City of Salisbury looking for vendors for College Night Out

By David Whisenant Published: Jul. 18, 2022 at 6:32 AM EDT

The event is happening on August 18 at Bell Tower Green Park.(David Whisenant-WBTV)

SALISBURY, N.C. (WBTV) – The City of Salisbury and Downtown Salisbury, Inc., are looking for vendors for the College Night Out event happening at the Bell Tower Green Park in August.

Th event is scheduled for Thursday, August 18 from 5 to 9 p.m. During College Night Out, Downtown Salisbury welcomes and invites students from our local colleges (Livingstone, Hood Theological Seminary, Catawba and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College) and new Rowan-Salisbury School System teachers out for games, activities, food, networking and so much more.

This year College Night Out is accepting vendors. Organizers say it’s not only is this a great way to introduce college students and new educators to Downtown Salisbury shops, restaurants and entertainment, it is a fantastic opportunity to give them access to the many resources available from Downtown partners, such as options for banking, health, culture, arts, employment and volunteerism.

Anyone interested in setting up at College Night Out, please click on the following link, https://bit.ly/3ut3Kzd to complete the College Night Out Vendor Application form. Space is limited and on a first come, first serve basis. Applications are due by Friday, July 22nd. Staff will confirm vendor acceptance via email listed on the application form by Tuesday, July 26th.

Vendors are encouraged to bring any information regarding employment, internship or volunteerism opportunities.

Cost for Vendor space (Map of MSD attached) –

  • Sponsors – No Fee
  • Businesses outside of the Municipal Service District (MSD) – $75
  • Businesses inside the Municipal Service District (MSD) – $25

Businesses are welcome to split booth space with other businesses and the cost will remain the same as above.

History on Tap: Visitors get chance to see progress on The Salisbury renovation

By Elisabeth Strillacci

SALISBURY — The Historic Salisbury Foundation welcomed the return of the History on Tap (H.O.T.) series Thursday when more than 300 people toured the former Southern Bell building on West Council .

The series, in its eighth year, entails an open house at a historic building or structure the fourth or last Thursday of June, July and August. Attendees sample cold beer from New Sarum while getting an insider’s view of some of the city’s historic spots.

The first tour site of the summer, The Salisbury, is currently in the midst of renovation into 12 apartments from the former Southern Bell phone company building. Constructed in the late 1920s, the three-story building at 121 W. Council St. had not been touched since 1985, but Josh Barnhardt, who had been hearing the stories of the building’s former glory from his grandmother, Edith Thompson, saw more than a little worth salvaging. Thompson was a switchboard operator at Southern Bell starting in the 1940s, and would often regale her family with stories from her time in the beautiful art deco building.

With the renovations, all the essentials, such as electrical, plumbing and flooring are new, but the architectural details that set the building apart remain. Six apartments are one-bedroom units and six have two bedrooms. The historic outside of the building along with numerous interior details are being restored or maintained, making it an ideal stop on the summer tour.

“Whitney Wallace was the instigator of History on Tap in the beginning,” noted Sherry Beck of the Historic Salisbury Foundation. “One of our goals as an organization is to become more diverse in our events, reaching out and bringing in families and the wider community. And we take a lot of pride in finding locations that show off some of our local historic structures and learn about the history of our town.”

Renovation of The Salisbury, as it was originally named, began on the third floor and the first tenants were originally scheduled to move in June 1, but as with nearly all ongoing construction right now, delivery of materials, along with a few other issues, have caused delays.

Jimmy and Linda Thompson, who have lived in Rowan County all of their lives, will be two of the first tenants, having signed a lease on the first apartment at the top of the stairs on the third floor. Their living room windows look out on the front lawn of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, which Jimmy said was just what he wanted.

“He absolutely loves this view,” Linda said. The couple currently live on High Rock Lake in Davidson County, but have missed living downtown, where they can walk to everything. They were the first people to purchase a unit in the Kress Building, and Linda said living there taught them everything they did — and did not — want in moving back downtown.

“We wanted a place to park, and an outdoor space of some kind,” she said. The Salisbury will have a rooftop community gathering space, and a designated parking lot just beside the building. “It hit all the things we wanted.” She said they anticipate in four to five years, they will sell the lake house and live solely in the Salisbury. She was chatting with friends during the open house about decorating in art deco style to coordinate the decor in communal areas and to work with the style of the building, though she said she is trying to be patient as the new move-in  date of Sept. 1.

Kimberly Steig of Historic Salisbury said the next open house is scheduled for July 28 at The Old Textile Products Building at 121 N. Main St., and is nearly full already, so anyone interested should register quickly. Free registration is available from the website at HistoricSalisbury.org.

“We have quite a few people who have figured out that we fill up fast and they’ve gone ahead and registered for all three,” she said. “We didn’t quite anticipate how fast this would fill, but we’re certainly thrilled that so many people are coming out!”

Cheerwine Festival’s economic impact hits record-breaking levels, Rowan County’s tourism flourishes

By Madeline Wagoner

SALISBURY — The Cheerwine Festival had massive success this past weekend with one of the biggest crowds to date.

According to Nick Aceves, Salisbury’s Parks and Recreation director, the festival welcomed an estimated 60,000 crowd to the celebratory event of Salisbury’s original soft drink. This is the same estimated outcome of 2019’s festival.

The total is calculated using Jacobs rule of thumb, a crowd estimation strategy used by event coordinators to keep track of the number of visitors in a single gathering.

The Cheerwine Festival draws a large crowd. Photo by Andy Mooney, Salisbury Post.

In 1967, Herbert Jacobs determined that the number of people in a gathering can be determined by multiplying area by density. In the Cheerwine Festival’s case, a dense crowd gives one individual an area of two and a half square feet. The city of Salisbury used this method with an area containing 100 estimated individuals to determine the total event attendance of the entire festival space.

The astounding variety of Cheerwine-themed foods seemed to bring the most favor of all the annual attendees. This year’s festival welcomed returning vendors and new ones for purchasing pleasures including baked goods, barbecue and drinks.

The following vendors released their approximate numbers of sales from Saturday:

  • Mean Mug, a local cafe in Downtown Salisbury, sold a total of 500 Cheerwine Frappuccinos at the truck and 300 at its storefront location.
  • The Old 97 Kettlecorn Company from Spencer sold a total of 900 bags of kettlecorn, 300 being its Cheerwine flavor.
  • Wowza BBQ, of Gold Hill, sold a total of 964 pounds of barbecue and 48 bottles of the signature Wowza sauce.
  • Que Viva Latin Street Grill, of Winston-Salem, sold 130-140 units of Cheerwine flan, each unit being cut into 24 pieces.
  • Abigail’s, a bakery in Downtown Salisbury, sold 18 dozen Cheerwine cupcakes, 38 dozen Cheerwine macarons, 14 dozen crispy rice treats and eight gallons of homemade Cheerwine ice cream.
  • New Sarum Brewery sold 400 cases of Cheerwine lager, each case holding 24 cans, 124 gallons of sour, 107 gallons of hazy IPA and 93 gallons of stout.
  • Hive & Co. sold out of its 30 custom-made Cheerwine Festival shirts. It also sold 56 Cheerwine jellies, 26 four ounce candles, 20 three ounce wax melts and 20 small candle tins. 
  • Little Widdler, of Winston-Salem, sold eight coin banks, six wall-mounted bottle openers, 24 magnets, 3 photo stands and three N.C. outline signs, all based on Cheerwine. The business sold out of the bottle-openers and outlines.
  • Mambo Grill & Tapas sold out of its Cheerwine cheesecake empanadas, 270 Cuban sandwiches and 1,700 of its savory empanadas.

“We’re truly grateful for all the customers who supported the business,” Wowza BBQ co-owner Starla Daniel said. “We’re looking forward to coming back next year.”

Businesses felt called to honor the soft drink through their products.

“We’ve been pushing hard to represent Cheerwine the best we can since it does come from Salisbury,” said brewmaster and co-owner of New Sarum, Andy Maben. “I feel we did that. We were also set up for success since we had our physical brewery open along with our two tents.”

The vendors also gave praise to the festival staff who took care of their needs and helped with preparing them for the crowds.

“We were tickled, this was our first year,” said Suzy Bennett, co-owner of Little Widdler. “It was a great festival, the staff were helpful and notified us of the oncoming storm so we were able to batten down the hatches and plan accordingly to protect the merchandise.”

Eric Balseca, co-owner of Que Viva Latin Street Grill, also recognized the event organizers and staff, saying that they made sure the vendors were comfortable and taken care of through out the day.

Despite a passing afternoon storm, the event hit a record breaking economic impact of $1.85 million, a 20.9% increase from 2019’s numbers at $1.53 million. The total included sale profits from vendors, direct funding toward the festival and paid lodging through a submitted grant to the city for the music performers. Promoting the Cheerwine Festival goes through multifaceted marketing, using social media and digital advertising to play off of its own popularity and assets.

According to Rowan County Tourism Director James Meacham, this year’s Cheerwine Festival was an economic success, with 60% of the crowd Saturday including locals from inside the county while the other 35-40% of attendees came from out of town.

Overall tourism for the county has hit record levels as of May 2022, ahead of its status in 2019. Business travel has been the only low level as companies continue to use remote solutions for their practices, according to Meacham.

Despite an increase of gas prices, Meacham said there’s been no pull backs as of May 14 but the Tourism Development Authority is keeping a close eye on the effect it has on travels.

“Dining numbers may lessen with families choosing to stay home for meals,” said Meacham. “But as far as tourism, we’re staying cautiously optimistic since fall events bring in a lot of tourists to Rowan County.”

Nightly hotel rates rose from $119 to $120.44 Saturday. Meacham said 90% of commercial hotel rooms were occupied on the day of Cheerwine Festival, translating to 712 hotel rooms out of 793 in the County. Compared to 2019’s festival, the occupancy rate increased by 16.5%.

South Main Book Company hosts Banned Book Read Out, fundraiser for Rowan County Literacy Council

CONTACT:
Alissa Redmond Owner – South Main Book Company
W: 704-630-9788; c: 704-630-9788
southmainbookcompany@gmail.com www.southmainbookcompany.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Books with diverse content (including, but not limited to, LGBTQIA, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities) are generally overrepresented among banned and challenged books; in 2015, 9 of the 10 most challenged books fell into this category.

To bring awareness to a growing nationwide trend, and to raise funds for the Rowan County Literacy Council, South Main Book Company will host a “read-out” featuring Banned Books on Saturday May 28 at 1pm, and we invite you to participate!

WHAT IS A READ-OUT?

A continuous public reading of a single or multiple banned books.

WHAT WOULD I HAVE TO DO?

Select your favorite Banned Book; either bring your own copy or borrow one of ours; and read it aloud for a few minutes.

WHAT IF I WANT TO PARTICIPATE, BUT I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO READ?

Ask our staff for recommendations – we are confident we have just the right book for you on our shelves.   If you’d like to prepare in advance, the American Library Association’s lists of the Top Ten Challenged Books (https://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/top10) or Frequently Challenged Books (https://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks) may provide some inspiration on which books to read from or talk about.

CAN I WIN A PRIZE AT THIS EVENT?

Yes!  By entering our raffle – through a $5 donation towards the Rowan County Literacy Council – you will receive a chance to win a bundle of challenging books right off our shelf!

WHAT IS THE ROWAN COUNTY LITERACY COUNCIL?

Rowan County Literacy Council (RCLC) is dedicated to improving the lives of adults, youth and families by enhancing literacy and life skills, with the belief that a literate community prospers.  RCLC provides instruction to Rowan County residents of all ages.  As a non-profit organization, the Council’s primary focus is free and confidential, one-to-one tutoring by trained volunteer tutors.  Learn more about RCLC here: https://www.rcliteracy.org/

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Return of Cheerwine Festival brings smiles to visitors from all over

Madeline Wagoner/Salisbury Post — At the merch booth, Cheerwine apparel sells like hot cakes.

By Madeline Wagoner with the Salisbury Post

SALISBURY — Saturday marked the official return of Salisbury’s Cheerwine Festival for the first in-person event in two years.

Attendees flocked to town for food, activities and live music to celebrate. Families from Pennsylvania to Florida were among those who made their way to Salisbury to take part.

“Seeing everyone together after the toll of COVID really makes me happy,” said visitor Shannon Alfaro who traveled from Lincolnton with her husband, Ralph. “This is our first year coming to the festival, we love Cheerwine, but they don’t have all the slushies and snow cones like here.”

It wasn’t just iced treats offered in the food trucks and vendors. More than 30 dining options were available along Main and Innes streets, where whiffs of grilled meat and baked goods surfaced, many featuring Cheerwine as the main flavor. Blended frappucinnos from Mean Mug, baked goods from Abigail’s, beer from New Sarum and the unique Cheerwine kettlecorn were just some of the ways to enjoy the beverage at the event.

New Sarum had sold 600 of the much-talked-about Cheerwine Lagers by 2 p.m.

“Grabbing some Cheerwine ice cream or a slushie is the perfect treat with this hot weather,” said Joy Ritchie-Harper, a fifth generation member of the founding family of Cheerwine and marketing director at Carolina Beverage. “It’s so amazing to see everyone together again. We’re very excited to share the love of Cheerwine for another year and I’m looking forward to the tradition continuing.”

The festival became a collaboration with the city of Salisbury after the 100th birthday celebration in 2017. The city would handle the logistics and Carolina Beverage took care of the advertising.

In addition to merchandise, Carolina Beverage has contributed to the Rowan Museum for an exhibit all about the favored drink. As of 2 p.m. on Saturday, over 1,200 people made their way through the hallway decked in signs and merchandise from the Cheerwine archives.

“It’s almost overwhelming having so many people come through for the exhibit,” said Aaron Kepley, director of the Rowan Museum. “But I’m glad they’re here. We sold out of our merchandise at 1:30.”

Kepley continued with the story as the line of attendees wrapped around the museum. This was the first time the exhibit was displayed in the hallway instead of a room at the end of the museum. Vintage signs and cases of bottled Cheerwine were just a few of the special items. Along F&M Bank’s trolley tour, families could experience the history of the iconic drink.

The Rowan Museum wasn’t the only place selling out of merchandise. Meredith Mills’ contest-winning design was sold out at all the booths by 1 p.m. The design was also up for preorders on cheerwine.com for festival-goers to grab before Saturday’s event.

Just outside the Rowan County Courthouse, the Lauren Light Trio kicked off the live concerts with original songs including “I Got You” and musical favorites by Marshmello and Elle King. Later in the day, Tsunami Wave Riders, 9daytrip, Ayron Jones and Spin Doctors were to take the stage during the free event.

The Fisher Street Stage also featured local artists until 5 p.m., including Lee Knox, Jessica Yates, Cassandra Wright, CJ Peters and Birds of a Feather.

You can visit cheerwinefest.com for all details on the event.

The Bright Spot: Cheerwine Festival in Salisbury

By Nicole Madden

SALISBURY, N.C. — The Cheerwine Festival will be welcoming tens of thousands to downtown Salisbury to celebrate the Carolina classic soft drink Saturday, May 21.

Festival-goers will be able to enjoy live entertainment from local, regional and national musical act with the Spin Doctors taking center stage at 8:30pm. Nearly 40 vendors from across the Carolinas will offer dishes, many featuring Cheerwine, including bacon on a stick, tacos, kettle corn, sno-cones, barbecue and more. The Cheerwine Festival Beer Gardens will host 10 local breweries. Select vendors, including New Sarum Brewing and Cabarrus Brewing Company, will serve Cheerwine-infused craft beer.

Additional Activities:

  • F&M Bank Kids Zone, which includes activities and entertainment for children.
  • Local arts and crafts, including unique Cheerwine merchandise, from over 45 vendors.
  • F&M Bank Trolley Tours through historic downtown Salisbury, featuring a number of interesting Cheerwine sites.
  • Cheerwine historical exhibit at the Rowan Museum.
  • Relaxation Station on E. Fisher St., which features Troutman rocking chairs, a second beer garden and performances from local buskers.

WCCB Rising’s Lauren McDonald, Nicole Madden, and Joe Duncan will even be emceeing the fest on Saturday. Admission is free with gates opening at noon. The festival will go through 10pm rain, or shine.

For more information on the festival, click here.

7th Annual Buskers’ Bash

Busker's Bash logo

Buskers’ Bash is an annual event that celebrates the best local talent from solo
musicians to fire-tossing jugglers and every other type of street performer in between!

This year we had over 45 busker’s to sign up. This eclectic crew of sidewalk artists, showed up and showed out by performing in front of participating downtown businesses. The night was full of laughter, great music, and fun!

Congratulations to the 7th Annual Busker’s Bash winners!!

Adult

  • 1st – Steppin’ Out Dance Company
  • 2nd – Spotlight Dance Company
  • 3rd – Gavin McDaniel
  • Honorable Mention – Kennedy Tarleton
  • Honorable Mention – Cameron Brown

Youth

  • 1st – Eli Yacinthe
  • 2nd – Kayla Vega
  • 3rd – Larry Kirwin

What a great night of music, laughter and dance! Thank you to all that participated and we look forward to having you back next year! Visit our Facebook page for photos of the winners and the evening!

Thank you to all of the Busker’s, staff and most importantly our volunteers that helped make the night run smoothly!

Cheerwine Festival returns to fill the streets of historic downtown Salisbury, N.C., with ‘cheer’ and family-friendly fun!

Two Girls Posing With Bottles

Cheerwine, the 103-year-old soft drink born and based in Salisbury, N.C., is once again teaming up with its home city to host the fourth annual “Cheerwine Festival” on Saturday, May 16, from noon-10 p.m. An estimated 60,000 people attended the 2019 event. 

Attendees will enjoy tasty Cheerwine-inspired food and drinks, live entertainment, local craft vendors, family-friendly activities and plenty of delicious ice-cold cherry goodness in downtown Salisbury.

And for the first time in festival history, one lucky Cheerwine fan will have his or her original artwork worn by thousands as the official design for the 2020 festival t-shirt.

This is an annual event that will take place the third (3rd) Saturday in May.

Wine About Winter, HUGE SUCCESS!!

WAW Logo

Thank you to everyone that attended Wine About Winter 2020! It was a huge success and the best yet!!

We estimate 1,600 people attended Wine About Winter 2020. This included, individuals that purchased tickets, hotel packages, designated drivers, etc.

We hope that you had a wonderful night and you’re looking forward to WAW 2021!

For those that attended, we would love to get your feedback. Please take a moment and fill out the WAW survey

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