Wake Forest Renaissance Plan - September 2017


2017 R ena i s s anc e P l an U pdat e | T own of W ak e F or e s t

11.3 Management & Programming

Hiring an Event Coordinator These events are currently coordinated through the Downtown Development department. Per the recommendation in Chapter 8 (Section 8.4/Recommendation 8C), a new staff person dedicated solely to coordinating community events should be hired by the Town to free the director to focus on economic vitality and driving new business into downtown. Promote More Frequent, Smaller Events Frequent smaller events tend to support the growth of downtown better than large once-a-year events like the Dirt Day celebration that attracts thousands of visitors to the downtown, but fails to support local merchants. On the contrary, recurring, smaller format events like Friday Night on White (inaugurated in 2016), provide activities that people and businesses come to expect and depend upon. They offer seasonally predictable experiences that people eagerly anticipate, much like the Renaissance Center offers movies/summer entertainment. Small events typically prove less disruptive than big events without requiring street closures and other strategic logistics. Additionally, they are short in

Wake Forest Downtown Inc. (WFD) is a 501c3 that began in the mid-80s as a revitalization group. This organization put the MSD (Municipal Service District) in place, but in 2013, the Town decided to bring the director position in house and form the Downtown Development department. The group still follows the tenets of the Main Street America approach to downtown revitalization including economic vitality, design, organization and promotion. The local non-profit board (WFD) continues to advise the Town and volunteer their time in executing events. Programming is funded through sponsorships and budgeted through the Town including operating dollars to pay for advertising. A 2015 survey revealed that 99% of merchants believe their business has increased 50% because of events such as Art after Hours and Friday Night on White. The organization offers up to a $15,000 match on $30,000 projects and a $7,500 match on $15,000 projects. Programming in downtown Wake Forest has certainly transformed over the past five years. What the urban core presently lacks in retail/ restaurant drivers to downtown, the staff has tried to make up for with the quality and quantity of events in downtown.


» » Mardi Gras » » Friday Night on White » » Meet in the Street » » Lighting of Wake Forest » » Music at Midday » » Dirt Day » » Downtown Holiday Open House

» » Wake Forest Community Christmas Dinner » » Wake Forest Christmas Parade » » Wake Forest Charity Car Show » » Renaissance Centre Movies » » State of the Town Address & Dinner » » Art After Hours

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