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Rain put a damper on a community festival for U.S. 301 revitalization, but organizers are optimistic residents will still have a fun and informative time.
“We were affected by North Carolina weather,” said John Morck, planning and community development manager for the city of Wilson. “To be successful, the outdoor event needs to be mostly dry and the rain Friday and forecast Saturday forced us to move the event inside to the Reid Street Center. Saturday is still important and we hope people will come out.”
The Pop-Up Plaza is from noon to 4 p.m. and was originally planned for the Fikewood Shopping Center with food trucks, music and games. Morck said a cleanup event had to be canceled on Friday as had temporary bike lanes along Fikewood Street and a public mural on the shopping center’s wall. With the event relocated inside, organizers have had to alter some plans, such as canceling the live music.
Officials plan to give a short presentation at noon about the strategic plan for the U.S. 301 corridor. Consultants met with residents in August to hear the positives and negatives about life and business along the thoroughfare.
“The idea behind Pop-Up Plaza is to showcase what the planning team has learned about the (U.S. 301) corridor and surrounding neighborhoods during the process,” Morck said. “It will also introduce a draft work plan to the public for feedback.”
The hope is to leverage the federal, state and local investment to improve the roadway and spur private economic development that fits surrounding neighborhoods.
“Our hope is to continue the excitement surrounding the changes that are happening on the corridor,” Morck said. “By focusing events on the corridor, we want to highlight new ideas and strategies for improvement.”
While organizers are disappointed the weather didn’t cooperate, they said they hope everyone will attend the free Pop-Up Plaza. Road construction is slated to finish in the next couple months and officials plan to have another event outdoors in the spring.