Susan Habas
Thalian Association Community Theatre


Southeast Tourism Society Names Orange Street ArtsFest a ‘Top 20 Event’


WILMINGTON, NC – Southeast Tourism Society has named the Orange Street ArtsFest one of its Top 20 Events in the Southeast for May 2018. Travel industry experts select 20 events per month, and STS publicizes the events throughout the United States. The complete list is published on two websites: Southeast Tourism Society and Travel Media Press Room.

2018 marks the 23rd year for the Orange Street ArtsFest, held every Memorial Day Weekend since 1995. This year the OSAF will be Saturday May 26 10 am – 6 pm and Sunday May 27 10 am –  5 pm. The STS Top 20 Festival and Event Awards have highlighted programs around the Southeast since 1985.

Thalian Association Community Theatre launched the Orange Street ArtsFest to promote the arts in Wilmington and the Community Arts Center, located in the Historic USO building. The community theatre association has managed the CAC for the City of Wilmington since 1994. The 76-year-old landmark building, long recognized as the local center of visual and performing arts, was completely renovated in 2008 and is now known as the Hannah Block Historic USO/Community Arts Center.

Today the OSAF is one of the largest arts festivals in Downtown Wilmington with more than 80 artists exhibiting oil and watercolor paintings, pottery, jewelry, metal arts and paper creations, on 2nd and Orange Streets and inside the Historic USO Building. The family friendly event has something for everyone with live entertainment and local food trucks on the street and a museum with WWII exhibits in the lobby of the HBHUSO/Community Arts Center.

“It’s so exciting for the Orange Street ArtsFest to be recognized as one of the best festivals in the Southeast,” said Susan Habas, Executive Director of Thalian Association Community Theatre. “We hope more people will make the OSAF part of their Memorial Day weekend plans. The Festival is such a unique opportunity for visitors to experience an old-fashioned street fair in beautiful downtown Wilmington, visit our past in the Historic USO Building, and enjoy the talent of amazing visual and performance artists.”

Events considered for the STS Top 20 recognition must be at least three years old and have attendance of at least 1,000. The online nomination link and submission deadlines are available at or by calling 770-542-1523.

STS, founded in 1983 and headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting tourism to and within 12 states – Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

Established in 1788, Thalian Association Community Theatre is a non-profit, membership organization dedicated to enhancing the Cape Fear region through live community theatre and arts education. Thalian Association Community Theatre produces five major productions annually on the Main Stage at historic Thalian Hall and professionally manages the Hannah Block Historic USO/Community Arts Center for the City of Wilmington. The youth theatre program offers training and performance opportunities for children age seven through high school seniors. In 2007, Thalian Association Community Theatre was designated North Carolina’s Official Community Theater by the state legislature.