The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday March 21st

Locally Grown series wraps up this summer

Events celebrate community activities

Chapel Hill will hold the last event in the Locally Grown entertainment series tonight. The Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership and the Parks and Recreation Department presented the event twice already this summer. The event features local entertainment and family friendly activities. "Locally Grown helps us promote downtown and gives people the chance to enjoy our businesses and everything the town has to offer," said Meg McGurk, assistant director of the Downtown Partnership. Wes Tilghman, supervisor for festivals and community celebrations at the Parks and Recreation Department, said the two previous events brought in somewhere between 300 and 500 people. But some businesses did not see a difference in the number of customers that came in on those nights. "I really didn't notice a big increase in business," said Steve Dorozenski, owner of Jack Sprat Cafe. Dorozenski recommended blocking off Franklin Street. But Tilghman said this would be problematic. "Any time you close the streets, the impact on merchants, traffic and parking starts to become a negative one," he said. Other businesses, such as Kidzu Children's Museum, found that Locally Grown has had a positive effect on the town. "It was wonderful to see all that vitality and energy downtown," Executive Director Cathy Maris said. "That is exactly what our town needs. "It was an intersection of a lot of different kinds of people that really defined what makes our community special." McGurk said that after the series is finished, the town will evaluate the results of the event and decide whether or not to do it again next summer. Live performances will begin along West Franklin Street tonight at 6 p.m. An open-air market and children's activities will start at 7 p.m. at the Wallace Plaza at 150 E. Rosemary St. Dorozenski said the concept of Locally Grown is good because only local businesses are promoted, unlike Apple Chill, which brought in outside vendors. But Dorozenski said that some of the logistics of the event, such as the location, could be worked out better. He said that because the plaza is located on a different street than the majority of downtown businesses, people have difficulty finding it. "It's not really clear where the deck is and how to get back and forth from it," he said, suggesting that large banners be placed downtown. "People don't know where to park or where the event is." "You almost have to overdo it to direct people to these things." The town will be looking to have more events at the plaza going forward, Tilghman said. "The plaza is a park facility that we want to utilize more," he said. ATTEND THE EVENT Time: 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. today Location: Wallace Plaza, 150 E. Rosemary St. Contact the City Editor at


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