Downtown group wants to hold spring festival.
by David Leone
WAKE FOREST — With the success of the annual Meet in the Street and Mardi Gras festivals in mind, the Downtown Wake Forest (DWF) board of directors wants to add another event to the mix.
Dirt Days would kick off the spring home and garden season, and get people used to coming downtown for fun and shopping, DWF leaders say.
The handful of merchants and others present at an idea-generating meeting at La Foresta Italian Cafe & Pizzeria Monday agreed on the Dirt Days concept and are aiming for the first weekend in April, to give a buffer between other spring events.
Mardi Gras was held for the first time the first weekend in March and Meet in the Street is held the first weekend in May.
“The events we have downtown are not necessarily revenue generating that day, but the experience overall is [positive],” inasmuch as it brings customers back, said Denise Floyd, owner of Mimosa Home & Gift Boutique. “The whole intent is to keep people coming to downtown Wake Forest.”
No activities have been decided, though DWF board member Amanda Giustiniani said she wants it to be a draw for both adults and children.
Sand sculpture and art was mentioned, as was a competition for baking or perhaps building to tie into a home and garden theme.
One idea promoted by Grain Mill co-owner David Bissette was to have educational activities for children, teaching them how to build a small garden, for example.
Games and fun stuff for kids is also a surety, but those present agreed it should be unique to the festival — no bounce houses, for example.
Having booths and vendors, as well as food, music and entertainment was also discussed.
Sponsors would be needed. Depending on sponsorship, further events or activities could be added.
Present for the powwow were DWF board representatives, some downtown and other town merchants, and representatives from the Wake Forest Farmers Market, Wake Forest Boys & Girls Club and Kerr YMCA. It hasn’t been decided exactly where downtown to hold the Dirt Days event.
Giustiniani plans to contact downtown merchants to see if they agree with the concept and then approach town commissioners for their input.
The next Dirt Days planning meeting is Monday, Dec. 16. For event updates, see facebook.com/DowntownWakeForest. For more information, e-mail Giustiniani at Amanda@GC5estateservices.com.