The June Downtown Night Out event was by far the biggest yet, with between 175 and 200 classic cars and about 75 motorcycles absolutely packing Broad Street from the Post Office (at the western end of the 300 block) to BB&T (at the eastern end of the 100 block). Dozens of vendors lined the sidewalks on both the north and south side of the main drag. And over 1,500 people came out to listen to the music, eat, and check out the cars and motorcycles, and to socialize. One attendee said he saw people that he hadn’t seen in years and that it was a joyous night to renew old friendships.
The event is basically put together by three people, Dempsey Smith, Cecil Inman and Paul Terry. Inman and Smith and Bud Jackson take care of the cruise-in and 50/50 that is the foundation of each monthly event, while Terry lines up the entertainment and accepts the vendor registrations.
“The Chamber of Commerce sponsored event has grown so large now that a committee of three cannot do the work and do it properly,” Terry said. “Volunteers are needed to help park cars, clean up prior to and after the event, assist vendors, and especially to help provide something different and something special each month.
“Children’s activities are especially needed. The event is a free, family event and welcomes many children of all ages who come with their parents to support downtown St. Pauls. Children don’t know much about community support or service yet, but they do know how to play and have a good time. If the event can provide easy-going, free or very inexpensive activities for them, then more parents will come out and stay longer,” Terry said.
“I am asking a church or two or another organization such as Scouts to organize something that children can enjoy, from sidewalk chalk art to hula hoops to beanbag games to art projects. A children’s area can be set aside to accommodate these activities and help insure the future success of these already very successful events that any community would be happy and proud to have.”
If you are interested in participating in the next Night Out, which is Sat., July 14, please call Paul Terry at 910-865-4179. In July, a Hispanic band from Bethel Ministries has agreed to perform beside Floyd’s Barbershop.
Volunteers and committee members are needed and welcomed, as are arts and crafts vendors, and fundraisers,
All area musicians, dancers, singers, are invited to set up and play all along Broad Street to keep the excitement level high.