NORMAN — The end of summer is approaching fast, and for some school will be starting soon, a last minute vacation will be taken and Labor Day weekend plans will be made.
But just around the corner is the 7th annual Norman Fest — now two months away — and Mayor Kenneth Broadway said the town is buzzing with the thoughts of a new stage being built, which will be the newest edition to Norman in more than 25 years with the help of Southern Builders.
“I have been out throughout the year visiting events in the state,” said Broadway. “The most recent one, myself and Kelly Pruett (executive director of the Richmond County Tourism Development Authority) promoted this county at the North Carolina Peach Festival in Candor. I was amazed how many people were interested in the history. We had a good day, people-wise and weather-wise.”
Broadway said he will be heading to Robbins’ Farmers Day this weekend to promote Richmond County and Norman Fest again as he tries to find new vendors and attractions.
Norman Fest will take place from 6:30 to 9:30 Friday, Oct. 7 and continue from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8. The Norman mayor said the North Carolina Zoo is expecting to be there with some type of exhibit to go along with Discovery Place Kids, classic cars, pony rides and a Norman Fest mainstay — helicopter rides provided by Reini Grauer and Charlotte Helicopters.
In addition, the N.C. Forest Service and its yellow helicopter will touch down in the northern town with Smokey Bear in tow.
As for food, Broadway said there would be wood-fired pizza, chicken on a stick, collard sandwiches, barbecue, hot dogs and walking tacos, which are made using a bag of Fritos and topping it with chili, sour cream, lettuce and tomatoes.
There will be plenty of music, as well, as The Sand Band will take the newly built stage Friday evening and play into the night as participants take part in the second annual Glow In The Dark Fun Run/Walk at 7 p.m. Tethered hot air balloon rides will also take place Friday night to go along with a lot of food.
On Saturday, Teri Gore — considered the original Carolina beach girl — will perform with the Classic Soul band at 11 a.m. followed the Wayward Reason Band at 2 p.m.
“We will be selling raffle tickets from now until festival day to raise the rest of the money owed for the stage,” said Broadway. “Any and all donations will be appreciated. So let me thank the county commissioners, county manager, the town of Norman, Ellerbe Telephone Company and a special thank you to Kenneth and Claudia Robinette for their gracious offering of $2,500 and for making this a reality. Without you all it would not have happened.”
To donate towards Norman Fest and the new stage or to participate in the fun run, contact Broadway at 910-652-3620, by email at email@example.com or visiting the Norman Fest page on Facebook.
Reach reporter Matt Harrelson at 910-817-2674 and follow him on Twitter @mattyharrelson.
The Sand Band, which played in 2014, will take the newly built stage in October during the 7th annual Norman Fest.