The 11th-annual Denver Days festival kicks off at 4 p.m. today, running through Saturday at 11 p.m.
The event, organized by the Denver Lake Norman Rotary Club with various sponsors, features rides, crafts, food and live music. Proceeds will go toward the construction of the new East Lincoln Rescue Park.
Joe Lampron, Denver Days chair for the Rotary this year, said construction on the first phase of the long-planned park should be starting soon. The Rotary Club Foundation received a North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant for more than $350,000 last year and will be providing the dollar-for-dollar match for the project.
Plans are being developed now, and Lampron anticipates that the 2015 festival will be held in the finished park.
This year’s event, he said, will meanwhile be similar to those in the past, held at the corner of St. James Church Road and N.C. 16 Business on property provided by longtime Denver residents. Free parking will once again be provided.
“Hopefully we’ll have another good turnout,” Lampron said, noting that more than $30,000 has been raised at each of the past few years’ events.
The Rotary provides much of the volunteer base for the event, including planning, implementation and cleanup.
“We have a good group,” Lampron said of the club.
A few area churches will also be pitching in on some of the work, he added.
The festival gates will open at 4 p.m. today through Friday and at noon on Saturday, closing at 10 p.m. the first two nights and 11 p.m. the second two.
From 5-9 p.m. today and Thursday, rides will be offered at a special price for students. Rides open at 5 p.m. today through Friday and at noon on Saturday.
Live music is scheduled for each night of the festival except tonight, including Jim Quick and Coastline on Saturday.
There will also be a “Special-Needs Kids Fun Day” from 1-3 p.m. Thursday.
Vendors will set up shop on Friday afternoon for the remainder of the festival. Many local businesses will be present to share information with visitors, with some hosting giveaways and drawings.
For more information on the 2013 Denver Days festival, call (704) 405-7905 or visit: www.denverlakenormanrotary.com/denverdays.html.