her leadership role in the expansion, growth and development of the festival over the 30 years she worked for Swiss Bear.

Thanks to the support of the City, media, area businesses and hundreds of volunteers what was originally a small one day festival that filled vacant spaces and empty lots, is an event that has continued to grow and showcase New Bern’s restored historic downtown and its waterfront bringing thousands of visitors and creating an economic impact of millions of dollars.

Submitted by: Nancy Hawley, MUMFEST Public Relations Manager

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