Festival designed to bring people downtown between Mardi Gras, Meet in the Street.
By David Leone
WAKE FOREST — It’s been more than a year since the downtown streetscape work was completed; the streets are clean of clay, dirt and dust and the foot traffic has come back redoubled.
But there’s a plan to get downtown “dirty” one more time, albeit just for a day. The first ever Dirt Day takes place April 5.
Community merchants and other movers and shakers met Monday at La Foresta Italian Cafe and Pizzeria to ramp up plans for the spring and garden-based festival focusing on gardening, landscaping, exercising, organic foods and the like.
The fest is planted in a month of other earthy events and celebrations, such as April’s Arbor Day and Earth Day and the Wake Forest HerbFest in mid April.
Some of the plans for Dirt Day are still being confirmed, but expect there to be master gardeners teaching the latest techniques; acoustic music; a composting demo; a giant sandbox and scavenger hunt for kids; and other educational exhibitors, including “an exotic bug guy.”
Home and garden vendors will be present and there’s talk of a petting zoo, pup-tent pitching lesson by area Scouts and an appearance by Todd Warner of Youngsville’s Carolina Bee Company.
“If atmospheric conditions are right, Todd will do a bee beard,” says David Bissette, event planner and owner of The Grain Mill bulk food business.
The theme of the day is Get Up, Get Out and Get Dirty, but there’ll be no real need to dress down or wear boots — the festival primarily takes place on the pavement on South White Street, from Wait to Owen, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Food trucks are a possibility. And organizers have been talking to a host of possible exhibitors and vendors, but more are welcome.
Event planners are now seeking vendors, sponsors and volunteers. Vendor booths are $75, though there may be dispensation for those who provide event materials.
The festival is organized by Wake Forest Downtown Inc., (formerly the Downtown Revitalization Corp.) and is designed to keep bringing people to the heart of Wake Forest, as the March Mardi Gras and May Meet in the Street have.
Downtown merchants have agreed to the street closing and the town board has signed off on it.
“Very excited about this event,” Laura Cashwell, owner of For Old Times Sake Antiques, writes online. “Should be a lot of great family fun.”
For more information about Dirt Day, visit the website at dirtdays.com and the Facebook page at facebook.com/wfdirtday, send an e-mail to Amanda Giustiniani at [email protected], or call Lisa Newhouse at 919-435-9415.