Neeli Faulkner

Noble Street Festival coordinator Neeli Faulkner.

Photo by Stephen Gross / The Anniston Star

Neeli Faulkner works with the City of Anniston, in the planning department, and has organized this year’s 14th Annual Noble Street Festival, happening on Saturday. At the end of the month, Faulkner will be leaving her position with the city to work as an event planner.

What is the Noble Street Festival?

The Noble Street Festival is an annual event held in conjunction with the Sunny King Criterium. Northeast Alabama Bicycling Association used to coordinate the festival, but the festival grew so large that they handed the festival over to the City of Anniston in order for the festival to successfully continue and grow. NEABA is still involved with planning the festival.

Have you been involved with the Noble Street Festival previously?

I have attended the festival in the past, but this is my first time coordinating the festival. There is a committee of downtown business owners working in advertising, design, the KidZone and music. This is a huge team effort.

Why is the Noble Street Festival important to the community?

This is one of the area’s biggest and most anticipated events. It helps draw people downtown to see the thriving businesses and current available storefronts. We get a lot of support from the Chamber of Commerce and Alabama State Parks.

How many vendors will be at the festival?

There will be 11 food vendors: barbecue, Chick-Fil-A, cotton candy, funnel cakes, homemade lemonade, ice cream, Mata’s, Mellow Mushroom, popcorn, ribbon fries and Southern Girl Coffee, as well as a beer truck that will be set up across from The Peerless. The food vendors will be set up from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. There will be about 20 arts and crafts vendors: jewelry, crochet, woodwork, collegiate materials and boutique items. There are about 20 KidZone vendors as well: Ferris wheel, inflatables, laser tag, Thomas the Train and more.

Will the vendors accept cash?

Food vendors, the beer truck and the KidZone will only accept tickets (available for sale at the festival), and most arts and crafts vendors will accept cash.

What live entertainment will the festival have?

On The Edge will perform bicycle stunts on Gurnee Avenue between 10th and 11th streets beginning at 1 p.m., with a show at the top of each hour, four shows total. The LifeSouth bus will be at the festival accepting blood donations. There will be an art gallery in the former About Time Antiques building, featuring 40 local artists, including JSU students. There will be performances on the KidZone stage, including Cheaha Cheer and Tumble and karate. We will have a music stage featuring three local artists and Brian Vander Ark of The Verve Pipe and Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet Sprocket.

As the organizer, when do you have to be on Noble Street for the festival?

I will be on Noble Street around 6:30 or 7 a.m., and I will probably be the last one to leave. Nobody call me on Sunday (laughs).

What are you passionate about?

Helping people makes me feel good; that is really why I get involved with some of the organizations I am involved with. After my father passed away from cancer, my family and I organized a motorcycle run to benefit the American Cancer Society; my mom is a two-time cancer survivor. I enjoy getting events together, especially when they benefit a good cause. I want people to come participate because they are going to have a great time, but also because they are really helping people out. There is no better gift than giving, and there is no better feeling than when you give to something.

Is it too late for someone to volunteer with the Noble Street Festival?

No! Message the Facebook page or email me (nfaulkner@annistonal.gov) or stop by City Hall, and we will add you to the volunteer list.