Sunday, September 20, 2015

2015 Texas Pete Culinary Festival

The folks at T.W. Garner really know how to spice things up.  Okay, that was an easy one, but that's just what they've done.  Project manager Brian Cole has teamed up with Texas Pete to take downtown's hum drum Rock the Block party and turn it into a 3 day food festival that brings people from all over to sample some of the City of Arts and Innovation's culinary masterpieces.  There were live cooking demonstrations, street performers, full bands, and fly overs from the nearby Winston-Salem Air Show. 

The organizer's experience with downtown events was very evident this weekend.  From the exhibit layout, to sanitation needs, you can tell lessons of the past were well learned for this event.  The crowd seemed to flow seamlessly through an aisle of smells and sights. Enough port-a-johns were provided that we didn't witness the usual guy behind a bush scene this weekend.  

Not forgetting the event's roots, the nightlife entertainment featured a host of music and was headlined by American Aquarium.  The stage was located downhill on sixth street at the entrance to the Arts District, a change of scenery from its usual placement at the intersection of 6th and trade. This stage placement allowed folks to take advantage of the city's parking deck as an upper level viewing deck for the stage.  

The sights and sounds among the event goers was entertainment in and of itself. If people watching is your thing there was definitely sights to be seen, from guys riding the latest innovative gadgets, to face painters and even the buskers that downtown is starting to attract.

On a more subtle note, I think the big take away from this event and this year's event season as a whole, is that our city has over come the old taboo that public events and alcohol don't mix.  The beer stations were readily available at this event. People were able to walk around holding a drink and enjoy the event without fear of a drinking in public ticket.  More and more alcohol friendly events are going on, and I think the public is becoming more accepting of the fact that people drink. Gone is the image that all drinkers are the fraternity kid binge drinkers made popular in American Cinema.  Our city is evolving. In years past we were able to capitalize on tobacco, today we see craft brew and now craft distilleries coming to our city. If we can learn to embrace these things we can make our city a tourist destination and attractions such as the Texas Pete Culinary Arts Festival will garner national attention. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Camel City BBQ Factory

Camel City BBQ is officially open for business now.  I referred to this place on facebook as "the Las Vegas of BBQ restaurants".  Need some convincing?

 Well, let's start with the labyrinth like layout. The building was once a former glass factory and many of the nooks and crannys were retained. There are 16,000 sqft to explore.  Every few steps you are met with a corner, a corridor, or  a wall. And you dont see it coming. The wall's are filled with nostalgic factory handles, custom metalwork art, or 80's movies posters.

There are 2 floors and a convention hall in the building.  Lunch and dinner available downstairs in the restaurant and food service available in the bar upstairs.   Once upstairs you gain access to the outdoor patio overlooking the Entertainment District and of course, the Game Room. There are no shortage of TVs to watch your favorite sports team on.  I predict this to be a hot spot this super bowl.

The game room boasts such classics as pac-man and galaga and at every booth in the bar area are game consoles, playable game consoles.  If digital isnt  your thing, head back to the game room and try your hand at Ski-ball, darts, or fooseball or a whole host of bar games.

The food?  did we mention the food yet?    On our first visit there, we opted not for the obvious bbq. We tried something a little further down on the menu. Kirsten had the Shepherd's Pie with a side of REAL mashed potatoes and i went with the smoked sausage and crinkle cut fries. We shared a plate of bbq topped cheese fries as an appetizer. Over all, it was a great experience.  The food was perfect, the atmosphere inviting and the staff was amazingly cheerful for a first shift.

I dont think words and pictures alone can do justice to the experience that is Camel City BBQ Factory. You simply have to be there and get lost in this theme park of a restaurant. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Burke St Pub's 3rd Annual Charity Golf Tournament

On August 22nd we participated in the 3rd Annual Burke St. Pub Charity Golf Tournament.  It was held at Pudding Ridge Golf Course in Farmington, NC.  While this location is well outside of our downtown boundaries It brought together much of our community for a great cause.  Many of the carts sponsors were event sponsors.  Together we helped raised over $19,000 in funds, goods, and services for young Lanxton  who suffers from Sickle Cell Anemia.

The awesome part of this charity is that it's not run by some corporate fund. Everything went directly to Lanxton's family to help cover medical needs and expenses.  Lanxton was present for the event, and donors got a chance to meet him and interact with him.  At the end of the evening the closing ceremonies were held at Burke St. Pub and his mother and father gave a very touching speech. Giving is great, but to be able to see who that check is going towards, to see the effect it has on them has so much more reward than dropping an envelope in the mail.  

And the event was by no means short on fun for those doing the giving.  On top of the tournament itself several of the holes sponsors held mini games at their hole.  For example Burke St. Pub held a longest drive contest where participants were challenged to see who could drive jumbo marshmallows the farthest!   Second and Green Tavern brought out the cornhole boards and Brody's Downtown had a balloon pop game at their hole. We resumed our spot on the practice green with the Long Putt Challenge.   Entry into the mini games was gained by making small donations at each hole and small prizes were alotted to winners.  Back at the Pub the Days winners were announced and raffle prizes were divied up. 

Over all, this was an awesome experience and we had a lot of fun being part of it.   If you'd like to be a part of next summer's event contact Tiffany Howell at Burke St. Pub.

Camel City Nightlife

Monday, August 31, 2015

Enter Stage Right

We are going to dive a little deeper into reviewing the events and weekends downtown.  For the past 3 years we have tried to be "on the spot" and "in the moment".  What we've been able to give you folks is an inside look at what was happening right then and there.  We'll continue to do that, but we wanna give you more. 

  We wanna be able to sit down and walk you through the weekends events so in case you missed something you can catch up, or you can make up your minds on what to do in the upcoming week.  We'll also try to give a peek at things to come and do our best to stay on top of the news.  Check back frequently as we'll be updating and reposting things we find from around the web.

Camel City Promotions, Inc