Social events, arts, music, sports, and entertainment options and activities in the Rocky Mount area.

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2018 Concerts Return as Highlight of Downtown Rocky Mount Events

downtown-rocky-mount-events

After a long, cold winter faded into the warmer months of Spring, it was just a matter of time before the warmth  of the summer sun came around, and to many local residents, that means their favorite of all Downtown Rocky Mount Events, the Downtown Live concert series returns, just minutes away from your new home at the Belmont Lake Preserve new home community in the heart of downtown Rocky Mount.

The schedule for the 2018 Downtown Live series has been released and it will feature no less than nine weeks of Downtown Rocky Mount Events, which started the week of May 24 and is running through the week of September 18 with a weekly concert featuring some of the most loved local acts of all time.

These popular Downtown Rocky Mount Events take place every other Thursday during that time frame and as always start at 6:00 pm. The Downtown Live concert series is held outside of the Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences building, at 270 Gay Street in Downtown Rocky Mount. There will be local food and beverage vendors on site at each of these Downtown Rocky Mount and you can bring your own lawn chairs to set up, as admission as always is free.

The remaining 2018 Downtown Live concert schedule is:

  • July 19: Jim Quick & the Coastline
  • August 2: The Main Event Band
  • August 16: The Entertainers
  • August 30: The Band of Oz
  • September 13: The Embers featuring Craig Woolard

For more information on the Downtown Live concert series and all the great upcoming Downtown Rocky Mount Events, visit downtownrockymount.com.

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Art Classes in Rocky Mount : “Sculpting” a Family Friendly Community at the Imperial Center

Art Classes in Rocky Mount

Moving from the winter months and into the Spring, the temperature is not the only thing seeing an increase here locally, as there is always an influx of activities being offered in Downtown Rocky Mount. Whether you are a toddler or a senior citizen, if your preference is science, art, or theatre, just a few minutes up the road from your new home at the premier North Carolina golf community, Belmont Lake Preserve, the Imperial Centre for the Arts open up their schedule with numerous options for Art Classes in Rocky Mount for all ages.

This first part in our three part series will look specifically at the Art Classes in Rocky Mount this month at the Imperial Centre, which is located at Gay Street in the heart of downtown. For starters, those ages 12 and up that wish to catch the “acting bug,” this Spring can partake in “Intro to Acting: Auditions and Scene Study.” Described at the official site of the Imperial Centre as “the perfect class for the beginning actor or for experienced actors who want to sharpen their skills. This class will focus on how to prepare cold scenes at auditions as well as how to dissect scenes into beats and make strong choices in the audition, rehearsal, and performance process.”

Whether acting and performance art is your thing, or whether your preference is to express your creativity on canvas, the Imperial Centre has you covered with Art Classes in Rocky Mount for all. “Intro to Painting,” is another class where anyone age 13 and older can learn to “Study the language of painting.” Technique, materials, and elements of art are all topics focused on in this course, as you learn to build a better understanding of different mediums.

For those looking for some fun activities that the whole family can partake in, look no further than the Art Classes in Rocky Mount and the “Paint Together: Family Workshop.” Join the pros at the Imperial Centre and “explore the basics of painting as a family” at this workshop. Working with acrylic paints, family members will work together on a project and leave with a beautiful piece of art to hang at home as a memory of what is certain to be a fantastic day of fun together.

Yet another genre of art will be focused on at another of the Art Classes in Rocky Mount offered at the Centre, as you and family members  can come out and “use their hands” as part of “Intro to Clay: Functional Wares.” A variety of items will be created at this truly, “hands-on” two session workshop and it is open to anyone age 14 and up.

The Art Classes in Rocky Mount offered up at the Imperial Centre are just a few of the fantastic things that everyone in the house hold can enjoy. For further information, ioncluding special lower rates on these courses for Rocky Mount residents, visit the Imperial Centre website here.

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New Rocky Mount Mills Incubator to Support North Carolina Breweries

North-Carolina-Breweries

The bustling industry of craft beers across the state gained another boost from Rocky Mount Mills as it was recently announced that the venue will begin with its first “class,” consisting of several North Carolina Breweries joining a brewing incubator.

There will be four North Carolina Breweries sharing a refurbished, on site, 6,000 square foot shipping warehouse, and each will be able to produce up to 1,000 barrels annually and have a keg cooler featuring eight taps to serve their finished product from. In addition, they will be given the opportunity to take classes in the Nash Community College Brewing, Distillation, and Fermentation program and be serving up their brews in a public beer garden.

The four North Carolina Breweries involved will be, Planetary Elixirs, HopFly Brewing Company, BDD Brewing Company and Bull Durham Beer Company. The Bull Durham Beer Company is already up and open for business, Planetary Elixirs will be soon bottling their product, and HopFly just “opened up shop,” on November 18. The fourth of the North Carolina Breweries involved, BDD Brewing Company is set to debut later this winter.

“Our inaugural class of brewers comes from all walks of life and bring with them different approaches, methods, and philosophies towards brewing,” says Sebastian Wolfrum, executive brewmaster of Rocky Mount Mills. “We see the spirit that built Rocky Mount Mills 200 ago, and that continues to make our community one of hard work and triumph in each of them. We’re looking forward to seeing and, more importantly, tasting what they have to offer.”

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Cummins Planetarium is an “Out of This World” Fun and Educational Experience

Cummins Planetarium

Cummins PlanetariumLocated just minutes from the Belmont Lake Preserve new home community, at 270 Gay Street in Rocky Mount, Cummins Planetarium offers an array of fun-filled, educational special events that children of all ages and adults likewise have been enjoying since they first opened their doors in the Spring of 2006.

Upon its opening, Cummins Planetarium, which is housed inside the Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences building, became the very first planetarium in North Carolina to feature a full-dome video projection system. In addition to this, the incredible 30-foot dome at Cummins Planetarium sets tilted slightly forward to allow for a maximum viewing audience of up to 50 people per show.Cummins Planetarium

Giving visitors both young and old a consistent and divers variety of shows, Cummins Planetarium runs four different shows monthly, with each being having a showing once daily every Tuesday-Saturday. One of the upcoming featured shows at Cummins Planetarium is called “Solar Superstorms,” which takes a dramatic look at the sun and the solar system. “The Amazing Telescope,” is also running at Cummins Planetarium  and will take detail how observatories use telescopes to bring you on an exploration of some of the universe’s great mysteries including the ring’s of Saturn, the spiral structures of the galaxies, and the Galilean moons.Cummins Planetarium

The two other  shows at Cummins Planetarium are more specifically aimed at different age groups, with one that is sure to have the youngsters smiling from ear to ear and a second that will get the parents in the family tapping their toes and maybe even reminiscing of some great music from the past.

A can’t miss showing for the young ones this month at Cummins Planetarium is , “One World, One Sky,” is advertised as “a magical musical journey into space for families with kids ages 3-6 years old. Featuring all your children’s favorite characters from the show “Sesame Street,” this is “Big Bird’s Adventure,” and he and many of his pals take you and the kids on a fun-filled journey to the moon and back. For the older generation, “Laser Classic Rock” will bring them back to the days of stadium-sized rock and roll from the late 1960’s and 70’s as this show is set to the tunes of some of the greatest classic rockers of all time, including, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles, Queen, Pink Floyd, and many more.

For more information on the other upcoming shows and special events at Cummins Planetarium for this month and the remainder of 2016, visit their website at museum.imperialcentre.org.

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Rocky Mount Christmas Parade to team up with Toys for Tots

Following in the classic holiday tradition that is trimming the tree, hanging the stockings, and awaiting Santa to descend down the chimney, the 62nd annual Rocky Mount Christamas Parade returns on December 3, just down the street from your new home at Belmont Lake Preserve, bringing holiday joy and the yuletide spirit once again to downtown Rocky Mount.

This years’ Christmas Parade in Rocky Mount has a very special theme, as the city officials and members of the community will band together with the United States Marine Corps Reserve, who will be on hand to collect donated toys for less fortunate youngsters in the area to help ensure a special Christmas morning for the little ones who may not normally receive such gifts. The representatives from the Marine Corps will be located near City Hall, on the corner of Church and Nash Street before, during, and after the Christmas Parade in Rocky Mount to collect the “Toys for Tots.”

The 62nd annual Christmas Parade in Rocky Mount will commence at 3:00 p.m., ringing in the holiday season as the community and all its residents “get in the spirit of the season” as they march through downtown in grand fashion. In addition to the area schools, bands, dance groups, and other groups that are sure to impress with there individual floats that are encouraged to be decorated in accordance with this years’ worthy them of “Toys for Tots,” the little ones will also be thrilled to know that once again, Santa Claus himself, along with Ms. Claus will also be on hand as a part of the 2017 Christmas Parade in Rocky Mount.

For more information on the 62nd annual Christmas Parade in Rocky Mount, you can email susan.ball@rockymountnc.gov, or call the city’s Parks and Recreation Department office at 252-972-1159.

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First Friday at the Imperial Centre offers Holiday Fun for the Whole Family

First-Friday-at-the-Imperial-Centre-

Normally held on the first Friday evening of each month, the December 1 installment of First Friday at the Imperial Centre will carry a Christmas theme, featuring activities for the whole family in all sections of the downtown Rocky Mount arts center.

The Imperial Centre website listed the following special activities that will be taking place on the December 1 First Friday at the Imperial Centre in addition to the lighting of the Imperial Centre Christmas tree, a visit from Santa Claus for the kids, and carriage rides and bounce houses in the courtyard where there has been a forecast for “snow,” to get all in the mood of the season.

In the Childrens’ Museum at First Friday at the Imperial Centre will be:

  • Free admission featuring new exhibit, Ocean Bound
  • Chris “JuggleBoy” Fowler – magic and juggling program at 6:30
  • Kid’s activities
  • Rocky Mount Wildlife Rehabbers
  • Planetarium Show: Season of Light at 7 pm
  • Lasershow: Laser Holiday  at 8 pm
  • Braswell Memorial Pop-Up Library
  • Meet naturalist, Tom Stutz

In the Arts Center at First Friday at the Imperial Centre will be:

  • Live Music
  • Photo Booth
  • Gallery Sketching
  • Craft
  • Hot Cocoa & Cookies

The Imperial Centre is located at 270 Gay Street in Rocky Mount. For more information on First Friday at the Imperial Centre and all their fun upcoming family friendly events, go to imperialcentre.org.

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The Classics to Headline Winter Lineup at Imperial Center in Rocky Mount

With two legendary tales taking center stage at the theatre at the Imperial Centre for the Arts and Science, the winter schedule for great entertainment, just up the street from your new home at Belmont Lake Preserve NC Golf Community, will continue to heat up as the temperature drops with “Pride and Prejudice,” and the holiday classic, “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

Starting on October 26 and running through the 29th, Jane Austin’s “Pride and Prejudice is a brilliant tale of a simpler time in history. The Imperial Center home website describes the show as, “ humorous story of love and life among English gentility during the Georgian era. Mr Bennet is an English gentleman living in Hartfordshire with his overbearing wife. The Bennets 5 daughters; the beautiful Jane, the clever Elizabeth, the bookish Mary, the immature Kitty and the wild Lydia.”

Just in time for the holidays, the Winter Lineup at Imperial Centre welcome the Charles Shultz classic, “A Charlie Brown Christamas,” to the Rocky Mount stage, starting on November 30 and running until December 3. 49 years after first stealing the hearts of a nation and becoming a holiday staple on television in its near five decades of existence, the Peanuts crew will no doubt be a crowd pleaser that all ages can enjoy. The Imperial Centre Christmas Choir will also take part in this show, making this a can’t miss part of the Winter Lineup at Imperial Centre.

With these great offerings on the horizon and several familiar stage favorite already scheduled for the Spring, it is safe to say that the fantastic Winter Lineup at Imperial Centre is just the beginning, as 2018 promises to be a talented and entertaining ride for all to enjoy.

The Imperial Centre is located at 270 Gay Street in Rocky Mount. For more info on the Winter Lineup at Imperial Centre and all the other great vents coming up, visit imperialcentre.org

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9th Annual Eastern Carolina BBQ Throwdown is a “Smokin’” Good Time in Rocky Mount

Eastern Carolina BBQ Throwdown

One of the most anticipated and for sure tastiest annual events on the Town of Rocky Mount calendar will be returning to town for a “smokin’” good time, as just a few minutes from the Belmont Lake Preserve NC golf community, the 9th Annual Eastern Carolina BBQ Throwdown takes place on Friday and Saturday, October 7-8.

The Eastern Carolina BBQ Throwdown festivities kick off this year on Friday at noon, at 101 Coastline Street in Downtown Rocky Mount, directly in front of the Helen P. Gay Historic Rocky Mount Train Station. And the “delicious” fun on opening day goes until 8:00 p.m. Saturday morning The “Throw Down” continues and swings into full effect as will be evident by the incredible smell wafting through town from the countless BBQ pros plying their craft from 10:00 a.m until 6:00 p.m.

For those who have not yet had a “taste” of the Eastern Carolina BBQ Throwdown, it is a professional cooking competition based on the Kansas City Barbeque Society’s (KCBS) official categories, which are chicken, pork ribs, pork brisket, and beef brisket. Awards are given out annually for the Grand Champion, Reserved Grand Champion, and the People’s Choice Award, decided upon by the attendees of the tops in Fall Events in Rocky Mount. Additionally, prizes to include cash awards, trophies, and plaques will be given out to the top ten finishers in each of the above categories.

Returning for the second consecutive years on the heels of its success at last year’s Eastern Carolina BBQ Throwdown will be the 2nd Annual Home Brew Competition, as once again, local beer enthusiasts and brewers will compete on Saturday. Each entrant in this competition may submit any style beer of their choosing, and each will be judged in different categories based upon the style they enter. If the entry does not fit into one of the specific categories they still are eligible for the overall “Best in the East” award that will awarded by a panel of judges representing this events sponsor from Rocky Mount Mills.

Although the Eastern Carolina BBQ Throwdown begins at noon on Friday, and the judging will commence throughout the two-day festival, there will also be other great food and entertainment ongoing throughout. The “Kick Off Party and Concert” has become almost as much of a tradition as the ribs, chicken, brisket, and other delicious food, with great live, local music being played throughout the day. Always a family friendly event, there will also be an assortment of vendors, and kid specific activities throughout the weekend as well

The 9th Annual Eastern Carolina BBQ Throwdown is free to the public. For a full schedule of events and more information on the Eastern CarolinaBBQ Throwdown, visit their website at bbqthrowdown.net.

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Football, Family, Friends, and Fun: Rocky Mount is Ready for the 19th Annual Down East Viking Football Classic

Down East Viking Football Classic

Down East Viking Football ClassicThe Rocky Mount Sports Complex, located just up the road from your new home at the Belmont Lake Preserve NC Golf Community, will play host to one of the most anticipated sporting events, and fun-filled community based weekends of the entire year in Rocky Mount, as on Saturday, September 17th the Elizabeth City State University Vikings take on the Morehouse College Maroon Tigers in the 19th Annual Down East Viking Football Classic with a 4:00 p.m. opening kickoff.

While the actual Down East Viking Football Classic game itself is the centerpiece of the weekend, starting on Thursday, September 15, and continuing after the ball game until about 10:00 p.m., the Rocky Mount community comes together for a fun filled weekend of activities. In actuality, Friday morning’s Down East Viking Football Classic Golf Challenge will take place right outside your front door at Belmont Lake Preserve, at 10:00 a.m. at the award winning Belmont Lake Golf Club.

The economical impact of the Down East Viking Football Classic for the Rocky Mount community is very significant, with an estimated 8,000-10,000 visitors expected to descend upon the city for the festivities. Rocky Mount Mayor, David Combs recently spoke with the Rocky Mount Telegram on the all around positive impact the Down East Viking Football Classic has on the community.

“It’s a wonderful event and it brings people to Rocky Mount that might not come here,” Mayor Combs enthusiastically said. “It’s sort of like a homecoming for people that haven’t seen someone they’ve known in a while. You have people coming from out of town not just for the weekend, but some are staying two or three nights.” He continued, “They help our community because they’re staying in our hotels, going out and shopping in our stores and dining in our restaurants. They’re spending money in our community and it’s bringing in a lot of revenue into our community.”

The full schedule of events for the Down East Viking Football Classic weekend festivities that are open to the public with the location of each event is as follows:

Thursday, September 15 

  • 6:30 P.M.

Fantastic Viking Voyage Enrollment Tour Event
Holiday Inn-Rocky Mount
200 Enterprise Drive

Friday, September 16, 2016

  • 10:00 A.M.

Down East Football Classic Golf Challenge
Belmont Lake Golf Club
210 Belmont Club Way

  • 9:00 P.M.

Down East Viking Mixer
Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences
270 Gay Street

Saturday, September 17

  • 7:00 A.M.

Tailgating Party
Rocky Mount Sports Complex
600 Independence Drive

  • 3:00 P.M.

Down East Viking Football Classic Pre-Game Ceremony
Rocky Mount Sports Complex
600 Independence Drive

  • 4:00 P.M.

19th Annual Down East Viking Football Classic
Morehouse College vs. Elizabeth City State
Rocky Mount Sports Complex
600 Independence Drive

  • 6:30 P.M.

High School Band Showcase
Rocky Mount Sports Complex
600 Independence Drive

  • 8:00 P.M.

Down East Step Show
Dunn Center for the Performing Arts
3400 North Wesleyan Boulevard

For more details on all scheduled events, a full history of the Down East Viking Football Classic, ticket sales, and much more, visit the page dedicated to the weekend on the Elizabeth City State University website at ecsu.edu.

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Rocky Mount Active Lifestyle Options Could Increase with Upgrades to Battle Park

Rocky Mount Active Lifestyle

With the Rocky Mount city council recently discussing possible upgrades to one of the city’s beautiful outdoor spaces that sits only minutes from your new home in Belmont Lake Preserve, the already plentiful options for Rocky Mount Active Lifestyle activities could increase with the proposed changes at Battle Park.

Although the upgrades that would include these Rocky Mount Active Lifestyle options at Battle Park are not likely to occur immediately, the interest from the city officials was genuine. The upgrades that were spoken of at the meeting would see a new “spray ground,” a butterfly garden, a zip line, widened walking paths, and a BMX track.

These proposed items were noted to be in the concept stage still, however, several other short-term efforts that also would offer some new Rocky Mount Active Lifestyle options were also brought up at the August 10 council meeting. An outdoor outfitter, environmental education, and educational hiking trails were the short term Rocky Mount Active Lifestyle ideas tossed around, and Assistant City Manager, Thomas Moton, Jr. explained that many residents have been behind this project because they’d like to see Battle Park made a focal point of Rocky Mount’s tourism industry and economy.

“With ideas for improvements we hope to make this area a destination location,” Moton, Jr. went on to explain. “With possible bike trails and other activities, we hope to attract more travelers and to maximize opportunities for people to enjoy the water.” He added, “Battle Park is also the hub to connect our assets from MLK Park to City Lake, so visitors can use the greenway to enjoy all seven miles of greenway trails that Rocky Mount has to offer.”

Being in such early stages of development, the cost of the Battle Park project that would see the addition of these great Rocky Mount Active Living options was not brought to the table. However, there has been some interest shown by Rocky Mount Mills (which is owned by Capitol Broadcasting Company) in a possible lease or purchase of Panther Island,  which is part of Battle Park. If this were the case, that company would implement improvements by itself and allow the city to focus on the remainder of the park.

Rocky Mount Parks and Recreation Department Director, Kelvin Yarrell addressed the possibility of the Battle Park upgrades, voicing the following conclusion.  “The true plan would come from working with our citizens, elected officials and the business community, such as Capitol Broadcasting, to look at the entire scope of the project once funding becomes available.”