All the leanest developments in Rocky Mount NC, including new businesses, openings, announcements, and current events.

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The “Dream” Lives On through Martin Luther King Day Events in Rocky Mount

On their official website, the City of Rocky Mount explains in a recent posting that the municipality has long been linked to the inspirational and world- changing words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as one of his speeches immediately prior to the famous “I have a dream” address he gave was right in the city, and the pride in the Doctor’s strong words is still as evident as ever at any of the Martin Luther King Day Events in Rocky Mount celebrating MLK’s legacy.

The City of Rocky Mount piece went on to explain that “the upcoming events and those partnering with them for the Martin Luther King Day Events in Rocky Mount, saying, “The Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission, in conjunction with the city of Rocky Mount, will host several events honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The overall theme for this year’s events is “Unfinished Work of a Dreamer.”’

Continuing to speak of each of these Martin Luther King Day Events in Rocky Mount, the city website went on to tell that,”The theater at the Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences will be the location for the MLK Oratorical Competition on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2017 beginning at 9 am. Students in grades sixth through eighth will speak to the theme “Building Bridges,” while speeches for contestants in grades ninth through 12th will speak around the “Unfinished Work of a Dreamer” theme.”

The main event will as always be the annual Unity Breakfast, to take place this year on Monday, January 15 at 7:00 am, and will take place just a few steps away from your new home at the Belmont Lake Preserve NC golf community at the Dunn Center on the campus of NC Wesleyan College.

Detailing the annual breakfast, the site said, “Keynote speaker, Synthia Saint James, will be on the dais during the 8 a.m. program, following the 7 a.m. breakfast. James, an artist, author, educator and architectural designer, has garnered numerous awards, including the prestigious Trumpet Award, a Coretta Scott King Award and an honorary doctorate from Saint Augustine’s University. James’ artwork can be found in hospitals, universities and embassies all over the world. Known for being a multicultural artist, James’ designs include the first Kwanzaa Commemorative Stamp in 1997 and the 2016 Forever Kwanzaa Stamp celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Kwanzaa holiday.”

Following the 30th Annual Unity Breakfast, volunteers will team together for the annual Day of Service projects. All events are free and open to the public.

Events honoring King will continue on Saturday, Mar. 3, 2018, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., at Nash Community College’s Brown Auditorium. The International Festival of Cultures showcases Rocky Mount’s cultural diversity! Admission is free.

For more information on any of these events, please contact the city of Rocky Mount’s Human Relations Department at 252-972-1181.

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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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Rocky Mount Business One of Just 13 in U.S. Selected for EPA Grant

Rocky-Mount-Business

Showing the strength of the growing and bustling local business community in Rocky Mount Business, Babington Technology, was one of just 13 small businesses from across the United States recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to receive a grant from the allotted $1.3 million dollars to be part of a project to aid in the reduction of electrical power consumption, reduce the emission of carbon, and lower the price for consumers associated with cookstove combustion technology.

On the EPA’s official website, it was noted that “The 13 businesses we are funding today are producing innovative and creative solutions for our country’s environmental problems,” said Thomas Burke, EPA science advisor and deputy assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “Small businesses play an integral role in creating technologies that will help ensure a sustainable future for our country.”

The article continued in explaining the grants, saying, “Each of the 13 companies will receive a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I contract for up to $100,000 to develop their green technology. If Phase I is successful, companies will be eligible to apply for a Phase II contract of up to $300,000 to develop and commercialize their technology for the marketplace.”

For more information on these grants including more on Rocky mount Business, Babington Technology, visit the official site of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, epa.org.

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Rocky Mount Continues to Climb up list of Most Affordable Places in NC

Most Affordable Places in NC

After finally cracking the prestigious annual listing of movoto.com’s Most Affordable Places in NC on last year’s rankings and much like the great price you paid to get you fabulous new house at the premiere NC golf community, Belmont Lake Preserve, the cost efficient living in the town of Rocky Mount continues to garner attention as this year, they moved up the list nearly ten spots from their 2016 ranking.

Gathering information on any municipality with a population of at least 10,000 residents in the “Tar Heel State” to compile the Most Affordable Places in NC list each year. The criteria used was based upon six different categories in determining which were the Most Affordable Places in NC, with improved scores in each area this year helping to see Rocky Mount climb up several spots from last year’s tally.

Several of the categories which aided in the climb up the list of Most Affordable Places in NC for Rocky Mount were first and foremost the affordability of its “miscellaneous costs.” This area was based upon the cost of the area entertainment, clothing, repairs, and restaurant options, and for the first time in the history of the Movoto poll, Rocky Mount moved into the top ten in this category, statewide. Likewise, the affordability of a beautiful new home, like the one you and your family are enjoying along with the area’s most spectacular on site amenities at Belmont Lake Preserve, played a major role in Rocky Mount’s improved score for 2017, as it was 13th statewide in this category.

Other categories in which were analyzed in making the final decisions on which were the Most Affordable Places in NC by Movoto included, utility costs, unemployment rank, food costs, and overall adjusted income per household, in all of which areas, Rocky Mount scored better than they did just one year ago.

To see the final results including a listing of the municipalities included in this year’s top 50 Most Affordable Places in NC, visit movoto.com.

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Braswell Memorial Library Offers Up Rocky Mount Youth Activities to Build Stronger Skills

Rocky Mount Youth Activities

Located just a few minutes away from your spectacular new home at the Belmont Lake Preserve NC golf community, Braswell Memorial Library offers up several great Rocky Mount Youth Activities and even some for the adults that can help to build stronger literacy skills, while giving youngsters a safe and productive way to interact socially and have some fun with teens and young adults of the same age.

Through the array of Library Clubs that are offered at Braswell, there are Rocky Mount Youth Activities that will appeal to any and all tastes and allow the kids to interact among their peers in doing so. The following Rocky Mount Youth Activities and clubs are being offered currently at the library and are always accepting new members.

  • Coloring Club – Taking place on the fourth Saturday afternoon of every month from 3:15-4:30, and open to teenagers and adults, this is considered a great way to enjoy a stress free atmosphere and the company of others, while you color on materials provided by the library.
  • Good Read Book Club- On every fourth Monday of the month, the library’s Wiley Room is host to this club for adults. A book is selected and read at home by the members, who then come into their meetings for in depth conversation and discussion on what has been read from 10:30 am-12:00pm.
  • Teen Advisory Board- From 5:30-7:00 pm on the second Tuesday of each month, this may be the most popular among the library’s Rocky Mount Youth Activities, and is a wonderful way for teenagers in the area to become more actively involved in the on-goings of the local community. New ideas are discussed and suggestions and thoughts can be offered here by teenagers regarding possible new teen programs, services, and materials.
  • 1st Tuesdays for Business- For the aspiring entrepreneur, this is the one club that stands out among these Rocky Mount Youth Activities. Open for all ages teenage and above, this club is offered through a partnership with the Rocky Mount Chapter of S.C.O.R.E. The library hosts monthly workshops for members covering all facets of business operation, ownership, and management.
  • Teen Minecraft Club- This club allows for teens to get together every second Thursday of the month and create different structures in the world of the popular game, Minecraft. Teens can design and build their own structures, or jump in and lend a hand to others while taking part in some fun, yet thought provoking design challenges.

These Rocky Mount Youth Activities are just a small sampling of the great things going on regularly at Braswell Memorial Library. The library is located at 727 North Grace Street in Rocky Mount and for details on all the upcoming events and great things going on in the upcoming weeks and months, visit braswell-library.libguides.com.

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Rocky Mount Monk to Mill Trail Would Add Beauty and Expand Active Lifestyle Options

Rocky Mount Monk to Mill Trail

In what would add to the already plentiful active lifestyle options and picturesque scenery of the city, the proposed Rocky Mount Monk to Mill Trail would be a project adding trails and potentially another beautiful city park, linking downtown Rocky Mount to the Rocky Mount Mills site.

The potential addition to the city is detailed at the official City of Rocky Mount website, where it describes the Rocky Mount Monk to Mill Trail, stating, “The Monk to Mill Trail is a conceptual greenway and urban trail project that will serve as a location of experience for cyclists and pedestrians between Downtown Rocky Mount and the Rocky Mount Mills. The Monk to Mill Trail provides a “linear commons” that will weave the fabric of central city living in Rocky Mount. “

Continuing on about the exciting prospect of a greenway and trail linking downtown to the mill site, it reads, “This dynamic platform designed for creativity and active living will be the point of assembly for locals and visitors alike to observe and experience the vibrancy happening along this linear park and throughout downtown. Monk to Mill Trail will be the place for recreation, relaxation, and fellowship.”

The name for the Rocky Mount Monk to Mill Trail would come from a salute of sorts to the city’s rich history in two different areas, with one obviously being the cotton mills and the mill site and the other being its ties to jazz music and legendary musician, Thelonious Monk, who was born in Rocky Mount.

An editorial/opinion piece which ran in The Rocky Mount Telegram, this past July spoke of these ties and recognizing the city’s history in offering a vote of support for the Rocky Mount Monk to Mill Trail and its tip of the cap to its storied past. “Other cities with more resources would love to be known as Monk’s hometown.” The Telegram opinion piece went on to voice its support, saying, “Monk’s pioneering music is still celebrated and loved by jazz scholars and aficionados all over the world. The idea to tie Monk Park to the Rocky Mount Brewmill is a creative means of linking past and future in entertainment and recreation. A trail would beckon to music fans, fitness buffs, craft beer enthusiasts and many more tourists.”

Further details of the proposed Rocky Mount Monk to Mill Trail including renderings of the proposed trail and greenway and the park among other information can be seen at rockymountnc.gov.

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Rocky Mount Downtown Community Facility Could be a “Game Changer”

Rocky Mount Downtown Community Facility

Working towards an idea that originally surfaced among city council members as far back as the 1940’s and brought back to the council chambers again in the mid 1970’s and 1990’s, the possibility of a Rocky Mount Downtown Community Facility (RMDCF) with an emphasis on hosting incoming sporting events among other activities could stand to bring an economic impact of an estimated $264 million spending dollars to the city with in ten years of its doors opening.

Detailed and referred to at the City of Rocky Mount’s official website as a “conceptual indoor sports destination” that would be located only minutes from your new home at Belmont Lake Preserve, in the heart of downtown Rocky Mount, rockymountnc.gov goes on to explain the proposed facility would be “unlike any sporting event center in eastern North Carolina.”

Continuing to explain what would set the Rocky Mount Downtown Community Facility apart from any similar in Eastern NC, the website noted it would be “unique in that it not only caters to sporting tournaments, but also has the capacity to accommodate a multitude of other occasions. The piece went on to promote the idea, noting, “This space is ideal for use by both locals and visitors alike, and will set Downtown Rocky Mount apart as the perfect destination location of experience for people of all ages and interests.”

Despite the planning stages obviously taking some time and since the concept has been brought back about by the council, there have obviously been some questions raised by Rocky Mount residents, the “Frequently Asked Questions” section devoted to the concept of a Rocky Mount Downtown Community Facility would point towards a very promising economic effect that the new facility could have on the city.

While the document does state that the Rocky Mount Downtown Community Facility would require several subsidies in its first few operating years ($872,000 in year one, $682,000 in years two and year three $264,000), the anticipated generated revenue and jobs locally would seem to counteract these and then some.

“In its first year, the projected operating revenue will be $1,646,552. By year 10, the projected revenue is $5,938,327, “ the document states. Equally as promising as that statement would be the section addressing the potential new jobs created by a Rocky Mount Downtown Community Facility. “The Downtown Community Facility would create 50 new jobs from the ongoing operations, plus 200 construction jobs. A general manager at the facility would make approximately $90,000 annually. A marketing director would generate $70,000 to $80,000 per year. There are also other high skilled positions that would be available. “

On top of these figures the anticipated economic impact of $264 million in new spending in the city over 10 years, coupled with several other high profile announcements recently of economic development in Rocky Mount and the surrounding community it would seem that things are looking bright for the future of the a Rocky Mount Downtown Community Facility and the entire city as a whole.

To view the information at the City of Rocky Mount’s website on the Rocky Mount Downtown Community Facility, visit rockymountnc.gov.

(Photo Credit: City of Rocky Mount)

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Rocky Mount Receives Award as One of the Great Places in North Carolina

Great Places in North Carolina

The American Planning Association (APA) recently recognized the City of Rocky Mount and continued their revitalization and beautification efforts to downtown, which is just a few minutes from your new home at Belmont Lake Preserve, making them one of only six communities statewide to receive a Great Places in North Carolina award for Main Street.

The city’s efforts to add to the already beautiful and historic downtown area was the basis for their receiving of the Great Places in North Carolina recognition, as Rocky Mount was honored in the “Professional’s Category,” with Main Street being recognized with the 2016 “Great Main Street In-the-Making Award.”

This honor marks the first time that the city of Rocky Mount has been bestowed one of the prestigious Great Places in North Carolina awards, which first were handed out to municipalities by the American Planning Association in 2012. The APA spoke of the six communities (including Rocky Mount) in the announcement of this years’ winners on their website, stating, “These communities represent some of the best planning efforts in North Carolina, and serve as models for visioning, partnerships, and collaboration.” Rocky Mount was recognized and actually received the award at an event held this summer during “Town Hall Day,” which was held in Raleigh.

The Great Places in North Carolina program was initially created five years ago as a way to honor the great communities across the state and the hard working people who have gone above and beyond to make them even greater. The APA website further explains the program and their reason for starting the program, noting, “North Carolina is full of amazing places that make this state a wonderful place to live, bring important money and jobs into our economy, and keep our communities thriving. Many people work hard to create, sustain, and improve these places, including citizens, planners, business leaders, and elected officials. This is a chance for everyone to celebrate together!”

To read more about Rocky Mount’s Main Street gaining recognition and the Great Places in North Carolina program, visit apa-nc.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.