DOBSON — Town Manager Josh Smith had an eye on the future at the third annual Dobson Fall Festival as well as enjoying the here and now. Smith and volunteers were encouraging public input on a proposed town park project at their booth by filling out questionnaires.
“We have entered the introduction to the design phase of the project,” explained Smith. “We want to find out from our citizens what is important to them for their town park before we enter the grant phase of the project.” Smith said the town hopes to apply to the state’s Part F Parks and Recreation Trust Fund for a grant. Grants from the fund can range up to $500,000 in a matching fund arrangement.
“We have a great central location of the park. Our goal is not to duplicate but provide a unique recreational opportunity for our residents. We look forward to a time when we won’t roll up the sidewalks at 5 p.m. We want to have a vibrant weekend night life opportunity in Dobson that a walk-in park would add to.”
Smith said the town is in great financial shape with four newly constructed businesses and two more in the works.
“The economy is bad but not so much here in Dobson,” added Smith. “We’ve experienced tremendous business growth in the last two years. New construction helps our tax base and our goal with the park project is to enrich opportunities here not make a deficit to put people in a bind.”
He is hopeful that the grant process application could be decided by April or May after the public input sessions are completed. Fall Fest was held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the town’s square. The Yadkin Valley Chamber put the festival on again this year. The town’s recreation committee, which put on the Spring Folly, also helped on the fall event.
A total of 45 vendors participated in the fest compared to 30 last year. The folly had a total of 60 vendors.
Smith said the town is seeking to make fall fest something different than the spring folly. He added they are happy to keep it small and concentrate on gradually growing the event instead of shooting for numbers with a larger event.
This year there was music by a DJ, karaoke, and two bands, TJ Montana, a country-rock band, and Platinum Hussy that plays 1950s and ’60s rock. For the kids, there were bounce houses and a train ride.
“This is a real family-friendly event,” said Smith. “We are hoping that attendance will build every year.”
He said the town’s fire and police departments were at the festival. The police department hosted a prescription drug drop-off point in conjunction with Project Lazarus with the Mount Airy Police Department.
Smith said people also were encouraged to stop by the town’s booth to find out more about the town’s second annual canned food drive. He said residents can save $1 for each pound of food they donate up to $5 for each month for December and November.
“Last year we collected 800 pounds of food, but almost all of that was donated by the town’s employees. We are hoping to collect a couple of thousand pounds this year,” said Smith.
Reach David Broyles at email@example.com or 719-1952.