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Golf cart parade heading for Music at the Mural concert Saturday night

By Mark Wineka

mark.wineka@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Salisbury might seem like a beach community Saturday evening when a caravan of golf carts is expected to receive a police escort across town and arrive at the summer’s first Music at the Mural concert.

“It’s going to be a rocking event,” said Mikey Wetzel, whose Go Burrito! restaurant is one of the sponsors for Music at the Mural. “Right now, we just pray for good weather.”

The golf cart caravan, with a police car in front and one in back of the procession, will start from the Morgan Ridge Railwalk Brewery and Eatery at 421 N. Lee St. The golf carts will quickly reach North Main Street and travel south across the Square before turning onto West Fisher Street and heading for a parking spot near the mural.

The 100 block of West Fisher Street will be closed for Music at the Mural, a free concert on Saturday night that will feature the band Cassette Rewind.

When the concert is over, the police will again escort the golf carts — this time back to Morgan Ridge and their waiting trailers.

How many golf carts will participate? It’s difficult to say, according to Wetzel and Jerry Miller, owner of Jerry’s Golf Carts at 6200 S. Main St. It could be a handful, or it could be 50.

“Even if we get 10, we can build off that,” Wetzel said.

Most of the promotion has been word of mouth, fliers being handed out at Jerry’s and social media posts.

Wetzel, owner of Go Burrito! across from the West Fisher Street mural, is always looking for ways to promote Music at the Mural concerts. Four concerts are scheduled this summer. Upcoming concerts are July 29, Aug. 26 and Sept. 30.

When he was discussing promotional ideas, Wetzel kept hearing from people who go to the beach for vacations or happen to own beach property. They would tell him how much beach communities rely on golf carts and how people often enjoy riding their carts to evening concerts.

Wetzel doesn’t own a golf cart, but “I can picture what it’s like, and it sounds like a good time,” he said.

Recognizing how little he knew about golf carts and the rules governing their use in Salisbury, Wetzel went to Facebook asking for help and ideas. A Google search led him to Miller at Jerry’s Golf Carts.

He visited Miller at the golf cart shop and met some of his customers, who thought a golf cart connection to Music at the Mural might work.

Wetzel told Miller, “If I can make this happen, can you get the golf cart people to come?”

Miller said he would try his best, though he acknowledged to the Post on Tuesday that the golf cart caravan “could be a hit-or-miss kind of deal.”

“I’m going to be there, but I can’t speak for everyone else,” said Miller, who will be driving his personal golf cart, which looks a lot like a Rolls Royce.

“You got to get established. After they have it one or two times, it will start catching on.”

Wetzel said people planning to be part of the caravan should be aware of a few rules. The caravan will leave Morgan Ridge at 7:30 p.m., “and you cannot be late by a second,” Wetzel said.

On Saturday evening, golf carts will not be free to roam the streets — Salisbury doesn’t have a golf cart ordinance as many other towns do. The $25 parade permit Wetzel obtained allows the carts to travel only the designated route between the police cars.

Wetzel also is encouraging those who will be in carts Saturday evening to be responsible and have designated drivers in case anyone has been drinking before or during the concert. He advises all cart participants — they will have to pull or trailer their carts into Salisbury — to arrive at Morgan Ridge in plenty of time to enjoy the pub and restaurant.

Morgan Ridge has generous parking behind the restaurant.

Wetzel said people with questions can email him at info@goburrito.com. Go Burrito!’s Facebook page also has some information.

Wetzel gave high praise to the Salisbury Police Department for its help with the logistics in having this first golf cart caravan. “We wouldn’t be able to do this without the police,” Wetzel said. “… The police are there to help the people of Salisbury safely enjoy their community.”

Wetzel said Music at the Mural concerts are family-friendly. People bring their lawn chairs and settle in for the music. Many patrons of Go Burrito! listen from the restaurant’s rooftop patio.

Salisbury Parks and Recreation organizes and plans the concerts. Main sponsors are United Beverages, Go Burrito! and Lettered Lily.

Earlier in the day Saturday, the annual Salisbury Pride Festival will be held close by.

“I feel like the mural is an underused, underappreciated asset in the downtown,”  Wetzel said, explaining the underlying impetus for the Music at the Mural concerts.

Though it’s difficult to predict how many golf carts will participate in the caravan Saturday night, Wetzel hopes it might get city officials thinking about adopting golf cart regulations so more people can use them in certain areas of town.

And Wetzel has a secret motive in hoping that Saturday’s caravan is a success. If his wife sees what fun it can be, Wetzel said, she might allow him to purchase a golf cart of his own.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.

 

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