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Spring Lake board to hear about proposed Freedom Festival

The proposed event would take place July 3 and feature country recording artists, carnival rides and fireworks, organizers say.


SPRING LAKE - The Spring Lake Board of Aldermen on Monday is scheduled to hear from event organizers about a proposed Main Street Freedom Festival.

The Main Street Freedom Festival would bring country music recording artists Walker Montgomery, Carolyn Miller and Allie Colleen to Spring Lake on July 3 from noon to 11 p.m.

Keem Jones of Keem Jones Consulting is expected to talk to the board about the event, which would be hosted by Rustic Burger and the town. The event would include live performers, food trucks and concessions, bounce houses, vendors, carnival rides, a petting zoo and fireworks. It also would have a BMX show, a boxing match, a wing eating contest and band performances, which would be recurring activities throughout the event.

The event was originally planned for Main Street; however, it is now being proposed for Ruth Street, around the Spring Lake Multipurpose Community Center, organizers said.

“We were originally looking at Main Street when we named the event in January,” Jones said. “We have now connected it to Main Street, but the festival will take place on Ruth Street from the Veterans Memorial Park to Town Hall.”

Jones said he hopes businesses on Main Street will support the event, whether by being vendors or sponsors. He said event organizers have covered entertainment, flights, hotels and fireworks, all of which total $37,000 of the projected costs listed in the board packet for Monday.

“Anything else that we cannot raise will come out of our pockets,” Jones said.

Event organizers said they would expect 25,000 to 40,000 people to attend, and the total projected costs are $63,000. Additional projected costs include portable bathrooms, the stage, consulting fees and golf cart rentals. Sponsorships have covered the trailers needed and the bounce houses for the children.

The town is listed as a co-host of the event, but there would not be a financial partnership, according to interim Town Manager Joe Durham.

“The town is undergoing severe financial distress so we are counting every dollar,” Durham said. “We are supporting this event. However we would need to look at costs associated with the Spring Lake Police Department and if there are costs above and beyond what we normally would do, those costs would need to be reimbursed.”

Durham said the board will hear this as a proposed plan because it is still contingent on event organizers raising the needed funds. The town also needs to determine a permit for fireworks, security, street closures, etc. The town needs more information, Durham said.

Other items for discussion on the agenda include two rezoning cases: one for a new apartment building adjacent to the existing Waterford Apartments and the other for an extension of a mobile home park off N.C. 210.

The town is in the planning process for a new Spring Lake Land Use Plan, which has not been updated since 2002. The proposed mobile home park is not compliant with the Cumberland County 2030 Growth Vision plan, which sought to reduce mobile homes within the county. It also does not align with public comments from the land-use plan that is being updated, which seeks to improve housing in Spring Lake, according to the Cumberland County Joint Planning Board.

The board meets at 6 p.m. in the Grady Howard conference room at town hall.

Jami McLaughlin covers Spring Lake for CityView TODAY. She can be reached at jmclaughlin@cityviewnc.com. Have a news tip? Email news@CityViewTODAY.com

Spring Lake, Board of Aldermen, Freedom Festival