Helicopter rides, bluegrass to headline Norman Fest

Last updated: August 12. 2014 6:19PM - 522 Views
By - mharrelson@civitasmedia.com



Matt Harrelson | Daily JournalThe former Gulf gas station and Norman Community Building on the corner of U.S. 220 Alternate and East Moore Street will soon make way for a new Family Dollar store in the town of Norman.
Matt Harrelson | Daily JournalThe former Gulf gas station and Norman Community Building on the corner of U.S. 220 Alternate and East Moore Street will soon make way for a new Family Dollar store in the town of Norman.
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NORMAN — A fifth Family Dollar store is coming to Richmond County.


The newest addition was announced at Norman’s town council meeting Monday night and will be situated on the corner of U.S. 220 Alternate and East Moore Street where the old Gulf gas station and the Norman Community Building are currently located.


Norman Mayor Kenneth Broadway said during the meeting he’d like to see Family Dollar wait until after Norman Fest in October and the general elections in November to begin construction.


Family Dollar recently announced July 28 that Dollar Tree had bought the Charlotte-based company for $8.5 billion. Broadway said that shouldn’t affect the planned construction in Norman.


“We’re waiting to hear something, but they’re still coming as far as we know,” said Broadway. “We hope to have it by September of next year. It’s just a waiting game now.”


The new site of the Family Dollar has special meaning to Broadway. The Gulf gas station was first built in the late 1950s and early ’60s by a group in Norman that included his father.


“He was involved in building the Gulf station,” Broadway said of his dad. “He was the first to manage the store as Gulf. That’s actually where he passed away at. That store produced several owners and managers that made a good living out of the store.”


For the same reason — bringing jobs and commerce to Norman — Broadway will help tear down the site his father helped build.


Other Family Dollar stores in Richmond County include the Rockingham location on East Broad Avenue, the Hamlet store on West Hamlet Avenue, the newest store to be built on Main Street in Ellerbe and the fourth one currently under construction on the corner of Airport Road and Entwistle Street east of Rockingham.


NORMAN FEST


Broadway also spoke during the meeting about anticipation for Norman’s fifth annual Norman Fest set to take place Oct. 10-11 — a Friday and Saturday.


Tri County Bluegrass will kick off Norman Fest on Oct. 10 with square dancers providing additional entertainment, said Broadway.


“People have been asking for bluegrass for two or three years now,” he said. “We’re finally going to do it.”


There will also be helicopter rides provided by Reini Grauer and Charlotte Helicopters.


“We have at least 45 vendors pre-registered. That’s 10 more than we had all of last year,” Broadway said. “It doesn’t mean they’ll all show up, but it’s a good start.”


The Norman mayor said this year’s event is shaping up to be one of the biggest festivals to date. He said roughly 2,000 people attend Norman Fest each year, but he’s hoping to see as many as 3,000 this year.


Reach reporter Matt Harrelson at 910-817-2674.


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