The Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park its Grand Opening is Thursday, November 2, 2017, 4-10pm. This City of Wilson, North Carolina event includes a ribbon cutting, speeches, and activities for all.
Arrive in-advance of 4pm, with enough time for parking and walking, so that you don’t miss the ribbon cutting! At 4pm, be there to witness the ribbon cutting at the Whirligig Park. Years in the making, the park’s official opening sets Vollis Simpson’s legacy in motion, providing a place of honor in historic downtown Wilson for his whirligigs. This and future generations will not only hear his story, they can see his creations in Whirligig Park.
The North Carolina Secretary of Cultural Resources and other dignitaries will speak from the amphitheater at the park. Event guests include Wit Tuttell, Executive Director of VisitNC, as master of ceremonies, and Susi Hamilton, NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Secretary, as featured speaker.
Following the ceremony, which will end around 4:45pm, all are invited to stay for live music by Fireside Collective, enjoy family activities, and purchase dinner, snacks, or desserts from food trucks at the Whirligig Park.
When darkness falls, around 7pm, all may witness a special lighting of the whirligigs in the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park. Don’t miss the “Grand Illumination” — bring family and friends and take part in this memorable happening.
Bring blankets and chairs for comfort on the amphitheater grass, enjoy listening to the music of Fireside Collective, meet new and old neighbors, and make memories which you may one day tell to grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and future city residents-to-be.
The Whirligig Park is located at 301 Goldsboro Street S, Wilson NC. There is street parking as well as multiple City of Wilson parking lots around the park, including a temporary lot on Jones Street between Douglas and Goldsboro Streets. Motorists are encouraged to enter on Douglas Street off Nash or Hines streets. Look for red and white “Public Parking” signage.
Police Officers will also be on site to assist in directing traffic toward available parking. Officials encourage attendees to carpool as much as possible.
Come Back for The Festival
Two days after Thursday’s Grand Opening, come back to to Historic Downtown Wilson for the 13th-annual NC Whirligig Festival.
Come and enjoy a variety of entertainment– live bands on three stages, plus performances. See performer information and the schedule at whirligigfestivalnc.org/entertainment/entertainment.
Shop from area arts, craft, and food vendors at the festival, or downtown shops open for the day. See a list of vendors and participating merchants at whirligigfestivalnc.org/vendors.
For the second year, “Inspiration Station” will be along Douglas Street near Imagination Station. Stop by to participate in Lego creations/whirligig-inspired art with Art Daze, Virtual Reality demos with Greenlight, or enjoy the Touch-a-Truck by climbing in a bucket truck to view the whirligigs from a different angle.
Take the kids into the Whirlikidz Zone for age-appropriate activities.
Meet the American Ninja Warriors or try the “Whirligig Warrior” competition course, provided by Wilson Medical Center, and be a warrior!
And, of course, the Cake Dive returns. Watch or take part — possible participants must sign up in advance. The Cake Dive prizes are provided by local businesses and supported by area sponsors.
The festival takes place Saturday, November 4, 2017, 10am-5pm, and Sunday, November 5, 2017, noon-5pm.