Three sections of downtown Elkin were bustling with people after the Yadkin Valley Wine Festival concluded activities in Elkin Municipal Park on Saturday.
However, many guests visiting the Elkin festival staying at surrounding hotels found difficulty getting downtown safely in the evening and opted to avoid it.
Will Jones from Greensboro said he’s not driving.
“My wife and I were drinking all day. I don’t get it. They arrange for a shuttle to get me to and from the hotel, but didn’t they think that we should be the last people needed to start driving in the evening?” he said.
Christopher Calway made the trip to see his sister and is from California.
“It seems that everyone is buzzing about Twenty One & Main. I just don’t want to drive, though. I can’t call a taxi around here,” said Calway.
Misty Matthews of the Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce said that an evening shuttle didn’t come together this year after downtown merchants opted not to support it.
“They didn’t want it this year,” she said.
However, the lack of a simple shuttle is something for officials for the Yadkin Valley Wine Festival officials to ponder.
Tourists were not asking why downtown didn’t provide a shuttle, but instead asked why the wine festival didn’t arrange for transportation.
“I’d pay extra for safety,” said Jones. “They need to get their heads together and figure stuff like that out.”
The Liberty building located on Main Street opened at 6 p.m. and showcased two bands; the Elkin Big Band and Not So Ordinary.
“We have a traditional big band. This all started in 1980. It’s our honor to bring our music and kick off not only an evening of fun, but I am so pleased to play for Cicely and the great work she’s done at The Liberty and downtown,” said Larry Irwin of Elkin Big Band.
The Liberty had an adequate layout spacious enough for guests to stand, chat, and offer enough seats for everyone in attendance. The facility was well staffed. The dance was nicely attended too.
There was a noticeable difference in the acoustics between the Elkin Big Band compared to Not So Ordinary with the second band showing difficulty on sound necessary to sustain the banquet hall size.
“They sound like a great band, but I can’t feel the sound,” said a patron who said she was from Chapel Hill and just graduated.
The Liberty, owned by Cicely McCulloch, just completed an estimated $1.4 million restoration project of the former tobacco warehouse building.
Twenty One & Main Restaurant and Wine Bar was busily steady, though Executive Chef Jeffrey Gibbs and General Manager Erika Bullock were unavailable for an interview.
Fiddles Pub on Main Street showcased Thirteenth Tribe. Patrons packed the pub until after midnight and joined in on a rhythmic evening of singing and cheering.
“This was one of the best evenings for us. Fiddles did well tonight,” said Jeanette Rushbrook, who was bartending throughout the evening.
Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 336-835-1513 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.