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.
A message from Mayor Vivian Jones

Mayor Vivian Jones read the following statement on George Floyd at the conclusion of the June 2 Board of Commissioners Work Session:

"By now, I am sure everyone is aware of the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
I know that many of you are angry. I am angry too. And I will not apologize for being angry.

I also have a range of other emotions including sadness, and despair, and even disgust.

My heart aches for Mr. Floyd’s family.
Yet at the same time, I am angry and disgusted that a human being lost his life in such a senseless manner. I am also angry that these kinds of deaths continue to happen.

Whenever something like this occurs, we tend to look at our local law enforcement, and question whether something similar could happen here. I understand that – so I want to take a moment to reassure our citizens that we have an outstanding Police Department whose officers serve our community professionally and with compassion.

Our Police Department is committed to hiring, training and keeping only the best officers possible who serve in accordance with their core values – courage, honor and integrity.

There is no question that our society is at a crossroads. It is past time for us to come together.

But moving forward together will require an intentional effort from each and every one of us.

So, I ask you, to please join me. I believe we can make a difference.
In all that we say or do – let’s be clear that racism, hatred and bigotry have no place here in our community.

In all the many ways we interact with each other and care for one another – let’s demonstrate that every human life has value.

Wake Forest is a wonderful and caring community. Let’s be leaders in acceptance, inclusion and equity for all."

A few days later, on June 5, Mayor Jones released the following statement:

"Thanks to everyone for your comments and suggestions concerning ways we can collaborate to ensure Wake Forest continues to foster trust, respect and equality for everyone.

It is in the spirit of community and a desire to continue this important dialogue that I have begun the process of forming a Mayor’s roundtable to explore ways we can collectively address problems that face our nation and community.

Stay tuned as I plan to share more details of what I hope we can accomplish within the next couple of weeks."

Oh, say can you sing? Regardless of your answer, you and your family are invited to participate in a virtual rendition of “The National Anthem” as part of a magical, community chorus. Modeled after the digital sensation, “Couch Choir,” Wake Forest’s Star-Spangled Sing-Along is an opportunity for residents (even those that “can’t carry a tune in a bucket”) to join together in song and contribute to a different kind of Independence Day celebration – all from the safety and comfort of their homes.

From now through Sunday, June 14, Wake Forest residents and families are invited to video themselves singing the National Anthem, then upload their video through an online portal.

Detailed instructions, along with the link to the online portal, are now available on the Town's website .

The deadline to upload your video is Sunday, June 14 .

Kino Mountain Productions, the Town’s video production partner, will synch up all the submitted videos into a virtual choir. The Town will unveil the finished product on its  Facebook page  and  website  on the evening of Friday, July 3.

Delayed due to concerns about COVID-19, the 2020 opening of the Taylor Street Park Sprayground , 416 N. Taylor St., will take place Saturday, June 13, at 10 a.m. Free and open to the public, the sprayground will operate daily in two-hour sessions, then close 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 will introduce the following measures as part of the facility’s daily operations:
  • Temporary fencing will be 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 will be clearly marked to ensure proper spacing and appropriate social distancing (patrons may bring their own chairs);
  • Staff will enforce a maximum capacity of 16 people.

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

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources (PRCR) Department is taking a slow and cautious approach to resuming athletics programming. The coronavirus is expected to remain a threat for the foreseeable future, so the PRCR Department is working to balance health and safety concerns with public demand for resumed access to amenities and services. 

Due to the ever-evolving situation surrounding COVID-19, PRCR-sponsored athletic programs are subject to change with limited notice. Wake Forest officials will continue to closely monitor updates and follow guidelines from the Wake County Health Department, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHSS) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). These guidelines have been implemented in protocols established by the Town to address potential exposure to the coronavirus and protect our community and staff.

Registration underway for Youth Fall Baseball & Softball
PRCR officials announced today that Youth Fall Baseball and Softball registration is underway for boys ages 6-16 and girls ages 6-14 and will continue 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.

Co-Rec Church Softball Registration is underway
The PRCR Department is now accepting team registrations for Co-Rec Church Softball through Friday, July 31. Online registration is available. The entry fee is $550 per team, and the league is limited to participants ages 18 and older.

Beginning in mid-August, league games will be played primarily on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evenings.

Anyone interested in participating who does not have a team can sign up as a free agent, then assigned to a team in need of players. To register as a free agent, visit wakeforestnc.gov, search “Free Agent” and complete the online registration form.

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 officials.

Adult Summer Co-Rec Kickball registration is underway
The PRCR Department is now accepting team registrations for Adult Summer Co-Rec Kickball through Tuesday, June 30. Online registration is available. The entry fee is $225 per team, and the league is limited to participants ages 18 and older.

League games will be played primarily on weeknights and Sunday afternoons from mid-July through late August.

Anyone interested in participating who does not have a team can sign up as a free agent, then assigned to a team in need of players. To register as a free agent, visit wakeforestnc.gov, search “Free Agent” and complete the online registration form.

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 officials.

The Wake Forest Renaissance Centre will host Red, White and Hues, a Virtual Art Exhibit and Wine Tasting on Saturday, June 26, at 6 p.m.
Free and open to the first 90 people to register, the event will take place over Zoom.

Take a virtual tour of several works of art supplied by the Wake Forest Guild of Artists while enjoying three wines specifically selected from Unwined on White to pair with the art. The artists and sommelier Andrew Mehring will join the conversation to share their inspiration and knowledge.

The cost of the three wines is $40 plus tax. Wines can be purchased online  or by calling 919-761-5049 and may be picked up in-store or curbside. 

Orders must be received no later than Wednesday, June 24.

For more information, email Renaissance Centre Manager Debbie Dunn .

The Town of Wake Forest and Wake Forest Downtown, Inc. (WFD) are looking to stimulate the downtown Wake Forest economy and reward residents who are supporting downtown businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. To achieve these goals, a special incentive is being offered from June 13-July 5 to people who shop at participating stores.

As part of Red, White & Blue - Downtown Wake Forest Needs You , for every $25 a customer spends at one of the participating downtown businesses, he or she will receive a raffle ticket to be entered into a weekly drawing.

Over those four weeks (June 13-July5), $1,500 in Downtown Dollars will be given away with the grand prize winner receiving $500.

Drawings will be held on the following Wednesdays: June 17, June 24, July 1, and July 8. Winners will be announced on the Wake Forest Downtown Facebook and Instagram pages.

Downtown Dollars can be used the same as cash. To learn more about Downtown Dollars and view a list of downtown merchants who accept them, 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 Loop B resumed normal operations on May 26 after being suspended since March 30 due to COVID-19. Wake Forest-Raleigh Express service remains suspended until further notice.

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>>

The Town of Wake Forest is following North Carolina’s Safer-At-Home Phase 2 Order as outlined by Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order No. 141 . The Safer At Home Phase 2 runs through at least Friday, June 26.

Mass gathering limits in Phase 2 are no more than 10 people indoors or 25 people outdoors in most circumstances. 

Due to the current mass gathering limits and an expectation that residents will not be allowed to gather safely in large groups for the foreseeable future, the Town has canceled its traditional July 3 Fireworks Spectacular.
However, instead of the conventional in-person celebration, officials plan to put on an aerial fireworks display that residents can watch in a variety of ways, including (but not necessarily limited to) Facebook Live and WFTV 10. Plans are still being developed, so specific details will be provided in the coming weeks.

Wake Forest’s July 4 festivities, including the annual Children’s Parade and Art-in-the-Park, have also been canceled. Planning was well underway for these events before the COVID-19 pandemic was declared. The Town of Wake Forest would like to recognize the Wake Forest Optimist Club and the Wake Forest Woman’s Club for pledging their support for these events.
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!"
We're tied in the
Mayors' Census Challenge!

Oh no! We're tied at 71 percent! For several weeks Wake Forest led Fuquay-Varina in our head-to-head match-up over which town finishes with the better self-response rate. That lead has vanished like bottles of hand-sanitizer from your local grocery store! If you haven't already, please take a few minutes to complete the 2020 US Census online at  https://my2020census.gov/   and help ensure Mayor Jones and Wake Forest "clean up" the competition! We're "counting" on you!

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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