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Annual Clemmons Community Day to be held Sept. 19

By Jim Buice
For the Clemmons Courier

When the annual Clemmons Community Day was postponed this spring because of the coronavirus pandemic, did anyone imagine it might return later in the year with a bang?

So instead of the usual vendor-style event with games, activities and food trucks, Clemmons Community Day 2.0 will feature a fireworks spectacular at the Jerry Long Family YMCA with the new date of Saturday, Sept. 19.

The revised plan, which was revealed in Monday night’s Clemmons Village Council meeting, includes spectators arriving at 7:30 p.m. that evening at the Y, followed by livestreamed entertainment on large screens with the option to tune in on a designated FM radio channel at 8 p.m., and then the fireworks at 9 p.m.

A Clemmons Community Day committee is working on all the logistics involved in putting together the new format, according to Mayor John Wait, who shared the information in the meeting after receiving an email from Ditra Miller, CEO and executive director of the Lewisville-Clemmons Chamber of Commerce. That includes social distancing of cars, marking the parking lot, use of cones, volunteers to guide traffic and more.

Besides sharing the information, Miller wanted to check with the village about adding pole banners along Lewisville-Clemmons Road and possibly on the roads leading to the Y to promote the event, and help with any funding to underwrite the cost of the event.

“The biggest reason that I wanted to put it on the agenda is because Ditra asked me if council would be willing to fund any part of this event and to put this out for your consideration,” Wait said. “I think the cost of the fireworks, she said, could be about $10,000 or so.”

Wait mentioned the possibility of sponsorship and perhaps forming a small ad-hoc committee but added that he was just a “messenger.”

Councilwoman Michelle Barson said that prior to the arrival of Shannon Ford, marketing and events coordinator, that there was a sponsor for Clemmons Community Day.

“When Shannon came, she’s in charge of getting her own sponsors so we’re not spending money on events and things like that,” said Barson, adding that there is a difficulty with asking for sponsorships and being a sponsor. “We’ll be doing a lot of expenses on it regardless. They’ll need our staff to help with moving stuff around like they always have. They’ll obviously need the police force available. So I almost feel as though we’re already a partner in it without putting out any additional dollars.”

Councilman Mike Rogers said that “if this is advertised, we may have a lot of folks that show up as far as fireworks display, so Publix and the surrounding areas may see an influx in the parking lots, which these fellows it the back of the room (sheriff’s office deputies) probably will be responsible for handling when it comes down to it.”

Councilwoman Mary Cameron said, “I think what we’re hearing is we’ll do what we’ve done in the past, which is in-kind service — whatever is needed.”

As for the pole banners, Miller said that the chamber wanted to place a minimum of 24 banners and was seeking consent for public works to place them for Clemmons Community Day, which was granted.

Also in Monday night’s meeting, the council heard from Village Manager Scott Buffkin, who provided an update on Clemmons receiving $221,664 through the Coronavirus Relief Fund Plan provided by the CARES Act for state and local governments.

“The funds can be used for anything that we deem to be related to the coronavirus and what we’ve done in response to that or what we will do,” Buffkin said. “We have to adopt a plan that can include a number of things, including facility upgrades and that kind of thing. There are a number of categories that describe the type of activities or capital assets that can be acquired through those funds.”

The CARES Act outlines payments from the fund may be used to cover costs that “are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, and were incurred during the period from March 1 to Dec. 30.

Buffkin said that he wanted to add the item to the agenda so the council can formulate a plan for expenditure by Sept. 1. The money must be spent by Dec. 30.

In the $3,472,407 total allocated for Forsyth County, the breakdown in funding also included $2,690,204 for Winston-Salem, $277,203 for Kernersville and $147,591 for Lewisville.