WAKE FOREST, N.C. (WNCN) – This month as a part of our Your Town series, WNCN will be bringing you some highlights from small towns all around central North Carolina.
Wake Forest was the station’s first stop as the town kicked off its 42nd annual Fourth of July Celebration Friday afternoon with live bands and concessions at the Wake Forest High School football field. It’s $5 to get in, however children 6 and under are free.
Nathan Forrest is a local artist in town and says Wake Forest has the best July Fourth celebration.
“We’ve got the best Fourth of July event in the state. There’s bands usually here and the best fireworks you’ll ever see,” Forrest said.
Fireworks start Friday at dark and don’t forget the children’s parade Saturday morning.
Several people born and raised in Wake Forest have no intention of leaving.
“I went to high school here, got a lot of friends here, it’s a great town to be in, beautiful town, it’s growing but, it’s still got that small town feeling,” said Forrest.
You certainly get that hometown feel when visiting B&W Hardware, a family-owned and operated hardware store for the past 66 years.
Many in Wake Forest say the town’s art industry is booming. The Cotton Company used to be an operating cotton mill, but now it houses 70 vendors selling retail and handmade pieces of art. People can find jewelry, purses and canvases with beautiful scenes.
People can meet local artists the second Friday of every month at Art Afterhours.
“We actually have events where our vendors will come and you’re able to meet the vendors you’re buying from and hear their stories and see where they’re at in their life and just building that personal relationship with people is so huge here,” said April Cannon, gallery manager at the Cotton Company.
Whether you’re looking for local art or cuisine, you can find it on White Street in downtown Wake Forest.
One place that sees several customers each day is Shorty’s Famous Hot Dogs. It has been a family-run business since 1916 and will celebrate its 100th anniversary next spring.
Bill Joyner and his two sons own the shop and locals say its a delicacy.
“I’m 25 and I’ve been coming here since I was a little kid. My dad works right up the street and he took us on Saturday mornings and got hot dogs,” said Adam Rey, born and raised in Wake Forest.
Shorty’s is planning a weekend long celebration for their 100th anniversary next year.