Acitive lifestyle and outdoor activities and events in the Rocky Mount NC area.

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


Taking a cue from the success of a similar Rocky Mount Community Event, “Paws in the Park,” the city’s Parks and Recreation Department invite pet owners and their dogs to be a part of the first ever “Splash Bark,” being held just up the street from your new home at Belmont Lake Preserve NC golf community at Sunset Spray Park on Sunday, September 18.

This unique Rocky Mount Community Event will feature many fun activities for you to enjoy with your dog throughout the three-hour festivities. These would include many of your favorite Sunset Park activities that you’ve come to love over the years, including taking a ride through the park on the train, circling around the carousel, and of course cooling off while splashing around with “man’s best friend” in the spray park.

This very special day for a pet and his owner begins at 2:00 pm. and wraps up at 5:00. Upon arrival to this Rocky Mount Community Event at Sunset Park it is asked that you and your pet enter through the concessions building. Also, for obvious safety precautions, a proof of your dogs’ rabies vaccination is required for entry. Your dog will be required to be on a leash in all areas of Sunset Park except for the spray park area, where they are free to splash and frolic at this Rocky Mount Community Event, “leash-free.”

In discussing the first ever “Splash Bark” event recently with the Rocky Mount Telegram, Event Organizer Alex Langley said, “We have a vibrant and excited dog lovers’ population in our community.” Langley continued, “Events like this enable us to provide increased activities for our four legged friends and their owners.”

For further information on “Splash Bark,” or any other upcoming Rocky Mount Community Event, visit the “Splash Bark” Facebook Event page or contact Alex Langley at

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.”

Rocky Mount Outdoor Movie Nights

Rocky Mount Outdoor Movie NightsBeginning on June 17, the summer season of fun is officially upon our area residents, as just minutes from your new home at Belmont Lake Preserve at the Imperial Centre for Arts and Sciences, the first installment of the Rocky Mount Outdoor Movie Nights, “Lawn Chair Theatre” kicks off with the George Clooney hit, Tommorrowland.

With the doors opening for the Rocky Mount Outdoor Movie Nights at 7:00 p.m., and the films beginning at 8:30 p.m., Lawn Chair Theatre is set to provide fun for all ages every other Friday night through the month of July. The movies are free of charge and shown on the lawn outside of the Imperial Centre, so it is advised that you bring chairs or a blanket to sit on during the showings.

In addition to a great family flick being shown every other Friday as part of the Rocky Mount Outdoor Movie Nights, there is always a little something more for the kids to enjoy at each Lawn Chair Theatre event. During the 90 minutes from when the doors open until the 8:30 start time of each movie, there are a variety of different fun filled games and activities for the youngsters on hand that are coordinated by the Rocky Mount Children’s Museum and Science Center (which is also located at the Imperial Centre). Also, concessions, including food, drinks, and treats are available for purchase during the Rocky Mount Outdoor Movie Nights.

The full schedule of showings for this summer’s Lawn Chair Theatre is:

The Imperial Centre, which hosts the Rocky Mount Outdoor Movie Nights is located in downtown Rocky Mount at 270 Gay Street. In the case of inclement weather, the scheduled Lawn Chair Theatre movie for the week will be shown inside at the Imperial Centre’s Education Building. For more information on Lawn Chair Theatre and all the great upcoming events taking place here, visit

Rocky Mount Mills 5K

Advertised as “Not Your Run of the Mill 5K,” the Rocky Mount community will come together just minutes away from your new home at Belmont Lake Preserve to enjoy a day combining active lifestyle, with great local music, and some delicious local food, all to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis as a part of the Rocky Mount Mills 5K on Saturday, June 4.

The Rocky Mount Mills 5K race itself will begin at 9:00 am, following a 90 minute period that starts at 7:30 where any entrants can come to pick up there packet for the day. The actual running/walking portion of the days events at the rocky Mount Mills 5K will start and finish at The Rocky Mount Mills. The course is set to honor the deep rooted history and scenic beauty of the city of Rocky Mount, as participants will begin by heading down Falls Road and over the Tar River. Heading next to the scenic greenway, which features both wooden paths and paved trails, all who are ”running the course” will enjoy a spectacular view of the Tar River on this route.

From the greenway, the race heads to most major points of historic and scenic value across city limits, as the Rocky Mount Mills 5K takes its runners through or past such local iconic landmarks and sights as City Lake, Sunset Park, and eventually back to Mill Village. There will be awards for the top three finishers in age categories ranging in five year increments, from under 13 years old all the way through 70 plus. The race to the finish line however will only be the beginning of the days festivities at the Rocky Mount Mills 5K, as great food, beverages, live music, and fun awaits once the run is completed.

In case the run at the Rocky Mount Mills 5K worked up anyone’s appetite or thirst, upon return, there will be a Food Truck Rodeo going on from 9:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., featuring a wide variety of both food and beverages. The participants at the “rodeo” will be: Bull Durham Beer Company, Chirba Chirba Dumpling, Chick-N-Que, Chick fil A, Healthy Grill Food Truck, JAM Ice Cream, Koi Pond Brewery, On the Square, and Sweet Taters Brewery and Restaurant.

On top of all of the great exercise and then the scrumptious tatstes of the food truck offerings, there will also be the grooving sounds of a band with local roots right in Rocky Mount and the Wilson area, Matty Begs. Described as having a “funky beach jam sound,” Matty Begs has played at colleges, taverns, and beaches across the southeast and will be providing the live soundtrack on Saturday, June 4, for the great time being had by all at the Rocky Mount Mills 5K.

The Rocky Mount Mills 5K will start at the “Mills,” located at 1151 Falls Road in Rocky Mount. Although not directly affiliated with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, due to many personal connections to friends and family of those involved with the event battling this awful ailment, all proceeds will be donated to the charity. For further information on signing up for the Rocky Mount Mills 5K or any other details on the event, visit

Rocky Mount Summer Events

A sure sign that the sunshine and warmth of the new season is growing near is one of the great outdoor traditions just a few minutes away from your new home in the Belmont Lake Preserve North Carolina golf community, as the Downtown Live concert series will kick off the Rocky Mount Summer Events this Thursday, May 12.

Running every other Thursday night throughout the late spring, into the summer and straight through until early fall, the Downtown Live concert series has become one of many community themed Rocky Mount Summer Events that is greatly looked forward to by residents. The Summer Music Series is free of charge and takes place in the heart of downtown on the lawn at the Imperial Centre for the Arts & Sciences, located at 270 Gay Street. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. each Thursday and the music starts rocking at 6:00. While there are not coolers allowed, food and beverages are available each week at these Rocky Mount Summer Events.

The schedule for the Downtown Live series has been announced and week one of the Rocky Mount Summer Events will feature the popular grooves of Legacy Motown Revue this Thursday. Then, following a week off on May 19, the concert series returns on Thursday, May 26 with The Entertainers. The June lineup for Downtown Live will see Jim Quick and Coastline take the Imperial Centre stage on June 9 and The Castaways on June 23.

Keeping the Rocky Mount Summer Events schedule “red hot” heading into the month of July, The Band of Oz will headline the July 7  Downtown Live concerts, with the sounds of Liquid Pleasure filling downtown Rocky Mount on July 21. August’s lineup should prove to be equally as fun, with Hip Pocket playing on the 4th and The Tams on the 18th.

Rounding out the Rocky Mount Summer Events at the Imperial Centre lawn for Downtown Live will be three September concerts. These include Steve Owens and Summertime on September 1, East Coast Rhythm and Blues on the 15th, and then closing out the series will be The Embers featuring Craig Woolard.

For further information on the Downtown Live concert series and all the great upcoming Rocky Mount Summer Events, visit

(Photo Courtesy of the City of Rocky Mount)


Best Lake Communities in the USThe premier North Carolina golf and retirement community, Belmont Lake Preserve has been selected by Ideal Living magazine as one of 2016 Best Lake Communities in the US among retirement living areas.

The recognition as one of the Best Lake Communities in the US for 2016, comes following a year that saw Belmont Lake Preserve as the recipient of several accolades. Most recently, the Rocky Mount NC golf community was named to the prestigious “Short List” by Where to Retire magazine as one of the 50 Best Master Planned communities in the United States. Likewise, the spectacular 18-hole, David Johnson Golf Design, Belmont Lake Golf Club weighed heavily into the community being honored by Ideal Living last year as one of 2015’s Best Golf Course Communities in the nation.

In their listing of the Best Lake Communities in the US, which will be featured in the upcoming annual “Best of the Best” Summer edition of Ideal Living, the selection process was based on the following ideas. “For many active adults, the appeal of lake living is in the availability of boating, fishing, swimming and other water sports. Other retirees may wish to live lakeside in order to enjoy the serenity offered by living near a peaceful, natural setting.” Given Belmont Lake Preserve’s 1400-acres of scenic, forested land which is set around the beautiful 80-acre Belmont Lake and the wide array of both on-site and near by outdoor living options, its inclusion among the Best Lake Communities in the US would come as no surprise to those familiar with its stunning natural beauty.


Also Named among the 50 Best Master Planned communities in the United States

In addition to its beautiful natural setting, the resort like amenities at Belmont Lake Preserve also make it an obvious choice for this and the other recent accolades received by the North Carolina Living community. The luxurious, BLP Community Clubhouse features both an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, a state-of-the-art-fitness facility, a billiards and game room and much more. The Golf Clubhouse with a full golf pro shop, indoor and outdoor dining facilities, the highly acclaimed “Main Course at Belmont” restaurant and on staff PGA professional, Tim Wilke is equally as impressive, as is the aforementioned golf course, which has been named among the Top 100 to Play in NC and as one of the Best Course Designs in Eastern NC.

For more information on the upcoming “Best of the Best” edition of Ideal Living magazine to feature the Best Lake Communities in the US, visit To plan a visit or get more information on available homes, home sites, or floor plans at Belmont Lake Preserve, visit here.

Active Lifestyle in Rocky Mount NC

One of the biggest attractions in the decision making process to relocate and retire among today’s baby boomers is the access to an active lifestyle they desire. “Lifestyle Redefined” at Belmont Lake Preserve NC retirement community is more than your new, beautiful custom home and our 18 hole championship NC golf course. It is also more than just staying fir and leading a healthy life, as at Belmont Lake, “Lifestyle Redefined” is also making it easy for you to achieve the Active Lifestyle in Rocky Mount NC that you desire through a variety of on and off site amenities in addition to the great stuff going on socially around the area.

Tar River Walking and Paddle Trail

The scenic and historic Tar River Trail runs directly along its namesake river, stretching through the city of Rocky Mount from Sunset Park in the West, to Martin Luther King, Jr. Park in the East. Perfect for a refreshing hike, an invigorating bike ride, or just a leisurely stroll to enjoy the beautiful surroundings, the Tar River Trail gives you countless options for Active Lifestyle in Rocky Mount NC. In addition, with over 20 miles of waterways connecting the Tar River and Stony Creek and ten canoe and kayak access locations, the Tar River Trail also offers a chance to enjoy outdoor living on the water as well.

Rocky Mount Senior Center

Right in the heart of downtown, the Rocky Mount Senior Center is the perfect spot for whatever route you may choose in achieving an Active Lifestyle in Rocky Mount NC. With a state of the art fitnesss center, an indoor pool, gymnasium, and an outdoor 1/5 mile walking track, staying fit is fmade easy and un at the Senior Center. Also boasted a game room with billiards, a card room and computer lab featuring 8 computers all with internet access and outdoor space for horseshoes, bocce, and shuffleboard, whatever your choice in recreation, you are covered here. The Senior Center also offers a variety of programs for 55 and older visitors to find their Active Lifestyle in Rocky Mount NC, including day and overnight trips, educational classes, workshops, and clubs.

Outdoor Events

The feeling of community that is synonymous with “Lifestyle Redefined” goes above and beyond the options to stay fit and healthy and also includes the undeniable community feel that is undeniable Rocky Mount and the surrounding area. With a wide variety of outdoor events throughout the calendar year, there is a little something for everyone offered socially with in minutes of Belmont Lake Preserve. With Rocky Mounts’ “Downtown Live” or “Lawn Chair Theatre” concert series’ throughout the Spring and Summer months, the family friendly holiday events held year round or the highly anticipated annual Eastern Carolina BBQ Throwdown held each Fall, having a good time with familiar faces and new acquaintances is always just minutes from your front door. For the full city of Rocky Mount events calendar visit there website at


Whether you are relocating from the Northeast for your retirement years or a born and bred North Carolinian, your choice to build a dream home at the premier North Carolina golf community, Belmont Lakes Preserve puts you in one of the fastest growing cities state wide as historic Rocky Mount NC combines its proud lineage from days gone by with the scenic beauty of the present to preserve the legacy of one of the Tar Heel State’s most storied locations.

Rustic Reminders

Steeped in a rich history, Rocky Mount NC pays tribute to the city’s proud beginnings in a variety of ways. Taking a stroll down the scenic Tar River Trail can give you a look into the city’s storied military past as you pass by Battle Park and Panther Island as well as their railroad heritage as you bypass the railroad trestle that was once part of the longest railway in the United States.

The man made City Lake has stood since 1933 as a beautiful reminder of the past as well, with a lighted fountain, wildlife island, gazebo, and observation decks being added over the years to enhance its beauty.

A “Dream” that Lives On

Adding not only to the countless outdoor attractions in Rocky Mount but also recalling the city’s tie to one of the most famous speeches in American history is Martin Luther King, Jr. Park.

Prompting the dedication of the park to the legendary Civil Rights trailblazer, was when Dr. King spoke before a crowd of nearly 2,000 at the Booker T. Washington High School gymnasium in Rocky Mount on November 27, 1962, uttering the now fabled words, “I Have a Dream” among many other pieces of his landmark address given nine months later at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. as a part of the “March on Washington.”

The spectacular scenery that can be enjoyed in Rocky Mount NC, most of which blends the city’s historic past with it’s bright future shows just one of many ways that the members of the local community and city officials alike share in “dreams” like Dr. King spoke of that November night in 1962. Continuing to work hard to beautify and create more history as they bring Rocky Mount NC into the future will continue to make such dreams come true.

Rocky Mount Dog Park away from your new home in the premier North Carolina golf and retirement community, Belmont Lake Preserve, the new Rocky Mount Dog Park is set to celebrate its grand opening with a “day for the dogs,” as pet owners are welcome to come out on Saturday, April 11 and take part in the 5th annual “Paws in the Park” event featuring a day full of free family fun showcasing “man’s best friend.”

The all-free “Paws in the Park” event promotes responsibility in pet ownership and the humane treatments of dogs, with a full day of contests and special events. Kicking off the day’s festivities at 10:00 a.m. will be the Grand Opening ceremony and dedication of the Rocky Mount Dog Park, which is located at 1301 Dawson Place, adjacent to Sunset Park. Following the dedication at 11:00, the dogs will take center stage, as contests taking place at the new Rocky Mount Dog Park will include participating canines being recognized in a variety of categories including, Cutest, Pet and Owner “Look-a-Likes,” and Musical Chairs.

In addition to the contest, “Paws in the Park” will also host a series of special events at the Rocky Mount Dog Park throughout the afternoon. The “Pet Parade” will give the community a chance to see dogs “strutting their stuff” for all to see, as will the “Fashion Show,” with prizes awarded to winner’s of this event. Likewise, the “Costume Competition” and “Pet Talent Show,” have become annual favorites for the whole family to enjoy, as the canines get a chance to play “dress-up” and show off their unique talents in each of these attractions.

With local vendors on hand for food and other refreshments, “Paws in the Park” is a great way to get out and meet your friendly new neighbors in the Rocky Mount community and their pets, while helping to celebrate the opening of the latest addition to the city’s countless beautiful outdoor attractions, the Rocky Mount Dog Park.

For all details on the 5th annual “Paws in the Park” event, visit