Music, dancing, food trucks expected for first-ever downtown Wake Forest event.
by David Leone
WAKE FOREST — Looking to enjoy the best the beach has to offer without worrying about sand in your shorts or sharks off the shore?
This Saturday, Aug. 22, downtown Wake Forest will host a free Beach Night on White (Street), complete with music, shag dancing and a lot of food and drinks.
“It’s to draw in visitors who haven’t come downtown, for an end-of-summer bash,” says Lisa Hayes, Wake Forest Downtown director. “We’re hoping to bring in visitors who haven’t come in before.”
She thinks it’ll be a success on that front. Since they began advertising it a month ago, she’s fielded calls of interest from many folks who don’t know how to find downtown Wake Forest.
“People are really interested,” she said. “The weather is supposed to be nice. We’re expecting a really big event.”
This first-ever Beach Night runs 4-9 p.m. and features the Jim Quick and Coastline band. It will take place along South White Street, a portion of which will be closed to traffic, probably from Elm Avenue to Jones Avenue, Hayes says.
That would leave parking lots open on South White Street at Wait Avenue, as well as the lot off Jones Avenue, behind the shops on the east side of the street. There is also on-street parking and one block down, town hall has multiple lots.
“There’s no better place than historic downtown Wake Forest to celebrate the end of summer with a free beach bash featuring one of the most popular bands in the South,” Wake Forest Downtown Chair Michael Johnson says. “Visit our stores and restaurants, then kick back and enjoy an evening of music during Beach Night on White.”
The Wakefield Rotary Club of Wake Forest will be selling sodas, water and flavored slushies in the Wake Forest Chamber of Commerce parking lot with proceeds supporting the Wake Forest Boys & Girls Club.
Food trucks will park along Owen Avenue (between B&W Hardware and The Wake Weekly office) and will include Cousin’s Maine Lobster, Charlie’s Kabobs, The Humble Pig, Arepa Culture, Virgil’s Jamaica, Kona Ice and Lumpy’s Ice Cream.
Hayes expects Big Heads tiki drinks will also be sold.
The festival is non-alcoholic, so people seeking such libation will have to go into White Street Brewing Company, Backfins Crab House or other establishments.
That supports one of the event’s goals — to get people into the businesses.
Downtown Wake Forest merchants, restaurants and other businesses will be open late for visitors and shoppers to enjoy. Some merchants will have specials and many will carry leis while supplies last.
“We’re encouraging people to come down early and visit local restaurants and shops,” says Hayes.
The music stage will be set up near SunTrust Bank at Elm Avenue. Shag dance demonstrations will be given by Six Steps Studio of Wake Forest on the hour throughout the evening in front of the stage, beginning at 5 p.m.
Jim Quick & Coastline band will begin playing at 5 p.m. The popular band got its start at Carolina Beach bars 15 years ago and now plays nearly 300 shows a year. They expect to feature music from their 11th album, Down South.
The grand sponsor for the event is the Downtown Business Alliance of Wake Forest. Major sponsors are Power Secure, town of Wake Forest, The Wake Forest Weekly and White Street Brewing Company.
For more information,see wakeforestdowntown.com/beach or contact Lisa Hayes, firstname.lastname@example.org.