No Place Like Home

Art meets history in the second annual Holly Springs Arts Festival, set for Feb. 5-8 at the Holly Springs Cultural Center, 300 W. Ballentine St.

This exploration of art, with the theme of Coming Home-The History of Holly Springs, offers four days’ of classes, exhibits, vendors and performers in a wide range of arts categories, and even a gala celebration.

“The arts in Holly Springs are growing,” said Brenda Priest, president of the Holly Springs Arts Council. “This is a new opportunity to not only see, but to experience art in our own town.”

Priest, a Holly Springs transplant of 21 years, is a pen and ink artist in her own right, and counts well-known Cary artist Jerry Miller among her friends.

She notes that the inaugural Holly Springs Arts Festival drew more than 6,000 visitors to the Cultural Center, and hopes to see this “collaborative labor of love” develop over time, as has Cary’s Lazy Daze Arts Festival.

The festival features a collection of historical artifacts from the local area, such as an apothecary cabinet and cash register from a local drugstore, items formerly housed in the Masonic Lodge, and relics of the Civil War.

All are on display, along with the works of local artists, in the lobby of the Cultural Center throughout the month of February.

“Because Holly Springs, for the past 25 years, has been a bedroom community — we’re recently more balanced between retail and residential — many people don’t know about its history, its significance even pre-Civil War,” Priest said.  

To promote learning, along with the festival displays will be a sharing of town history, presented in storytelling fashion.  

Priest says sites such as the historically significant Mims House and the believed healing benefits of local springs are all part of Holly Springs’ boom to its current 26,000-plus residents.

The conclusion of the festival is a fundraising gala for the Arts Council, featuring storyteller Claire Ramsey, showings of rare and valuable artifacts not on public display, hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction and raffle. Gala tickets are $15.

For details on available arts classes — from ballroom dance to basketry — plus performance schedules, gala tickets and more, visit or call the Cultural Center at (919) 567-4000.

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