ROCKINGHAM — Richmond County’s first party bus has been rolling down the road to places such as Myrtle Beach, Charlotte and Raleigh for five months, and owner Antoinette Flowers has been keeping busy.
A Delightful Tour began when Flowers took her 16-year-old son and his friends out to a restaurant for his birthday.
“They weren’t having fun. I went to school at Richmond Community College for business. I just said it’s something they could do,” she said back in October. “And I said a party bus so they could have some fun. I did some research, and I’m giving Richmond County a party bus.”
Flowers said her bus caters to weddings, bachelor and bachelorette parties, birthdays and even a Carolina Panthers tailgate party during the hometown team’s run to Super Bowl 50 in February.
But it’s not just for those over 21 as A Delightful Tour has hosted children’s parties, a quinceañera and a children’s night out at Pizza Inn for Providence Baptist Church.
“We picked up kids and took them to the ice skating rink (at Richmond Plaza) during the winter,” she said. “All of that was free of charge. We cater to children. We can set the bus up to have the party on the bus. I don’t want it to just be for 21 and older. I want it to be for everyone.”
Flowers will also be offering a chance for one lucky winner to receive free transportation to his or her upcoming middle school prom. Interested students can email their name and why they think they should win the prize to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking forward, upcoming trips for parties on A Delightful Tour include taking a group to Churchill Downs in Louisville for the Kentucky Derby May 6-7 and the 65th annual Stoneybrook Steeplechase horse races on April 9 in Raeford.
Flowers said the Richmond County Chamber of Commerce has been a huge help in getting her business off the ground, and to keep that momentum going, the party bus will be on hand at the chamber’s next two Business After Hours events April 6 at the Rockingham Dragway and April 26 at the Cole Auditorium.
“People will be able to tour the bus,” she said. “We’ll serve popcorn and drinks as well as selling T-shirts and champagne glasses that read ‘A Delightful Tour: I rode Rockingham’s first party bus.’”
According to Flowers, prices vary based on where the party is headed as well as how many people are riding. The bus can seat up to 28 people, and she said rates start at $150 an hour.
With business doing so well, she added she hopes to launch another bus by this summer because of so many double bookings. With the potential for multiple rides being offered as an alternative route for those bar-hopping, heading to an event or going to prom, Flowers is happy with the way things have turned out.
“People love it,” she said. “People recognize me now. People stop me with my T-shirt on so I guess I must be doing good.”
For more information and current rates, call 910-817-7259 or visit www.adelightfultourpartybus.com.
Reach reporter Matt Harrelson at 910-817-2674, follow him on Twitter @mattyharrelson and listen to him at 12:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays on G-104.3 FM.