The Summer Starts with Friday Night on White

April 2016

By Julia Colborn

Beginning on April 8 and running through September 9, the long-time Wake Forest tradition of Art After Hours will take on a new form this year. Friday Night on White, a celebration of live music, will be held the second Friday of each month from 6 to 9 p.m.

FNoWLogoAs with the annual Meet in the Street, White Street will be blocked off from Jones Street to The Cotton Company for free pedestrian mobility. Few vendors will be present, but the food trucks will be plenty, with up to 10 scheduled to be serve. Many of the trucks will be parked in the Fidelity Bank parking lot on White Street, and a couple will be down the side streets such as Owen Avenue.

“This is a great way to encourage people to come to downtown Wake Forest and experience all it has to offer,” Bill Crabtree, communications and public affairs director, said.

Each month will feature a different local band.

White Street Brewery is working with the Town to expand the standard Beer Garden, located in the B&W Hardware parking lot, to instead allow for more wandering along the blocked-off street. Beach chairs are welcome, but visitors should leave the coolers at home, because there will be plenty of food and beverage to purchase. All drinkers will be carded and given a wristband, and plenty of signs will be posted to indicate where beer is and is not permitted to be carried.

Last August, Wake Forest hosted Beach Night on White, a simple gathering downtown with live music. The event was a success, with an impressive 8,000 to 10,000 estimated participant turnout. Town leaders convened and decided it would be beneficial to continue to offer similar outdoor activities, but improved based on participant feedback.

Though located outside the designated area, a number of art galleries will still continue to stay open later those evenings, with the Town promoting the activities and events as always. Even the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary has opted to assist, by allowing its parking lots to be used for these events.

Based on the conversations volunteers, officials, and officers had with patrons during the Beach Night, many event-goers ventured from different towns in northern Wake County, and some came from as far as Franklin County. The Town would like to offer additional forms of outdoor, family-friendly entertainment not only to show off the freshly street-scaped downtown but also as an alternative to cities further away, such as Raleigh. This should also help give local businesses exposure they might not normally receive.

“I personally have friends who live in Raleigh and think that Wake Forest is far away but would be willing to make the trip to hear the music,” Crabtree said. “… People will be drawn in by the entertainment and then see establishments such as Sunflower Studios or the Wake Forest Coffee Company that they didn’t know existed.”

Based on past events, Crabtree said he believes Wake Forest will behave responsibly during these events. Shortly after White Street Brewing Company was established, beer gardens were offered for outdoor town events. Minimal problems have been reported, but plenty of local police officers will be stationed around the event.

The first band to be featured is The Magic Pipers Band, so bring your friends, bring your kids, bring your dog and show your support for local artists.

The Rolesville Buzz is a sponsor of Friday Night on White.

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