City preps for Wildlife Arts Festival

Published 10:27 am Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Arts of the Pamlico staff and volunteers have been preparing for the upcoming East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival for months.

Staff and volunteers have been identifying and signing up exhibitors and vendors that will be at the festival and helping those exhibitors and vendors set up from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 8. Exhibitors range from taxidermists to hunting guides. Vendors range from wildlife artists to purveyors of fishing, hunting and camping equipment.

Others are making preparations for the festival, set for Feb. 8-10 in downtown Washington. After a one-year absence, the festival returns for its 22nd year.

“We will schedule more people. It’s a fairly heavy weekend for us, as it is for most places downtown,” said Roger Meyland, owner of Grub Brothers Eatery and Little Brown Jug. “I’m sure most places will staff up as much as they can.”

The timing of the festival — during the middle of winter — helps businesses because it brings in revenue during what’s usually a slow time, he noted.

“It’s a great event for downtown. It makes our February, that and Valentine’s Day. It’s 25 to 30 percent heavier than it would normally be,” Meyland said. “We usually run wide open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. … We get a lot of the vendors on Thursday night.”

“We will definitely be bringing in additional servers and hostesses, and probably another food runner,” said Mindy Ball, a manager at Down on Mainstreet. “Depending on the weather, we might have another patio server. If the weather is good, people like to sit out there.”

Ball said the restaurant would increase its food-service order that week to accommodate the increase in customers.

“Most likely. Were planning for that big event. We’re planning for another event that weekend. We’re doing a little party that day. So, actually, we’re going to be overstaffed,” said Thomas Claude Taylor with La Bella Slices and Ices. “We’re going to be prepared for all that.”

The Washington Police Department is preparing for the festival.

“The festival personnel have not requested any additional personnel; however, due to the increased pedestrian traffic downtown, we will increase our patrol efforts in the area,” wrote Stacy Drakeford, the city’s director of police and fire services, in a email.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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