Fun Fest heats up the downtown

Katelin Gandee W. Curt Vincent Staff writers

LAURINBURG — Despite the blistering heat, Downtown Laurinburg was full of people from Railroad Street to Church Street for the Downtown Laurinburg Fun Fest.

The event began with a farmers market at 9 a.m. and ended with the last Hasty Realty/Laurinburg After 5 concert series featuring The Tams.

“It was an absolutely fantastic day,” said Laurinburg-Scotland County Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Chris English. “Despite the heat of the day, a lot of people came downtown. All of the vendors were happy and the food trucks were really happy with all the people. Everyone seemed to enjoy the event and we’re all pleased with how the day went.”

Many of the visitors came for a specific purpose, such as the concerts, but stayed to peruse the many vendors and watch some of the other exhibitions.

“I came for The Tams,” said Natalie Thompson of Pembroke,” but wish I’d come earlier. I didn’t realize so much would be going on. My kids would have loved having their pictures made with Spider Man and Mickey Mouse.”

English added while the concerts and dance teams were a hit with the crowds, one of the favorites was the BMX Stunt Team, which was the first time they had performed in Laurinburg.

“The bicyclists were spectacular,” Jerry Jones of Ellerbe said. “It kind of took me back to my younger days when I had little sense and tried jumping over flimsy, homemade ramps.”

English said he was hearing good reviews about the BMX shows.

“Everyone was really excited and enjoyed the BMX Stunt Team,” said Downtown Development Coordinator Daniel Walters. “It was a first for us and it went exceptionally well. Overall the entire day was great and it was great to get people in our downtown and see what all is going on as we continue to improve our downtown.”

English added the committee that put together the Fun Fest is already talking about what can be done better next year, which includes moving the date into the fall in hopes of cooler temperatures.

“But we don’t want to put it late enough that it affects the other festivals next year … it is almost festival season so those looking for some fun events this fall won’t have to go far, we’ve got the Highland Games and the John Blue Cotton Festival coming up and we’re really excited to have those this year,” English said.

Other upcoming events for the next few months include more farmers markets in McDuffie Square on Sept. 25, Oct. 30 and Nov. 20 along with the Fall Fest in downtown in October.

“Our plan is to also have some more of the Sip and Shops starting back up in downtown along with planning the Christmas Kickoff/Christmas on Main event,” Walters said. “Plus we have all the events ‘Tis the Season is planning for the holidays.”

For information on the events coming up downtown visit the downtown Laurinburg website downtown.laurinburg.org.

Reach Katelin Gandee at [email protected] W. Curt Vincent can be reached at [email protected]