Rock the Park continues to grow in second year as Rockwell’s headline event

Published 12:10 am Friday, June 21, 2024

ROCKWELL — The Rock the Park event in Rockwell brought even more musicians, vendors and fun activities to Rockwell Park in its second go-round.

The event was started last year by the town, headed by the revitalization committee and the Rockwell Community Association, in an effort to give the town a headliner event to go along with the full schedule throughout the summer, said Alderman Dillon Brewer.

“One thing that Rockwell struggled with for a long time was signature events and bringing the community together because we are a smaller municipality, we don’t have someone on staff. So that’s one thing I took under my wing when I came on was I’m going to be in charge of events,” said Brewer.

Brewer said that the event had grown considerably in its second year, with 3,000 people expected to visit the park throughout the day versus an estimated 1,500 in 2023. The town had also added 10 more vendors as well as bringing in multiple bands during the event, headlined by Motel Soap.

“It’s great for the town because it brings a lot of new people into the area, it gives some of our town members an event to look forward to. The food trucks are big draws and we have more vendors this year than we’ve had. I’m just glad to see it and the vendors from last year were very happy with the event so a lot of them came back,” said Mayor Chuck Bowman.

This year’s event also brought another significant change, the expansion of the “summer Olympic games” between the town police department and fire department. Contests included a game of tug-of-war, a hot dog eating contest and a volleyball match. The fire department took home the trophy for the second straight year, having also won the interdepartmental volleyball game the prior year. All donations taken during the games were given to the Rockwell Museum, said Brewer.

Brewer said that the goal of the event was to provide community members a family-friendly space to spend the day and have fun, so all of the money the town received was given to charities or organizations in the community. Rockwell Christian School received approximately $500 and provided shuttles for the event, the East Rowan football team and East Rowan YMCA each received approximately $1,000 and provided manpower and the Rockwell Museum received approximately $600.

“By doing this event, it’s just pouring money back into different non-profits and community groups. The town’s budget for this is less than about $2,500 to do the whole event. We could take in that money and just offset it, but it’s not really about that,” said Brewer.

The event has been made an official town event, which Brewer said means that the town is required to hold it every year unless the board of aldermen vote to eliminate it.

“That’s one of those things, I wanted to make sure that the community event, regardless of whether I’m on the board or not, continues to happen. That’s one thing I’ve committed to, even if I’m not on the board I’ll always be here to help,” said Brewer.

Rockwell will have an event every month during summer, with a corn hole tournament in July, National Night Out in August and the Hugh Bost Memorial 5k in September.