City to celebrate the end of summer

By Brie Handgraaf

Staff Writer

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Inclement weather forced Rocky Mount officials to cancel the annual Independence Day celebration July 3 for the second year in a row, but plans have been set for the End of Summer Celebration.

The event will be held from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Aug. 19 at the Rocky Mount Sports Complex. In addition to food vendors selling everything from meals to classic summer snacks, the 
stadium will be full of inflatables for the kids and live music performed by the Coco Loco Party Band and the Carolina Soul Band.

“Performing many different genres of music, (the Coco Loco Party Band) have been seen around the world for every type of event imaginable,” Rocky Mount Public Affairs Manager Tameka Kenan-Norman said.

“Also performing at the celebration will be the Carolina Soul Band performing the sweet soul sounds of legendary groups as the Drifters, Coasters, the Four Tops, Temptations and many, many more.”

The event will culminate in a fireworks show, which can be seen from throughout the Sports Complex but also nearby on Benvenue Road or Church Street.

“This is a great event where families can get out and enjoy time with one another,” Parks and Recreation Director Kelvin Yarrell said. “All the activities are totally free except for the food.”

The city had to cancel the Independence Day celebration in 2013 also due to rain storms, but Yarrell said that is just a known complication when planning outdoor events. Unfortunately, the rescheduling does cost the taxpayers several thousand dollars, with 50 percent of the fireworks cost refundable – but entertainers get paid regardless and vendors often are given a discounted rate to participate in the new event.

“That is just one of the things about having an event outdoors,” Yarrell said. “If a band you had booked for one already has a show for the reschedule date, you can’t tell them to cancel the other show so you have to find another band. You have to go back and find a way to redo it by basically planning the event all over.”

For more information on the event, call 972-1151.

“This will be a great event for youth and their parents since they will be gearing up for school in the coming weeks,” Kenan-Norman said.



Instead of an end of summer celebration it would have been better to have July fireworks on or near July 4. I don't remember much rain during this period. Morehead City held their fireworks celebration on Saturday and Emerald Isle actually had their fireworks on July 4. Those areas were more affected by the tropical system than Rocky Mount. Maybe I will be wrong. But I believe Rocky Mount residents would be more excited about a July 4 (Independence) beginning of summer celebration instead of one reflecting on the traditional end of summer.

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