Welcome to our weekly e-newsletter - What's Up in Wake Forest . Here you'll find information about Town programs, services, activities, projects, special events and more! If you haven't already, tell your friends and neighbors to visit our E-Notifier page to learn about our full array of free email offerings.

Thanks to everyone who joined us on Facebook Friday evening for our Fireworks Kick-off and Virtual Fireworks Spectacular!

For anyone who missed it, the entire show is available by clicking on the video above . Its also airing daily throughout July on WFTV 10. In case you're not a Spectrum Cable TV subscriber, WFTV 10 is available in real-time on the Town’s website. Finally, the entire program is available on the homepage of the Town’s website and here . We hope you enjoy!

The Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources (PRCR) Department continues to promote community involvement, art and creativity during the COVID-19 pandemic by inviting residents to participate in its Cupcake Decorating Contest . From July 8-15, Wake Forest families are invited to decorate cupcakes with the following themes: Summer Loving,
Jungle Animals, Fun Sports, Stay Strong Wake Forest, and Decorator's Pick.

Each person that participates is invited to share photos of their decorated cupcakes through the online form on our website .

Between July 8 and July 17, we’ll post on the Town of Wake Forest Facebook page the pictures we’ve received and upload them to our online photo gallery. We also invite you to post your pictures on social media and use the hashtag #WFPRCR.

On Friday, July 17, we’ll announce our winners on Facebook.

The Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department will host a two-day online esports gaming tournament featuring "Rocket League" on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 22-23. Open to players ages 10 and older, the inaugural Battle in the Forest will be played online and live streamed on Twitch.tv. Registration  is underway, and the cost is $5 per player.

Teams comprised of three players each will compete in the two-day tournament which will run in conjunction with "Bull City Gaming." Qualifying rounds will take place Saturday with the top eight teams battling it out in the finals on Sunday. More>>

The Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department will host a singles and doubles cornhole tournament on Friday, July 24, at 6:30 p.m. Open to players ages 18 and older, this inaugural event will be offered rain or shine at Flaherty Park, 1126 N. White St. Both the singles and doubles tournaments offer a two-game guarantee with awards presented to the top two players and teams in each category. 
Registration for both tournaments is underway at . The singles tournament is limited to the first 20 people to register, while the doubles tournament is limited to the first 10 teams to sign up. The cost is $10 per person for the singles tournament and $20 per person for doubles play. No registrations will be accepted on the day of the tournament. More>>

After operating as a private, non-profit organization for 37 years, the Wake Forest Fire Department (WFFD) officially joined the Town of Wake Forest today.

The merger comes less than a year after the Wake Forest Board of Commissioners (BOC) unanimously authorized town staff and the town attorney to prepare an agreement between the municipality and the fire department to proceed with consolidating the department into the Town’s municipal structure. The BOC also authorized staff to engage the services of EnviroSafe, a management consulting firm specializing in local government public safety services, to assist with the transition and consolidation.

The BOC’s blessing came a month after EnviroSafe released a comprehensive report recommending that the fire department join the Town. A week later, the Wake Forest Fire Department Board of Directors also gave its unanimous consent for the fire department to become part of Wake Forest town government.

In October an executive team consisting of Town Manager Kip Padgett, Chief Financial Officer Aileen Staples and Fire Chief Ron Early began meeting with appointed sub-committees to initiate the fire department’s transition to the Town. Representatives from the Town and the fire department collaborated on those sub-committees to address a range of transition topics, including Human Resources, Information Technology, Communications, Facilities, Capital Assets/Fleet and Equipment and Operations. More>>

Mayor Vivian Jones delivered her annual State of the Town address on Monday, Feb. 17. After detailing several of the Town’s accomplishments in 2019 and outlining some of its goals for 2020, Mayor Jones concluded her remarks with a heartfelt appeal to what Abraham Lincoln called the “better angels of our nature.”

We need your help and the help of everyone in our community to continue being a community that cares about each other and embraces and honors the wonderful diversity of our residents.
Please join me in recognizing that we may not always agree but, at the very least, we can respect each other. If we all do that, think about the impact we can have on our community.

I challenge each and every one of you to be agents of positive change this year.

How many times can you post something positive about a person or an event or a business?

How many times can you “like” something good that you see on social media?

Let’s all make a concerted effort to make our interactions positive this year and to demonstrate our care and concern for everyone in our community.

None of us could have imagined the tremendous challenges the ensuing days and months would bring. On behalf of Mayor Jones and the Town of Wake Forest, thanks to everyone who has heeded the Mayor’s call for unity and kindness during the first half of 2020 and let’s all strive to encourage one another in the uncertain months ahead.

Although the Wake Forest Renaissance Centre is closed and in-person events canceled, “the show must go on-line.” As we continue adjusting to life in the midst of COVID-19, the Renaissance Centre is now offering a series of free online visual and performing arts experiences you can enjoy from the comfort of your home.

One of the Renaissance Centre’s favorite performers, Happy Dan The Magic Man, is now performing his one-of-a-kind magic show on the third Wednesday of each month at 11 a.m. These performances can be streamed via the  Renaissance Centre Facebook  page. They will also be available on the Renaissance Centre website .

Everyone laughs louder when Happy Dan the Magic Man is in the house. Happy Dan has traveled the world entertaining families for more than 30 years. His hilarious family shows are regular features at Southeastern festivals, comedy clubs, banquets, trade shows, schools, and family living rooms. He is more than an entertainer. He's that slightly silly, can't-wait-to-see-him, loving uncle that every child loves.  

Happy Dan's zany character recalls the fun of live television hosts from years gone by. He blends the gentleness and homespun comfort of Mister Rogers with the silly antics and storytelling of Captain Kangaroo. His talents stretch to thoroughly holding the attention of children as young as three years to golden age adults. Wherever laughter and a caring heart is needed, Happy Dan delivers!

To learn more about the Renaissance Centre, including our virtual programming, like us on   Facebook  and sign up for free updates via  E-Notifier .

The Town of Wake Forest is pleased to announce that Assistant to the Town Manager Candace Davis was promoted to Assistant Town Manager effective Wednesday, July 1.

As Assistant Town Manager, Davis will assist Town Manager Kip Padgett with a variety of town priorities, organizational initiatives and special projects. She will also continue her involvement with the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) and the bond referendum projects approved by voters in 2014.

A native of Augusta, Georgia, Davis joined the Town of Wake Forest in 2008 as a Senior Transportation Planner. She was promoted to Transportation Planning Manager in January 2015, then appointed as the Town’s first Assistant to the Town Manager in January 2017. Prior to coming to Wake Forest, she served as a Transportation Planner for the Town of Apex. More>>

A contractor working to extend Ledgerock Road in the Deacons Ridge Subdivision has closed a portion of the Dunn Creek Greenway . The closure is necessary to allow crews to realign the trail. The work is expected to be completed by early November.

Signage and barricades have been posted to inform the public of the closure.

The Dunn Creek Greenway begins at the Smith Creek Soccer Center, 690 Heritage Lake Road, and runs north to the pedestrian culvert under NC-98 Bypass/Dr. Calvin Jones Highway. Measuring one mile, the 10' wide paved and boardwalk trail is designed for biking, hiking or simply enjoying nature.

A partnership between the Town of Wake Forest and Wake Electric has resulted in the installation of four electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at Joyner Park Community Center, 701 Harris Road. Available to the public and free of charge, the charging stations are ideally situated for electric vehicle owners visiting E. Carroll Joyner Park.

The two Tesla-specific and two Clipper-Creek charging stations are Level 2 charging stations capable of fully energizing an electric car in about three-to-six hours, depending on the vehicle. The four spaces also include extra room to meet ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990) requirements. More>>
Registration continues for
Youth Fall Baseball & Softball thru July 12

Youth Fall Baseball and Softball registration for boys ages 6-16 and girls ages 6-14 continues through Sunday, July 12. A participant’s eligibility is determined by his or her age on April 30, 2020, and a birth certificate is required for new participants. The in-town registration fee is $60 and the out-of-town fee is $100.

Online registration is available. Team placement and draft information, along with additional registration details and league rules are also provided online and at the Wake Forest Town Hall, 301 S. Brooks St.

Players in every league except “Rookie League” must participate in a draft to determine team placement. The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department will conduct drafts for each league in August and in July will contact all registrants with draft/placement information.

Team practices will begin in August and games will be played through mid-October.

Community health and safety is the top priority for the PRCR Department. Once practices and games begin, several precautionary measures will be taken to protect players, coaches and parents.
PRCR to host adult esports league July 13-Aug. 17

The Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department and Mission Control GG are partnering to offer adults ages 18 and older a six-week online esports league July 13-August 17.

Registration is underway and continues through 6 p.m. Saturday, July 11. The cost is $25 per person, and you must have an XBOX 1 console and Madden 20 to participate.

Participants will face a new person each week for six weeks in a best two out of three games to decide the winner.

For more information, email Recreation Specialist Shawn Monday

Work on a South Main Street/North Main Street/US 1A resurfacing project will continue to require overnight lane closures over the next few weeks. Fred Smith Co., a private contractor working on behalf of NCDOT, will continue to reduce to one lane with intermittent two-way traffic portions of South Main /North Main/US 1A from Capital Boulevard/US 1 to Chestnut Avenue from 7 p.m.-6 a.m. The lane closures are necessary to allow crews to resurface the roadway.
The contractor is starting work at 7 p.m. each evening to reduce the impact on travelers and make the work safer for crews. The NCDOT is working with the contractor to minimize the amount of noise and light during the paving, and in turn reduce inconvenience to nearby residents. The work will progress along South Main/North Main/US 1A, so crews will not remain in the same area over the course of the project.
Signage and flaggers will be in place to manage traffic flow and safely direct motorists through the work area. Delays are expected, so motorists are encouraged to avoid the area if possible and take an alternate route. Please note: Access to all driveways and parking lots along South Main /North Main/US 1A will be maintained at all times.
Until the resurfacing project is completed, residents are urged not to park along South Main Street/North Main Street/US 1A or within 100 feet of intersections on roads that intersect with South Main/North Main/US 1A from Capital Boulevard/US 1 to Chestnut Avenue. Vehicles parked in the work area will be towed to a nearby street. For example, a vehicle parked along East Holding Avenue within 100 feet of South Main/US 1A would be subject to towing.

For more information, email Transportation Engineer Jonathan Jacobs

On June 24, Gov. Roy Cooper signed  Executive Order 147  extending Phase Two of the state’s reopening plan until July 17 and requiring face masks be worn in public. Every North Carolinian in an indoor public space, or in an outside public space when unable to physically distance from others, is required to wear a face covering.

Exceptions to the mask requirement apply to children under 11, those with certain medical conditions and people exercising outdoors away from other people. Other exceptions allow for people to remove masks while communicating with someone who is hearing impaired, while receiving medical treatment, or while giving a speech for broadcast or to an audience. You are also not required to wear a mask while riding in a personal vehicle.

In accordance with Executive Order (EO) 147, all visitors to the Wake Forest Town Hall, 301 S. Brooks St., and other Town facilities must wear a face mask or face covering. For more information, call Town Hall at 919-435-9400.

Delayed due to concerns about COVID-19, the opening of the  Holding Park Aquatic Center  (HPAC) took place Wednesday, July 1, at 10 a.m. Open Swim times are scheduled in three-hour blocks, with one hour in between to allow staff to clean and sanitize the facility, including deck chairs, door handles, hand rails and other high-touch areas.

A maximum of 120 patrons are permitted inside the facility during each session. Patrons must register and pay online for each session at least two hours in advance. Registration instructions are provided below. Please note: No walk-ins are allowed.

The Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department wants HPAC patrons to be aware of new policies and procedures in effect for the 2020 season .
Wake Forest

The Town of Wake Forest is embarking on a major update to the Wake Forest Community Plan . The updated Community Plan will shape the Town’s vision and guide development for the next 10 to 20 years. The renewed plan will also help Town leaders make substantive and thoughtful decisions on behalf of the community.

The two-year process will start this summer and include various ways for
residents to participate and offer input.

In addition, the Town of Wake Forest is also updating the Northeast Neighborhood Plan . The plan provides short and long-term recommendations for the Northeast Neighborhood. The Town has contracted with Rhodeside Harwell, Inc. to update the Northeast Neighborhood plan. The project will kick off later this summer and is expected to take 12 months to complete.

Residents will have various opportunities to provide input for the new Northeast Neighborhood Plan. Topics of considerable interest include
food security, improved public and affordable housing, workforce training,
transportation, connectivity and building partnerships.

More information on both plan updates will be announced soon.

The Taylor Street Park Sprayground , 416 N. Taylor St., opened for the season on June 13. Free and open to the public, the sprayground operates daily in two-hour sessions, then closes 30 minutes for cleaning, Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. and Sundays from 1-8 p.m. The facility is scheduled to close for the season on Tuesday, Sept. 8. 

Out of concern for public safety, Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources has introduced the following measures as part of the facility’s daily operations:
  • Temporary fencing has been installed around the sprayground to control the entry and exit of visitors;
  • For the purposes of contact tracing, all persons entering the sprayground must be signed in by staff;
  • Seating areas are clearly marked to ensure proper spacing and appropriate social distancing (patrons may bring their own chairs);
  • Staff is enforcing a maximum capacity of 16 people.

Again, the sprayground is open daily in two-hour sessions, then closed for 30 minutes while employees sanitize every surface. To view the daily schedule, visit our website .

Although the Wake Forest Renaissance Centre is closed and in-person events canceled, “the show must go on-line.” As we continue adjusting to life in the midst of COVID-19, the Renaissance Centre is set to begin offering a series of free online visual and performing arts experiences you can enjoy from the comfort of your home.

One of the Renaissance Centre’s signature events, The Malpass Brothers in concert , will take place virtually on Saturday, July 25. The event will begin at 7 p.m. and can be streamed via the  Renaissance Centre Facebook  page.
Steeped in traditional country music, The Malpass Brothers feature a smooth vocal blend and skillful musicianship while performing in the styles of Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins and Hank Williams, Sr.

To learn more about the Renaissance Centre, including our virtual programming, like us on  Facebook  and sign up for free updates via  E-Notifier .

Northern Community Food Security Team (NCFST) Chair Andrew Brown, Jr. recently announced that the Northern Regional Center (NRC), 350 E. Holding Ave., will continue serving as a weekday food distribution site through Friday, July 31. Until then, parents and caretakers of students ages 18 and younger can continue to pick up free, nutritious meals Monday-Friday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. as part of Wake County’s Summer Nutrition Program. Distributed curbside at the NRC, the food is placed in safe and sanitized containers to minimize concerns related to the spread of COVID-19.

Brown also reminded residents about the NCFST’s Weekend Meals Program. Offered Fridays at the NRC from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (rain or shine), the initiative invites families to pick up enough food to sustain them through the weekend. Thanks to the NCFST’s network of partners, a variety of foods are available at no cost, including dairy, poultry, fruits, vegetables and shelf staples (peanut butter, pasta, oatmeal, cereal, canned goods and nuts).

“Our efforts would not be possible without the support we receive from our incredible partners,” said Brown. “These partners include Farmer’s Foodshare, Backpack Buddies, Bread of Life Ministries, Tri-Area Ministries, Fresh Point Produce, and Inter-Faith Food Shuttle.”

For more information, contact NCFST Chair Andrew Brown, Jr. at 919-435-9466. 

Wake Forest Bus Service has resumed normal operations.

The Wake Forest-Raleigh Express (WRX) serves a Park and Ride Lot (located at the intersection of White Street and Elm Avenue) in Wake Forest, the Triangle Town Center Park-and-Ride at Orvis, State Government, and the Moore Square Transit Station during rush hour. Tickets can be purchased on the  GoRaleigh  website, in-person at the GoRaleigh Station, or at Wake Forest Town Hall. Ticket sales at Town Hall can be made by visiting the Planning Department on the 3rd Floor.

Operated using GoRaleigh vehicles,  Wake Forest Loops A and B  offer fare- free service for residents traveling within Wake Forest and a portion of Wakefield.

Customers are asked to board buses using the rear doors in an effort to promote greater social distancing. GoRaleigh cannot collect fares at the rear doors, therefore fare collection will continue to be suspended. Front door access will be available for persons with disabilities. 

GoRaleigh standard sized buses will allow up to 16 passengers to comply with social distancing practices. If a bus reaches full capacity and resources are available at the time, a tripper bus will be sent to pick up any remaining passengers.

For the safety of the operators and passengers, we encourage wearing a face covering of some form on all buses.  

These practices can help limit the impact of COVID-19 on our community. For more information, call 919-485-RIDE (7433). More>>
Recycling Refresher

It's time to take a fresh look at recycling and change how we think about it! It's less important to fill the bin with a mix of things we think MAY be recyclable as it is to put in things we KNOW are recyclable. Click on the video above. Its designed to help you "get the right things in the bin - for the win!"

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, about six out of 10 people living with dementia will wander away from their homes. As the development of the disease continues, it can become increasingly difficult and potentially impossible for the person to find their way home. Many children with autism may also wander. That’s why the Wake Forest Police Department (WFPD) is introducing a new program designed to help officers find and safely return home people with disabilities as quickly as possible when they wander away from their families or caregivers.

The  Take Me Home initiative is designed to protect Wake Forest children, adults and the elderly with disabilities, such as autism, Down syndrome or Alzheimer’s and other dementia disorders, who go missing and may be unable to communicate who they are and where they live.

The program is a free, voluntary and confidential database offered, managed and maintained by Wake Forest police for Wake Forest residents. It is only accessible to law enforcement via the WFPD.

Fred Smith Co., a private contractor working on behalf of the Town of Wake Forest, has begun preliminary work on the Ligon Mill Road Operational Improvements Project (LMROIP)

Initial efforts will include the installation of project signage and silt and tree protection fencing, along with equipment mobilization. This work will have little to no impact on pedestrians or traffic.

The LMROIP consists of widening the existing narrow corridor from two lanes to a four-lane median-divided roadway with left-turn lanes, bike lanes, curb and gutter and extra-wide sidewalks. In addition, crosswalks, pedestrian signals, and dedicated left, through and right-turn lanes will be installed at the existing intersection with South Main Street/US 1A.

These improvements are designed to significantly improve the mobility and safety of this corridor. Decorative stone retaining walls will also be installed to enhance the visual appearance of the area.

For complete information, including project updates, visit our website

The NC Department of Transportation wants to hear from you about North Carolina’s trails and how to make them better. The NCDOT is encouraging residents and leaders to participate in a brief  survey  on our state’s multi-modal transportation. The input will be used to identify a network of shared-use paths and trails that connects​​​ every county in North Carolina.

The public can give feedback in two ways by taking an  interactive map survey  or a  10-question survey . Participants are encouraged to take both surveys beginning now through September 30.

Available here , these surveys are a part of NCDOT’s effort to develop its statewide trail plan and 5-year implementation strategy, called the  Great Trails State Plan .

The Great Trails State Plan is focusing on shared-use paths that can serve transportation purposes, providing connections between where people live, work and play. 
Check out our new
"Wonderful Wake Forest" video

The Town of Wake Forest often receives reports about trash of all kinds along our roads. It's a shame we're forced to constantly reinforce this message - but please don’t litter! We need everyone to help keep Wake Forest and North Carolina beautiful and safe, and it starts with each of us doing our part.

Thank you for doing your part to keep Wake Forest safe, and for proving every day that the caring community we know and love is still here and as strong as ever.  #StayStrongWF

All  Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources' playgrounds are closed until further notice. All Town parks and greenways remain open to the public, but water fountains are turned off.
Parks and greenways users are urged to remember the following:
  • Refrain from using parks or trails if you are exhibiting symptoms.
  • While on trails, warn other users of your presence as you pass, and step aside to let others pass.
  • Always observe CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of 6 feet from other individuals. If this is not possible, find an alternate location or depart that space.

Police officials are reminding Wake Forest motorists to park in the direction of traffic flow or risk a $25 fine. Wording in Sec. 30-251 of the Town's Code of Ordinances addresses "Parking in direction of traffic flow."

"Parking shall be established in the direction of traffic flow on all streets within corporate limits of the Town of Wake Forest with passenger side (right) tires to the curb on two-way streets."

In summary, on a two-way road, you must park with the right-hand wheels next to the right-side curb. Otherwise, you are parked illegally.  More>>
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